What makes you both thankful and happy?


To understand what you’re most thankful for, maybe it’s worth starting with what’s most important to you.

A couple months ago, at the urging of a good friend following a deep conversation about work-life balance, I was challenged to come up with a list of things that are important to me.  Later that night, over a whiskey at the hotel bar, I took out my trusty Moleskine notebook and started writing a list.

It’s not complete, but it was stream of thought.  Here’s what I wrote (in this order):

  • My wife
  • My kids
  • My family
  • Food
  • Naps
  • Ice cream
  • Playing the piano
  • Writing
  • Whiskey
  • Cool bars
  • College football
  • Date nights
  • Quiet nights at home with my wife
  • Cooking with the kids
  • Baseball
  • Reading

What caught me off guard about this list were a few things:

  • The important are mixed in with the mundane
  • There are things on this list I don’t do at all right now (play the piano)
  • Only one item (writing) is remotely close to work

So if these are some of my most important things, the things in my life that make me most happy, how do I ensure more of my time is spent either on them directly, or enabling more time with them?

For many (including me), work is a means.  I’m incredibly lucky in that I love what I get to do for a living, but work itself didn’t occur to me in freestyling this list.

This week of Thanksgiving in particular, what’s on your list?  When we get asked what we’re most thankful for, we often talk about friends and family and such.  Are there non-PC interests on your list as well?

What’s important to you? What makes you happy?  How do you seek more of that in your life?