Our family has a tradition, perhaps not unlike many others, where after our holiday dinner we all take turns sharing what we are grateful for. People mention family, health, friends, a job, food and other vital things. It really is a wonderful experience and has inspired me to keep an ongoing list of what I am grateful for in my life – things that have occurred in the past, things about my life in general and things I am looking forward to.
In the book, The Brain That Changes Itself, author Norman Doidge uses evidence-based stories to illuminate the miracle of neuroplasticity and the power of positive thinking. The acts of gratitude and mindfulness can actually alter our brain and our way of thinking. The book has tremendous examples of transformation brought about in people’s lives who faced incredible challenges, and I highly recommend it.
In my own life, I am extremely grateful every time I volunteer to do a magic show. Last week for Thanksgiving, I did a magic show with my sons at a home for disabled adults. It was such an amazing opportunity and I felt so grateful for having been able to spend time with some wonderful people. These residents, and new friends, face their adversity with dignity and acceptance.
I’ve done magic for over 40 years, and for the past 20 years on a volunteer basis for charitable organizations. Recently, I performed for the Special Olympics and next month again I’ll perform for Families Forward and Variety – The Children’s Charity holiday parties. Every time I get to do magic for disadvantaged children, they laugh, they smile and they have a spark of wonder. They thank me, and I thank them. It’s my honor and pleasure to connect with these wonderful people who are physically, mentally, financially, socially or emotionally challenged. To be able to make them happier even for a brief period of time makes my life real, meaningful and connected. The events themselves and each reflection upon them fill me with gratitude.
As I thought about this newsletter, I wanted to relate the joy I receive from giving to how it helps me and my clients pivot to improved business performance. I am thinking about how the connections I make at the magic shows parallel the connections, partnerships and work I form with clients and colleagues through our work. My hope is that each of you are able to connect with your natural empathy, intentionality and an attitude of gratitude at work. As each of us does this, teams perform better, people become happier and greater success can be achieved.
Please share with me what you are grateful for. Sharing the joy is a critical part of transformation
Most important, if you know of a deserving child-based organization who would welcome a free professional magic show, email me back and I’d love to schedule it.