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Thank You for the Lessons You Taught Me in 2018

By Elisa Webb Hill

It’s November, the perfect month to celebrate and be thankful for a year of change, surprise, and success.

Today, the world’s population is over 7.6 billion, according to Worldometers, with countries like China, India, and the U.S. leading the way.

This year XYZ University has had the pleasure of working with associations, companies, and organizations across the globe, and we want to thank all of you for your support.

The world is incredibly and wonderfully diverse. Just think what we could accomplish if we all realized that every one of us has something to teach and something to learn.

Here are a few things I personally learned this year:

1. Change, change, and more change! It is probably no surprise that I lead with this one. Everything around us is changing, and for me it is no different. Over the past 10 years, I have lived in 2 different countries and 7 different cities. To some people this may be frightening, to others it may be exciting. For me, I love it because every place is different and brings about significant change. As leaders, employees, and members we must be open to change.

2. The power of positivity! There is truly nothing more powerful than to look at the world through rose-colored glasses. There is a mega misconception that the world is getting worse. When individuals from 30 countries were asked “What is happening in the world?” over 50% of respondents answered, “it is getting worse.”

But just 20 years ago 29% of the world’s population was living in extreme poverty. Now that number is 9%, according to Factfulness. And on average, people are living 10 years longer, there are 4 and even 5 generations in the workplace, and unemployment is the lowest it has been in almost a half a century according to Trading Economics.

It is easy for us to focus on the bad things; however, there are so many great things happening all around us too, and one person can change your entire outlook on life. That is what happened to me when I was speaking at a chamber conference this year.

I had lost one of the most precious gifts in my life, my dog. She was my daily sunshine. While speaking at the conference I met someone who was positive, energetic, and professional. You would never have known that she was also fighting cancer. It made me realize that even in time of pain the power of positivity can make a huge impact on someone’s life. So now when I look at the sun, I see a beautiful puppy running across the sky.

3. Gracias, Merci, 谢谢, Grazie, Danke. Thank you is a phrase found in almost every language. How do you feel when someone says this simple phrase? How can you leverage the power of gratitude in your association or organization?

As we close out 2018 and look forward to a new year, I am reminded of the power of gratitude. Take time to recognize your colleagues, co-workers, family and friends who make every day special. Simply say “thank you”; it carries more power than we often realize.

From me to you, thank you for reminding me of the value of change, the power of positivity, and the significance of gratitude. Each generation and each one of us truly has something to teach and something to learn; I thank you for the lessons you have taught me in 2018!


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