Holiday of Gratitude: How to Refocus This Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, so many people will start to inevitably find themselves in the midst of the chaos that happens during this time of year. So many of us get overly involved in gifts, Black Friday and holiday madness that we tend to forget about what this season is really supposed to be about. It doesn't make us bad people. I am guilty of it and some of the best people that I know are guilty of it as well. However, this doesn't mean that you can't take a moment to pause, step away from the chaos and start refocusing this holiday season.

This season, why not pull back from your daily grind and start to focus on what matters most. After all, isn't that what the holiday season is supposed to be about? Take the time to focus on your life, both your personal and professional one, where it is going and what is really important to you within your life. You should also take the time to look around at your loved ones--the friends and family members that you really value. Think about them, their needs and if you are spending enough quality time with them. You should also think about your passions. For many people, this is not the same thing as their job but it is something that they truly have a real passion for. Something that motivates you, inspires you and makes you want to do more.

When you have a passion such as this, there is no better way to support that passion than to give back. Whether it is donating your time or your money. I am currently in Laos with my family for Thanksgiving and while I was here I really got to see all of the things that we tend to take for granted, especially during this time of year. This is why I've donated more than $100,000 to the program Pencils of Promise to build schools here, right in the heart of Laos.

I wanted to share this story with you not to tell you that you need to give up your family gatherings to spend time in impoverished countries, but to motivate you to just take a moment and be more grateful for what you have, even if you can't turn around and donate money to those in need. It is always good to reflect on everything that is going on in your life and really be appreciative for how well things are going in your life, even if it isn't perfect.

Any person that knows me knows how passionate I am about helping to educate under-privileged youth and how moving this experience always is to me. However, I want to emphasize that for me, it is about more than just giving money, or being there to work with these kids in Laos, it also helps me personally. Being in a place like this helps me refocus my attention, remember what is important in life and remain grateful for all that I have. I encourage everyone else out there to, to find something that really drives you and to use it as a way to help you adjust your focus this holiday season.