Today is a day to focus on what is good in your life.
Happy Thanksgiving!
No matter your circumstances, there is much good for which to be thankful. Today, we should think about what we have, not what we don’t have.
Particularly in the last decade, we’ve read about, and heard about, a lot of bad things. Many of us have been personally affected by those things. It’s the media’s job to discuss what divides us. It is our job to focus on what unites us.
In the last few years, we saw housing prices plummet. We saw many lose their homes. Though a good many of us have not yet recovered from that, statistics are showing a rise in home prices and home construction. Home sales may be leveling off a bit, but the recent trend has been positive.
That many be of little comfort to those still struggling. But no matter your circumstances, you likely have much for which to be thankful.
If you enjoy a good, special meal today, remember that many others may not. If you are enjoying that meal with others, remember that many others may be alone.
Yes, today, Nov. 28, 2013, is a day to focus on what is good in your life. It’s a day to focus on what you have, not what you don’t have.
It is also a day to think about what YOU are going to do about the circumstantial breakdowns in your life. Those breakdowns may have been beyond your control, but how you repair them is entirely in your control. You have to plan what will come next in your life, then do it.
Your next step may be outside your comfort zone. That’s OK. Do it anyway. Do it afraid, if you must.
If you are looking for a tool that may help you repair any circumstantial breakdowns, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may look at this tool with some fear, but if your circumstances need fixing, fix them afraid.
Today we focus on what we have — and can have — not what we don’t have. Today, no matter our circumstances, we have much good in our lives.
Be grateful for those, and confident you can fix the circumstances that need repair.
Be grateful, optimistic and fix them afraid.
Happy Thanksgiving!


John Maxwell is always a positive person.
It’s his strength, but positive people, who look for the best in everyone, sometimes get burned.
Maxwell, an author and leadership expert, discusses this in his book, “The 5 Levels of Leadership.”
Maxwell believes that it’s better to be always positive, and get burned once in a while, than to be negative and skeptical, and never take risks or think big.
The world is very different today, from decades ago. Almost everything we do involves taking a risk.
Let’s say you are working at your job, and see something you think could improve the operation. Let’s say you could act on it right then. Would you do it? Or, would you wait, talk to your boss about it and let HIM decide whether it should be done.
Of course, the latter is the safe course of action. After all, it’s not your company. You just work there. You just do what you’re told. You also might think that even if your boss agrees with you, that those above him may not. Your boss, fearful of his job and career, will pass any heat down to you, even if you tell the bigger bosses that you’d discussed this ahead of time.
The more productive companies will applaud your initiative. If your boss passes the heat down to you, why not just take the risk and claim all the credit. Your boss may be angry with you that you didn’t let him in on what you were doing, but so be it. A good boss will applaud you for taking the initiative, and bask in the credit because he hired you and molded a great employee.
Focusing on the positive also requires optimism. Remember that very few pessimists really succeed. They may climb a little, but pessimism gets in the way of being creative and innovative.
How can you tell that a person is positive, or how can you learn to be positive?
When you ask the question, “how are you,” what is the typical answer? If you hear, “I’m OK,” or “I’m getting by,” or “I’m here,” or “I’m on the right side of the dirt,” chances are these folks are not positive.
Positive people will usually respond with, “I’m great, how are you?” or, “I’m blessed, how are you?” You see, positive people are grateful for every day. They are grateful for everything good in their lives. And, positive people sincerely want to know how YOU are doing.
Positive people believe that the best years of their lives are ahead of them, no matter what. They don’t long for the past. Usually, they don’t fight for the status quo, unless their lives are exactly where they want them to be. There are few positive people who don’t see even greater things in the future.
The less positive will wax nostalgic about how things used to be. They will fight losing battles, trying to get back to those days. They will work very hard to resist change. They go home after some misfortune and wonder what might have been.
All of that wastes energy and keeps them from doing what they need to do to improve their future. Whereas, a positive person will work WITH change and embrace it. He knows that no matter what happens, he will do what he needs to do to make his future bright, and fulfill his dreams.
If you are a positive person, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. See what other positive people are doing to fulfill their dreams.
Also remember the best thing that you can do to stay positive is to hang around with other positive people. Don’t let the dream stealers get you down!


Good leaders follow.
Ask any Army general or Navy admiral. They would not have risen through the military ranks had they not been able to follow orders.
Business coach Andy Bailey, with the firm Petra, talked about leaders who follow in the Oct. 20, 2013, edition of The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. His column says leaders are empathetic, show vulnerability and grow other leaders.
Unless you are a dictatorial leader, who tries to advance while holding others down, good leaders can’t exist without a great team, Bailey says.
Other leadership experts, like John Maxwell, also talk about vulnerable leaders. In his “5 Levels of Leadership,” Maxwell points out that vulnerability helps make leaders genuine. A good leader doesn’t have to know everything. He has to be able to find the people on his team who know more about a given subject than he does, and allow them to lead in that area.
As we grow as people, we learn that not knowing everything about everything is OK. Did you ever have a neighbor, friend or relative who could rattle off a lot of knowledge about anything and everything? Did you like being around this person? Sometime, you may have had to borrow a cup of sugar from this person, but that turned into an hour or longer conversation. He did most of the talking.
Good leaders are humble. They admit not knowing things, and they admit when they make mistakes. It’s part of the relationship the leader is building with his team.
Remember, too, that one does not necessarily have to have a high position or high authority to be a leader. He just needs to have influence. The difference between power and influence is that influence allows you to get people to do things for you willingly, instead of by force.
Good leaders, as Maxwell points out, have great relationships with each on his team. This relationship is cultivated without having to be “soft,” and unable to make hard decisions.
We’ve all worked for dictatorial leaders at some point. You don’t dare offer suggestions, or talk about any difficulties in getting a job done with that person. He doesn’t listen, and doesn’t care how difficult things are for you. He has no empathy. He’s working for his own success, and is using you to get what he wants.
Today’s leaders engage in the messy process of developing people, as Maxwell points out. Developing good relations with people is a deliberative process. First, the leader has to be likeable, though he doesn’t expect EVERYONE to like him. For some, becoming likeable is a messy process. For others, it comes naturally.
A wise person once said that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care (about them). Good leaders care about their people first. The other things usually fall into place once that happens.
Want to be a good, empathetic leader but don’t have a team? Visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau and learn how to find, and build, a great team. You may not know who will be on your team ultimately, but if you follow the leadership guidelines that Bailey, Maxwell and others espouse, you’ll have a great time building your team, and growing as a person yourself.


The Geico insurance ad with the camel walking through the office asking everyone what day it is has gone viral.
You see, those who work a Monday through Friday schedule viewed Wednesday as “hump day,” because once Wednesday was over, you were “over the hump” toward the weekend.
Yes, we can be clock watchers, and sometimes, we need to be. But time is precious, and we don’t want to wish away any time. We don’t want to get old too soon. We want to stay young as long as we can, regardless of our current age.
Think of it this way. If Wednesday puts you over the hump toward the weekend, and that makes you happy, how sad are you on Sunday night, knowing that Monday morning is coming?
Some working folks love their jobs so much, it doesn’t matter what day it is. Others work weird schedules, and may have a different “hump day.”
Though many love what they do, most don’t love it so much that they dread their off time. We have families, friends, hobbies and fun activities that deserve our time. Those who love their work may never retire, because they’ll always want to be doing something related to what they love.
There are others for whom work is literally their life. They have few, if any, activities outside of their work. Can these folks truly be happy?
Still, others can’t wait to retire. They are doing jobs that are putting food on the table and roofs over their heads, but they long to be done with them. It’s becoming more difficult by the day to last out your employer until you are able to retire, so these folks are just praying they can hang on as long as possible.
But what if you are not yet retired, and the day of the week doesn’t matter to you? What if your work were done whenever it suited you?
With traditional jobs and employers, that’ usually not possible. But what if you could get there? How much would you sacrifice, and how hard would you work on your own time to make that happen?
If that idea intrigues you, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Not everyone will want it, but if you want to get over the hump toward freedom, it might be for you.
Life has humps we need to get over. Some would like to get over them faster than others. Others can’t see any way to get over them quickly.
In whatever our activities, we need to realize that time is something you can’t recover, or go back to. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. If you have regrets, look at the future and find ways to do things you won’t regret.
Memories can be beautiful, but, generally, they can’t be relived. Waxing nostalgic can be amusing, but, usually, you can’t go back there.
We need to look toward the future. We need to have dreams. And, we need to think about how we are going to realize those dreams.
Not all things are possible, but most things are if we think about the right things, and act in a way that will get us where we want to go.
Once we get there, we won’t worry about “hump days,” for we will realize that all days are valuable and should not be wasted.
If life throws you a hump, just get over it!