[Today’s Tuesday Reading is from Brian McDonald, President of MOR Associates. Brian may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via LinkedIn.]
As we approach Thanksgiving, a recent 24-hour stretch offered an unexpected opportunity to reflect on the moments we experience, how our memories enrich our lives as well as our relationships, how messages get conveyed both directly as well as subtly, and how meaningful these interactions can be. As you hopefully spend time with your family and friends during Thanksgiving, consider how you may want to be intentional in making these moments matter. Consider how this is a time to express our gratitude for the people who surround us and for the moments and memories we share with them.
This 24-hour stretch started late on Friday afternoon, a time when we might like to be gearing down. There was a call with a close friend whose wife has recently received a diagnosis that was quite disheartening and likely means she has only months to live. I listened intently to my one-time client who long ago became a dear friend and shared his sadness. Together we considered what was on the road ahead and how he may very well need to be the support for his wife as well as his family. We explored what he may need to do to navigate this traumatic stretch. It was a very personal, supportive, and intimate conversation.
Not too much later that evening we had some friends come over to our condo for dinner. These relationships go back over 50 years. A couple of us grew up together and others went to the same public university. Between just five of us there are over 280 years of friendships. We could reach back to the memories of the earlier days. We could laugh and still enjoy revisiting times long past. There was a backdrop of continuity and connection despite our lives having gone off in different directions.
Early Saturday rather than get on the treadmill for the usual workout, there was the opportunity to do some laps on the track with another former client, now a good friend and confidant. We caught up on our transitions, our families, the recent trip to Tanzania and looked ahead to the future as we logged in our steps for the day. It was a meaningful exchange and one filled with support and caring for the other.
A little later this same morning there was a celebration of DJ’s life, who is the mother of a friend. The gathering was an uplifting expression of appreciation, affection, and love. It was evident from the tribute, DJ found joy in raising her two sons as well as joy in her many friends and joys in the little things in life. During this service there was a space for quiet contemplation. In this affirming setting it was easy to reflect on the last 24 hours and connect the dots.
Our lives consist of a series of moments. But too many times those moments can go by without making a real connection. Yet other times, these moments create an opening for a more meaningful exchange or deeper connection, when we are fully present. Whether it is explicit or implicit we may be aware or not that we are constantly messaging one another. When we are listening, we are indicating we care. If we are distracted by devices or other thoughts going through our minds, we are signaling a lack of interest. Being fully present provides the opportunity in our interactions at home, at work, and in other parts of our day-to-day lives for us to be intentional in sending messages of sincere interest and make meaningful connections.
During this Thanksgiving holiday and in the season ahead, relish the moments, the meaningful connections and the messages you and others are sending, for these will become the memories we will carry with us in the years to come.
We at MOR are grateful to be involved is supporting others, whether it is in MOR’s leadership development efforts, coaching or through other opportunities. Getting to know people at a personal level is a privilege as this work affords us the ability to make deeper connections. The sharing that takes place with the leadership journeys creates a deeper meaning and appreciation for the road others have traveled.
Thank you for letting us share this journey with you. Consider expressing your thanks for those who have shared this journey with you.
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