Waking Up & Giving Thanks

As I was on the plane to a wonderful conference hosted by the Purposeful Planning Institute, I was thinking about spending time in beautiful Colorado — collaborating with new and long-term friends alike (at my age, you learn not to say ‘old’ friends), visiting with my brother who lives in Denver, and enjoying the sunshine and mountains — and I was thinking how much different things had been just twenty-four hours before…

The previous Sunday, it was a gorgeous Chicago day, not a cloud in the sky, and my girlfriend and I were out for a drive. As we were driving, I started feeling a little pressure in my chest. Not a pain, really, just a little pressure. She suggested that I go to the emergency room to have it checked out. And I, like a red-blooded American male said, “If I feel this way in a half an hour, I’ll go” as I think to myself:

I’m tough. I’ve been through a lot, so why go to the expense and hassle of bothering the medical staff for something that’s probably nothing?

Next thing I know, I am in the hospital being admitted for tests. Luckily, at the end of the emergency room ordeal, they gave me a clean bill of health, but it got me to thinking…

What if I never got to say goodbye to those that I love? Or to reconcile with those who have become estranged? Or take the trip to that exotic locale I have always wanted to? What if my health would restrict me from doing the things that I love? And I realized — I have been blessed. I have everything someone could ask for — a great career, a close group of true friends, the ability to do things that are meaningful and make a difference in people’s lives. These are things that many strive for all their lives and rarely achieve.

The whole experience gave me pause to think about those that I Iove most in this world and that living and being in the moment is all that we have. I realized that enjoying every person you come in contact with can make a huge impact on your life, if you act sincerely and honestly with yourself.

So tonight, take the time to think about those you care about. Give your kids an extra hug. Tell your significant other how much they mean to you and make it a life worth living. It’ll pay off big time…


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