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No matter what your particular beliefs may be, this is the perfect time of year to say “thank you” to family members, friends or others who have made a positive and lasting impact on your life.

Every year, Thanksgiving, when I am coaching my soccer team, I make sure that I tell the young ladies that I coach how important it is for them (as well as the people that they tell to let those individuals know that they are thankful for them and why.

Even though it is past Thanksgiving this year, at the time of the writing of this blog, it is never too late to say “thank you” to those who have encouraged us, helped us through a hard time or personal crisis, who just listened to us when we needed it the most, or gave us that hug that said “I love you”, “I understand”, or “I am here for you”.

It is not only cathartic to say and share this to others more importantly, it brightens their day, their month, their year and, sometimes – their life.

I remember some years back when the mother of one of my soccer players told me that after Thanksgiving, her daughter took me up on my Thanksgiving challenge and told her she was so thankful to have her as her mom and why it was so great to be her daughter.  Two lives changed, for the better, with those few words.

I also had one of my soccer players, a few years back, call me at around 10pm on Christmas Eve asking if I was still awake and if it was too late for her to come by.  I told her that it would be fine to come by thinking that she was probably going to drop off some Christmas cookies, or something like that.  I called up to my wife, who was upstairs, and told her that this player wanted to come by that night and would be dropping by shortly.

Within moments, that player showed up at the front door of my house, but she didn’t have anything in her hands.  I proceeded to ask her what she wanted and she reminded me of my Thanksgiving talk with the team and she wanted to tell me something in person, not over the phone or in a card.  She then thanked me for all that I had done for her and said she wanted to let me know how important I was in her life, not only as a coach, but as a mentor.  This is a memory that I will cherish for as long as life itself.

Please consider my Thanksgiving challenge – it’s not limited to that time of year.  Anytime is the right time.

It doesn’t require a lot of preparation.  No written speech can say things as well as you can straight from your heart.

I would say to make this a yearly commitment , but that’s not enough.  Every day, every week, every month, consider making good on this challenge.  After all – it should always be that time of year.

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