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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!

What a year! I certainly don’t recall a year as volatile and wild as the one that 2008 provided us. Overall, I would have to characterize it as a great year. How can you not when you are alive to breathe in the wonderful air, enjoy your family and friends, experience the natural beauty of our surroundings and enjoy our freedom. While 2008 also provided its share of volatility and financial tragedies, it also had many success stories.

During the difficult financial times that we are currently experiencing world-wide, it is very easy to focus on the negative. Media loves this. As has been stated by many commentators before, it is easy to write about the tragedies but much more difficult to look for the flowers amongst the garbage. Today’s newspapers are dominated by headlines of new scandals, new bankruptcy filings, new threats of large corporations failing, continued job losses (which obviously impacts many families), etc. For the fortunate that have not been significantly impacted by the recent economic downturn, this may be a great opportunity to look inward to our philanthropic spirit and reach out to those that are less fortunate. Certainly the less fortunate can use any help during these difficult times.

For myself, I’m tired of opening up newspapers and seeing nothing but negative news. It is very easy to get caught up in the herd mentality of negative news and worry about the sky falling. Don’t get me wrong, I am very aware that many people are suffering and certainly I will do everything I can in my limited power to reach out and help. Having said that, I also believe that it is positive attitudes that change the world. Such positive attitudes can give hope during periods of hopelessness. It can also provide inspiration to those people who look up to you for support. For many business owners, this can mean that positive attitudes can provide inspiration to their employees which can assist during difficult times. For family members, positive attitudes can be an example of real leadership and such inspiration can provide building blocks for the future.

Given the above, my 2009 New Years Resolution is to be truly positive about everything around me. I am most thankful for my family, my friends, my business (and all of my teammates), my clients and everything around me. I am determined to use such a positive and thankful attitude to create opportunities for everyone around me including our clients and business associates. I am further determined to ignore, without being naïve, the constant negative news that bombards us from the media.

With the above in mind, I wish you nothing but the best for 2009 and I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas.