WHO I Am Thankful For…

This past week was Thanksgiving and there are a lot of things for which I am thankful. But more importantly, there are a lot of PEOPLE for whom I am thankful. Here is my TOP TEN List of people I am thankful for:

10. Educators — As a professional speaker, I speak to businesses and associations all over the country on the topics of leadership and corporate culture. It's a privilege to speak to every type of audience, but when it comes to an audience that I'm personally thankful for, it's educators. As a former at-risk kid who had significant learning challenges, there were several teachers who dramatically changed the course of my life. I will always be grateful to them and that's why it's such a joy to encourage educators in the job they do.

9. The Live It Forward Mastermind Group — The Live It Forward Mastermind is an exclusive community of people who are pursuing similar goals in what we consider the most important areas of our lives. Even more, this is a tribe of folks who are committed to 5 specific CORE VALUES. It's a privilege to share life with these individuals!

8. Bob Thune — Bob Thune was my boss for eight years when I served as a youth pastor in Omaha, Nebraska. I saw integrity lived out day in and day out in Bob, and those lessons have deeply shaped my life.

7. Dan Miller — No one has contributed to my career success more than Dan Miller. Through his friendship and guidance, I have learned to pursue my vocational calling, design work I love, and achieve my career goals!

6. Dan Glaze — My high school and early college years were, as they are for many people, the most shaping years of my life. During those years, Dan Glaze was my #1 mentor. I avoided so many mistakes because of the insight and advice I received from my dear friend. What's more, he helped me navigate my way through the plethora of mistakes I made.

5. Jim Vaught — Seventh grade was a major turning point in my life. As stated above, I was an at-risk kid during this season of life. Not only did I struggle with significant academic challenges, but I was also hanging out with the wrong crowd and doing things I knew were wrong. Jim Vaught, my seventh-grade math teacher and middle school basketball coach, caught me in the midst of a major personal mistake. The details are not necessary, just know it was major. Yet, in the midst of this watershed moment in my life, I learned a life lesson that completely changed the trajectory of my life. Bottom line, I learned what Dr. Robert Resnick taught years ago…that E+R=O  (i.e. Events + RESPONSE = Outcome) is the key to taking 100 percent ownership of your life. Jim helped me learn this lesson that perhaps, more than any other, has positively shaped my life.

4. Mom and Dad — I am so grateful for David and Janet Julian. I continually realize how fortunate I am to have had them as parents.

3. Christopher, McKenzie, and Kelsey — I am both grateful and proud of my three kids. Even more, it's a joy to see each of them growing up to pursue God and embrace who He has created them to be!

2. Kathy — When it comes to marriage, I definitely out-punted my coverage. I'm still amazed that Kathy agreed to marry me! She is the love of my life and truly my best friend. I simply cannot express how grateful I am to be “doing life” with Kathy!

1. God — I don't write this flippantly. But for the grace of God, my life is totally ruined. I am so thankful that by His grace He has changed my today as well as my eternity.

Photography Copyright: 123 RF Photos // Jawwa

 Want More?7 Traits of People Who Make a Positive Difference

“Success” is a word that is thrown around quite a bit. Is real success making it to the top, earning a bunch of money, becoming famous, winning awards, or something else?

Success can include all the things listed above and more, but one major ingredient to real success is making a positive difference in the lives of others. As my friend Joe Martin once said, “I want to do well for myself in my career and finances while doing good for others.” That sounds like a winning strategy to me!

So how can you do well for yourself while making a positive difference in the lives of others? Download this FREE RESOURCE to learn seven characteristics of people who make a difference.