Monday, January 5, 2009

The "Other" List

As 2009 kicks into gear, items from your "Bucket List" may have made their way on to your "other" list.

How many times have you set out to "resolve" to do something special or meaningful whenever it's time to clean the calendar and start a new year?

How often do you succeed with your resolutions?

Most of us are familiar with the "bucket list", the itemized version of those things we wish to do or have before we "kick the bucket". The idea was further popularized by the 2007 comedy-drama starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, as two terminally ill men hit the road on a quest to check things off their respective lists. However, when you watch the movie or listen to folks around you rhyme things off their "list", it invariably comes to back to being an exercise in self-centred shopping. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the focus of these lists tend to focused on things we don't have as opposed to what we do have. I have done this more times than I can remember so just to change things up, the "bucket list" and "New Year's Resolutions" are getting kicked to the curb in favor of the "Gratitude List".

This idea was inspired by two events.

The first attributed to a great friend of mine, Dale Betts, who sent me an article penned by Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) on the morning of December 31, 2008. Warren said in part, "We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by a purpose? God didn't put me on earth just to fulfil a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings".

The second event involved a trip to the Moncton City Hospital's neuro-intensive care unit, but that story will have to wait until another day. Few things will alter your perspective like visiting a young man fighting for his life while a family and community is hoping and praying for the best.

So, if you don't mind me sharing, here is the first-ever (for me) 2009 Gratitude List; some of the things and people I am grateful for as we head into a new year with a chance of making it our best one ever.

I am thankful for having:

- Had the opportunity to co-chair the enormously successful "Taking Flight" Atlantic HR Conference, held back in October of 2008. Many thanks go out to Rachelle Gagnon for betting the farm on a vision that may have looked risky at first and to David Cannon for making sure all of the nuts and bolts were in place to make the plan come together.

- An opportunity to hear Doug Stevenson at a CAPS meeting in April of 2008 in Halifax and learn about his "Story Theater Method". And if it wasn't for the "Flower", Martin Latullippe, I never would have become involved with CAPS in the first place. Thanks to CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers), other doors continue to swing wide open after a 4-day NSA conference in New York this past August that I still think was one of the most remarkable events I have ever attended. Just to be in the same room as Bill Strickland and hear him speak ... wow!

- Not one, not two, but three first-class buddies named Ken. LeBlanc, Margeson and MacLeod sounds like a law firm, but the only thing the Three Kens will ever solicit is the highest of regards. KL, K-Rod and K-Mac are as different as personalities go, but share a common trait called "loyalty". Neither Ken will ever be confused with the action figure by the same name but they did luck out in the "Barbie" department. These guys are lucky enough to be with dolls.

- So many success stories accumulate from the Fundy Group of clients through 2008. It takes a different breed of business owner to work with some of our methodologies, but those who follow the process and take a patient, longer view, are usually better off for it. Thanks to our clients, they provide a canvas that allows the unique talents of people like Darren Sears, Dave MacKenzie, Ian Varty, Amanda Duff and Ryan Maxwell to display what they are capable of.

- Colleagues and friends like Leanne Taylor, Walter Melanson, Jeremy Demont, Jim & Dawna Gilbert, Don Schmincke, Tyson & Janice from WestJet, Cheryl Karpen, Randy Gould, Marc Maurice, Dan Martell, Danielle Leger, Katherine Maurice and Jack Lamey who challenge, inspire and entertain in their own unique ways.

- The challenges presented by certain relationships that have not gone the way I would have hoped and the lessons they have provided to help take my game to another level in 2009.

- A world-class sister, who refuses to judge and is ALWAYS there in good times or bad. There aren't many people like Karen who can look right through me, see what's flawed and still enjoy the view.

- Loyal readers of TSB like Carl Fischer, Rick Nicholson, Steve MacDowall, Terry Gaudet, Jon Reid, Matt Eldridge and so many more who take time to share comments and opinions.

- and franchisees like Mike Shanks, Shannon, Gavin, Debbie Allen Kenny and Tracey Singleton and others who continually amaze me with their dedication to a business that, for them, has become a cause.

- Roy H. Williams and the folks at Wizard Academy.

- Ron MacLean of HNIC who taught me the essence of what it takes to serve.

and, last, but not least .... YouTube.

What would land on your "Gratitude List" as you head into 2009?

"If you're alive, there's a purpose for your life" RICK WARREN

p.s.... This is one example of how YouTube helps make the world a better place.


Wendy Hue PCC, CSP, said...

Hi Gair,
I really enjoyed this one. The world, including me, is full of seekers and this post really helped me and probably many others to add to our repertoire of seeker tools.
Wendy Hue

Mike Shanks PSP said...

Timely? Always.

Gair you never cease to amaze me with your thoughts and doings. From my first hours in PGU to today's post I constantly reminded of our connection.

Thank you for allowing me the comfort that I am not all that different.


Gair Maxwell said...

Thanks so much for the kind words … I am actually quite surprised and humbled by the comments, e-mails and overall reaction Monday’s TSB posting received.

And for that I am left feeling, once again, grateful.

All the best in 2009 …


Gair Maxwell said...

Thanks so much for the kind words … I am actually quite surprised and humbled by the comments, e-mails and overall reaction Monday’s TSB posting received.

And for that I am left feeling, once again, grateful.

All the best in 2009 …