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What are you Thankful for This Holiday Season?

by Patrick McIvor | December 7, 2016

As Americans we generally are luckier than 50% of the rest of the world by far, and probably 80% overall.  From the lack of basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and security, there are so many in the world who suffer on a daily basis.

It's funny, when I was doing a show in Africa, I had the chance to visit Johannesburg and drive to Kruger National Park where along the way I saw young children with almost nothing, smiling. 

Now, I look around today and it seems from celebrities to young kids, the more we have the less thankful we are for all we have. How often does the thought of 'I have nothing…to wear, to do or maybe even to feel good about?' enter your thoughts?

I was thinking about this over the holiday weekend and thought about my life. What am I thankful for? Who am I helping and what is making me better? I want to share some questions that I learned from a fellow TEDx speaker, Sarah Trimmer, that helped me, a very lucky person, learn to “Start and End Happy” and I can use it to be a little more thankful.

Sarah uses this everyday to help build her mental strength and happiness, and as a two-time cancer survivor who has lived through years of tragedy and loss, she knows this works. 

Sarah starts each statement with “Today, I am…” But you can use this as a daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly because you are thinking about this today, any way you decide to apply it, it will help you start and be more happy.  Here are the questions:

I am Thankful/Grateful for...

I helped someone by...

Something that made me happy...

I learned...

I will...

As a salon owner or team member, you could use these questions in a team meeting, one on ones, for team building or a team retreat.  As independent stylists, you can use this as a daily way to motivate yourself and to make sure you are constantly growing in good ways. 

As someone who works alone most of the time at our private salon and then also gets to work with some of the biggest salon teams in our industry when working in New York City, I can see how it can be easy to get “lost” when you are both working alone and feel lost even on a big team. That is why this is so important and now is a great time to be acting on it and thinking about positive things, things we are thankful for.

As a hairdresser, it is so easy to just fly through our day or even worse, only go home thinking about the bad things we heard from guests or thinking about the things that didn't go well. The truth is, for most of us, none of our days are bad as we think, so often the good just went by unnoticed while the bad some how grew and got worse. 

For me, when I realized I couldn't remember the last time I was grateful for my heart beating or my lungs breathing? Like seriously when was the last time I said, “I am so happy I have a good heart and it is beating well?” Yet I bet if it stopped or started to not work so well I would notice then.  So aside from my good health and beating heart, what am I thankful for?

This year I am grateful for a magical year in which I will be 50 next month, spoke at a TEDx, was pinned as an Intercoiffure Member, have 2 great kids and the best wife.

This year I helped someone by, this is something I try to do everyday in different ways to honor and thank the people who helped me, and I will keep this private.

Something that made me happy, spending more time with my daughters and wife and less time on the road. (they liked it too!!!)

This year I learned that sometimes when you are sure you blew it, you may not have.

I will be focusing on doing more good (and things I want to do), for myself and others.

Watch Sarah’s TEDx Talk - Start and End Happy

I'll be back next month building on the good we started here, and I’m thankful for you.

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