During the month of November here in the United States, I just can’t help but think about everything that I am thankful for. This year our Thanksgiving falls on November 26th.

I usually think about all of the people who have impacted my life and for whom I am grateful. It’s people like you who read my articles and posts, which I am humbled to serve.

This year, though, has been unlike any other in my 50+ years. Yes, I remember gasoline rationing for our cars (by even and odd license plate numbers) in the 1970s. The economic downturns in the 1980s (yes, and the big hair too). In the 1990s, Y2K was going to bring computers to a grinding halt and disrupt life as we knew it. Then, in 2001 I watched as planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. Today’s turmoil seems to be a combination of crises that makes yesterday’s stresses pale in comparison.

Yet, I’ve come to realize that it is these times of strife, trials and tribulations, and a lack of order and control that we, as a species, seem to learn and grow the most.

So, this year I’m giving thanks for the global pandemic, the racial tensions, the political unrest, and the economic downturn. I’m going to embrace the suck because there is no success without the “suc.”

As I discussed in last month’s 50% Happy web event, we need the darkness to appreciate the light; we need the stress to appreciate and fully experience the peace; we need the lows to appreciate the highs.

For many of us, as we celebrate Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, they will be unlike any other in the past. Rather than overeating, overdrinking, and trying to numb the pain of missing loved ones, feeling isolated or unheard, I encourage you to embrace those emotions. Experience those emotions so you can experience even greater highs as we work our way through… because we will work our way through these times. We will learn and grow and come up better on the other side. Yes, it will be hard. It will also be worth it.

How do I know? Because the gas crisis of the 1980s led to the fuel injector and advanced drilling for oil. It also led to the Tesla and other amazing electric vehicles. The recessions led to new policies for banks and times of economic prosperity. Terrorism led to the resolve to defeat it. And, yes, even the 1980s big hairstyles, Mohawks, and mullets have led to some amazing belly laughs over the decades.

We will get through this and we will come out better on the other side. Our species will learn and grow. I’m thankful for the stress and challenges because these are the foundation of growth and evolution.

I can’t wait to see the joy, peace, prosperity, equality, and growth that the seeds of 2020’s stress, anxiety, and frustrations bring to our world.

THANK YOU! Thank you for being the person that you are… for your desire to learn and grow and develop. We, as human beings, need more people like you. I am thankful for you.

Here’s to an amazing 2021 and beyond.

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