"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

.....Of Thankfulness, Turkey and Discovery.....


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Photo: D. Paul Graham 1984

Monday 5 Things…..Of Thankfulness, Turkey and Discovery…..

I wrap up this week’s M5T on the eve of Canadian Thanksgiving and US Columbus Day. Two days that invoke thankfulness, the wonder and audacity of exploring and discovery, and for today, in Canada, football and family drama. Let me clarify. Up until this year, Canada’s CFL held the annual Thanksgiving Day Double-Header Football Classic. Yes… two, count’em, two football games… in one day. Chuckles from those south of the 49th will be excused. This is the first year since 1957 that there will be no football on Thanksgiving in Canada. With too much time on people’s hands, enter increased family drama in the kitchen and around the dinner table. But I digress. Family drama is simply a function of family time together, no matter which side of the border you reside. Circumstances of late have prompted me to look back with thanksgiving, and to turn my shoulders square to the future. I happened upon a “letter to myself’ article last week that made me think once again of what I would tell myself 25 or 30 years ago. I looked back at such a letter that I composed a few years ago in a much earlier M5T. I shall amend that list to include these additional 5 things I would have told a young man (and to anyone today in their mid 20’s who will listen) who thought he had all the answers.

1. Gratitude.

No matter what you day looks like, always, always have a heart that is thankful. Living with gratitude will lead you to a full life. Focus on the blessings of what ­you have today, not what you think you should have tomorrow. Be kind to strangers. Understand grace and what it means to be gracious to others. Remember and recapture the sense of awe you had as a child. Laugh without restraint. Love without fear.

2. Losses and Gains.

You will fail. Embrace failure and learn from it. But by all means find the strength to get back up when you are pushed down. It will take some time to figure it out, but some losses will actually become your greatest gains in life. Admit your mistakes and move forward. People will hurt you, lie about you and gossip about you. With malice. You will hurt people. Sometimes with malice. Forgive them and forgive yourself.

3. The Sum of Five.

An adage from Jim Ruhn who postulates that you are average of the five people you spend the most time with. Take a moment and look at who you surround yourself with. Then take a good look at yourself. Do you like what you see? If not, it’s time for change. Like it or not, the people closest to you influence how you think and act. Do those around you live the kind of life you want? Are they as ambitious as you are? Do they genuinely want you to succeed, or secretly wish you would fail? Do they value excellence? Do you value excellence? Do your relationships build you up or keep you down? Do you bring the average up for others? And if you only count your online time with Facebook, you need some help.

4. Time.

Learn to ruthlessly value your time. See point 3 above. Take time for yourself. Don’t lose sight of the details. Every detail is important. Invest in yourself. Understand the difference between being driven and living your calling. There is a huge difference.

5. Owed.

Listen carefully. No one in this entire world owes you anything. Period. You need to step up, develop a sense of urgency and understand of how to work to meet the needs to achieve what you want in life. Effort of nothing begets nothing. Educate yourself beyond a degree. Learn to question; to develop your own thoughts, and how to structure an effective logical argument; learn to give and to love.

Here’s to wishing everyone on both sides of the 49th parallel a blessed week following Thanksgiving and Columbus Day… especially as this year is unyieldingly screaming toward Halloween, US Thanksgiving, Christmas and a New Year, a mere 11 weeks away.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com