Soon, family and friends gather for one of our most cherished rituals, Thanksgiving. Based on the gathering of early settlers and Native Americans who worked together to just survive, our modern-day Thanksgiving moments offer a unique time to reflect in the company of people about whom we care the most.
Rather than burn up too much adrenaline on the politics of the day, consider something causing you to dig a little deeper and learn a little more about family and loved ones. Ask others about their aspirations and let them ask you about yours. You can include everyone at your gathering no matter how close you may be or the age of a person. We all carry around aspirations, but how often do we have the opportunity to talk about them or hear the aspirations of those we care about?
And, rather than limit the discussions to a single sitting, use the holiday period to pop the “aspirations question” spontaneously to let a friend or family member ponder the question and state yet another aspiration. A friend and I tried this over the course of a weekend, and it was remarkable how much you can learn about yourself and a friend.
When you look at definitions, you find that aspirations are what an individual would like to attain in their life….and, they can be short-term or long-term.
The nice part about taking time to think about aspirations is that you can cover a lot of ground. Think about where you want to travel. Consider who you want to spend more time with. What interests or hobbies do you want to concentrate more time on? Is there a new experience you seek? What kind of person do you really want to be? The list goes on and on.
The point, take some time to really focus on your own aspirations and share aspirations honestly with those you care most about this holiday season.
If you want to take one more step, write them down. Put the list in an envelope and open it a year from now. I’m betting you will have realized more than a few of your aspirations and wouldn’t that be worth spending time next year focusing on aspirations for a new decade!
Craig Fuller served four years in the White House as assistant to President Reagan for Cabinet Affairs, followed by four years as chief of staff to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Having been engaged in five presidential campaigns and run public affairs firms and associations in Washington, D.C., he now resides on the Eastern Shore.