Opening Your Gifts

Gifts are huge in December. They are given, they are received. Most are accepted, quite a few returned, and some simply put away to be re-gifted later. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Most will be wrapped, a few bagged, some hidden in a stocking. While there are countless ways to present gifts, one trait they will all have in common. The opening.

While a few may attempt to open carefully, most are ripped open immediately. This is one area where kids are the experts, when it comes to getting to what’s in the box, they are the masters. With expectation, most can open any package in micro seconds. They rip, they shred, leave a trail of torn paper, pieces of boxes, and bows that no longer look like they could have started out as colorful ribbons.

As we end a year marked by a long and stressful presidential campaign, a wavering economy, and plenty of frightening international news, we must clear our mindset, let
go of what is past, and press forward towards a new year.

First, embrace your God-given gifts. As when children open gifts, they don’t stop and wonder if anything valuable is in the box. They don’t question if it is for them, if it’s the right size, or if it is something they will like. They open with expectancy. Similarly, we must embrace our own God given gifts with that sense of expectation. Each of us has unique talents, and as the new year approaches, there is no better time to embrace who we are and who we can be, what makes us different, and step out in confidence that we can use those unique gifts to make our own small world a better place.

Next, let go of what you cannot change. Over the months of the election, I watched
the news, went online to see the latest polls, and invested large chunks of time staying informed. While being informed is necessary, I wasted hours of time trying to keep up with something that changed on a daily basis. The next time an election rolls around, I will manage my time better. I will stay informed, I will cast an educated vote, but I’ll make sure I invest my valuable time where I know I can make a difference.

Finally, seek and you will find. If you look for good things to dwell on, you will find it.
At the same time you can drown in negativity. As we approach the new year, we must make our key resolution to look for and focus on the positive. Look for ways to be a better business competitor, a better spouse or parent, as well as a better citizen.

This year is ending, but a new year is upon us. Expect good things by creating good things. Focus intentionally on believing in and using your gifts confidently, let go of what you cannot change, and seek productive ways to make a positive difference in your world and beyond.

Happy New Year, Expect Good Things!

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