Gratitude, Connection and Learning


Not too many years ago I would have looked at the many challenges of the year 2014 through very dark colored glasses. I would have only seen the negatives and seen myself as victim.  Definitely a man cloaked in the coat of “woe is me”.

Thankfully in life we get the opportunity to take off the dark glasses of the past and see a new world in front. We get to see that there is a better way to live. We get to learn that no matter your financial place in life there is so much more that can bring you fulfillment. And most importantly there are people we have yet to meet that will bring new light. People that show you the importance and power of Gratitude. Those that we not only connect with but with which there is a connection. And the people that remind you everyday that at any age we can learn.

Gratitude:  I am not sure I knew before this year the meaning of Gratitude.  And I certainly never understood the power of having a grateful mindset. I do know that learning how to be grateful for what I have and not being buried by what I want has done much more for me than any depression medication. That while unemployment and debt hung over my head I had people in my life that believed in me. I had people in my life I could help in many ways without money. And most importantly that what was little to me was the moon and stars for others. I also learned through people such as Wendy Wolf (@lettersproject) and Carmen Marie (@CarmenHappyMe)  through the power of Gratitude in their stories of real life, that the future held much less darkness than the past.

Connection: In 2013 through several social media platforms I started to connect with people from around the world. I was truly in awe of the the ability to learn from people in Lebanon,  Australia, Serbia, Great Britain and throughout the United States. In 2014 I learned that connecting was only step one, and that step two was to make a real connection. Not in person but emotionally, through ideas,  through a post, by being part of a webinar, hangout or a class. The idea that people throughout the world would support me through personal and family health concerns was humbling. That I could find a best friend and others who wanted to know and support me not as a twitter handle but as person opened my heart. People such as Sage Bramhall (@mysageadvice) Samantha Hall (@Samantha_S_Hall) Alli Pollin (@AlliPolin) Hoda Maalouf (@maahoda) Iva Ignjatovic (@IvaIgnjatovic) and Nora Whalen (@NoraWhalen) and others have shown a connection is far more than just  connecting. It is definitely true that it is about Quality not Quantity.
Hopefully 2015 will bring a chance for step three, some face to face connections where I can tell people how blessed I am to know them.

Learning: They say you are never too old to learn. I am definitely the poster boy for that concept. Life is a continual lesson on life. This year I have learned being an introvert is ok and that it is not permanent.  That you can find within yourself a purpose, whether it is to be a better parent, a better leader or maybe a better friend. You can learn that the real secret to success is knowing and acting like people matter. That we are part of something bigger. That saying you matter and then showing it can bring light to anyone, including yourself. And learning that I matter is where everything starts.
I also learned you never fail unless you quit and quitting is not an option. The past is history and history will only be repeated if you allow it to happen. We control that choice.

Lastly, yet by no means least important,  I want to thank my Mom and Brothers and Sisters for their support this year. Even with your own challenges you have stood beside me in mine. And thank my children who bless me daily with their presence in my life. Words will never express my gratitude.

I look forward to 2015 and all it will bring.  Thanks to each and everyone of you for being part of my life.


8 thoughts on “Gratitude, Connection and Learning

  1. What a heartwarming post! Tom, you share with us the essence of what is love and gratitude for all that is. Thank you for inspiring us with your wisdom. The challenges you met with have not been in vain as you have learned and grown to contribute even more of what makes you truly you.

  2. Excellent post Tom. It really is an extraordinary journey when you let it be one. You did an great job summarizing your thoughts and I really appreciate that because it provides a model for others. Gratitude is powerful for ones personal well being but it is often lost in the shuffle of everyday life. Thanks for sharing our experiences.

  3. Tom,
    Your post is beautiful… the lessons you have shared about your personal journey and growth are beyond humbling… to be witness to such things in someone else’s life are truly a blessing to us all.
    Gratitude is beautiful, in it’s every form and way.. living a life through gratitude lifts so much of the weight of life off of our shoulders and souls. I too, learned this lesson later than I wish I had.. It is so wonderful to know those others who show us all we hope to be and become by how they live their own lives and guide their own businesses.
    Your words: “I also learned you never fail unless you quit and quitting is not an option. The past is history and history will only be repeated if you allow it to happen. We control that choice.”… this is perfect.
    Thank you, again, for sharing this with us all.

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