The Holiday season calls for some time off from a busy schedule and to focus more towards the social aspects for building stronger relationships. It is also a time to reflect on the past year’s successes and failures and identify areas for improvements and corrective actions. I have prepared a list of five basic things to do in this holiday season and beyond to be stronger, happier and more effective in whatever good we do personally and/or professionally.


1. Let’s admit our mistakes courageously…

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” John C. Maxwell

We all make mistakes, but only the courageous ones admit to their mistakes. As you know, life is a learning process in which learning from each other is common. However, there is always an opportunity to acknowledge and learn from our own mistakes. If we do not acknowledge our mistakes, we will not be able to make any necessary improvements. As such, it is essential to be courageous enough to stand out, take the responsibility, and move forward with a positive attitude. As a result, we will not only gain the respect of others but also we will make friends in our business as well as social circles.


2. Let’s over look the shortcomings of others and praise generously even little act of goodness…

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” – Kahlil Gibran

Increasing ones own generosity level results in high morale and positive feelings for others. Praise and admiration go side by side. Everyone likes to be praised for his/her good acts. We should be generous enough to overlook the shortcomings of others and praise them abundantly. The kind gestures i.e. a pat on the back and the statements such as “You did a great job”, “Thank you very much for your help”, or “It was not possible without you” are few examples of praise. Let us practice these examples and other acts of generosity to ignore the shortcomings of others and focus on their even little acts of goodness. In other words be “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” as Dale Carnegie wrote in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People.


3. Let’s treat everyone with compassion…

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

Being compassionate in a sense, means to help or give to someone without assuming that they will return the favour. We should help each other regardless of the outcome. One very difficult aspect of compassion is to show forgiveness to those who have offended us in any way. One way to make this easier is to remember when we mistreated someone once, and he/she responded with kindness.

Always consider that others have good intentions for you. Don’t get upset when someone offends you. Try to think from their point of view and realize that they are not here to hurt you. It’s easy to get upset when your boss removes you from a project or assignment, it is not necessarily that he/she doesn’t like you— but he/she may wanted to change direction or he/she may have something else more challenging for you. Usually, it is better to give others the benefit of the doubt and think about the big picture.


4. Let’s strive to consult with others while making plans for the future…

“Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

It is better to gather opinions from others prior to making any important decisions/plans. More minds can help crystallize ideas leading to an enhanced and more valuable decision/plan. Consulting others can also lead to an open-minded attitude towards positive criticism from others and can increase the unity among us. In turn, it has a positive effect on the overall decision-making process as it incorporates others perspectives as well. An effective way to promote consultation with others is to replace “I” with “we” as much as possible in our communication.


5. Let’s be grateful and say thank you for even little favour someone gives to us…

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the United States, we are blessed with countless blessings (family; liberty i.e. freedom of speech, religion, or conscious; democracy; and many more) that we should be grateful for. Whenever we have a thought of not having something, think of all these blessings and be grateful to our creator.

Show gratitude to others when they help you or do even a little favour for you i.e. some one picks up your pencil when you drop it, opens a door for you on your entrance, or gives a way to you while driving on the road. In response, you should at least say thank you sincerely to express your gratitude. This would create more positive energies in our lives and is a key to well being and happiness.

In short, admitting our mistakes courageously, over looking the short comings of others and praising them, treating everyone with compassion, striving to consult with others, and being grateful during this Holiday season and beyond will increase our strength, happiness, and personal & professional effectiveness.

In the comment section below, please let me know if you would like to include anything else in this list.