Reframing the ups and downs of business and life

Reframing the ups and downs of business and life

It was mid-December 2008, and I got a Christmas card from my dear friend, mentor, and coach, Walt Sutton. Inside the card it said, “Merry Christmas to you my friend. I know this has been a challenging year for you in your business so that’s why I’d like you to write a top ten list of things you’re grateful for from this year. – Walt” He had a title of “Great things that happened this year” and then ten numbered blank lines below that. My first thought was, “there’s no way I can come up with ten things from this year, this was way too challenging of a year.”

Well, I started thinking back to January 2008, and began my list. I stopped at number 27. I couldn’t believe it. So many amazing things had happened that year that I was grateful for (including meeting my now wife, Sabrina, in March). I suddenly realized that I had been focusing on remembering 2008 for all the wrong reasons.

It’s so easy to remember the challenging and frustrating things that happen to me – that doesn’t take effort – they occupy my mind more than I’d like. Not every year in business, family, and personal is going to be just rainbows and unicorns; life is hard sometimes, but I don’t have to focus on the hardships when I have so many things to be grateful for.

I’ve created that same list every year since 2008. And I’ve done this list with my team as well, in fact, we do it every year in the Spring when we do our annual Creative Strategic Planning session abroad.

So here’s my invitation to you: grab a piece of paper and write your top ten (or 27!) list of things you’re grateful for from this year. If you’re feeling courageous and want to celebrate with others, please share your list below.
Mike Desjardins

Mike is a a graduate of UBC’s Sauder School of Business with a Bachelors of Commerce, Mike has spent the past 21 years transforming businesses.

  • Liz Klein
    Posted at 18:48h, 11 December Reply

    You and the ViRTUS team are at the top of my list of things I’m grateful for. You have all impacted my life in so many incredible ways. Including me taking this idea and creating a list with my kids during the holidays!

    • Meike Krug
      Posted at 18:26h, 03 January Reply

      Let’s include it in our discussion at dinner next week Liz!

  • Brad Herbert
    Posted at 23:32h, 11 December Reply

    Great reminder Mike. Always feels great.

  • Laura Mack
    Posted at 02:23h, 12 December Reply

    Living from a place of gratitude has been one of my values for so, so long and I appreciate how you’ve helped me deepen practices around this. For years I tucked my son into bed asking him what he was grateful for. These days, when clients complain about what’s NOT working in their businesses and/or lives, I ask them, “So…what’s good?” Always shifts the energy.

    And I’m with Liz….being connected to the ViRTUS team is always tops on my list of what I’m grateful for.

    • Meike Krug
      Posted at 18:24h, 03 January Reply

      Looking forward to you asking me ‘what’s good?’ during our conversation next week! I so appreciate looking at the bright side of things rather than the negative. 2019 provided opportunities to be grateful for – no doubt. AND 2020 will be a fabulous year!

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