Every year around this time we celebrate a series of holidays based around hope, thanks, love for fellow man, and the promise of a new start in a new year. While I appreciate the warm feelings I get when the Christmas decorations come out and our standard greeting of strangers shifts from a polite nod to “Happy Holidays” it makes me wonder… What if we celebrated these same human feelings all year round?
Thanksgiving in Canada happens in early October, and then the US celebrates in late November. During this holiday we’re encouraged to slow down, take time to reflect, and give thanks for the many blessings we have in our lives. What a great feeling we get when we look beyond the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and instead of complaining about the Tim Horton’s employee who got our coffee order wrong or the idiot driver in front of us we instead relish the great blessings we have in our lives. Why don’t we instead give thanks EVERY day, all year round? Can you imagine the warm feeling you could feel every day if you took 10-15 minutes in the morning every morning to give thanks for all the great things you have in your life? What’s stopping you?
Between the US and Canadian holidays we celebrate Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada. This time we specifically thank the men and women who have served for their country and the millions who have given their lives in the name of freedom. While I recognize the importance of taking one specific day a year to give pause, I would encourage you to keep our heroes in mind year round. If you see a veteran or soldier on March 11 why not walk up and say thank you?
Following these comes the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other religious seasons. While the seasons have different religious meanings the human result is a focus on giving to those who are less privileged, spreading joy and love, connecting with loved ones, and greeting each other with words and warm wishes rather than sterile nods and smiles. What is stopping us from carrying on this very human feeling throughout the year? Why shouldn’t we give to others who are less fortunate in June in the same way we do in December? Why can’t we express a warm greeting to each other (including strangers we meet) all year round?
I’m personally going to enjoy the great feelings of the holiday seasons and take the time to really relish the opportunity to connect with so many people over the next month or so, but I’m also going to make an effort to continue all of those feelings and behaviours year round.
Happy Holidays… Today and for the rest of the year!
Tim Empringham, MBA
Tim Empringham is a passionate advocate for Innovation in organizations of all sizes as a mechanism to drive growth, create uncontested market space, create new customer value, and drive efficiency into the internal organization. His focus is on disruption of thinking and markets through integrative thinking, structured Innovation frameworks, and leadership development of Innovation and Change leaders within the organization.