I must admit my blog today is very personal…but Thoughtful Leadership is personal and it’s based on bringing our whole self to everything we do and every way we lead. I know my leadership today, my very essence today, is flavored by an extremely private and emotional experience, and if I’m truly living “thoughtfully” then I must acknowledge my situation, my feelings, and my thoughts.

A very, very dear friend of mine died last week and needless to say, it made me think a lot. To think about how short life can be and how great life is. To think about how lucky I am to have known my friend and built an amazingly loving circle of “sisters” with her for the past twenty-five-plus years. To think of how much love and fun and beauty I have in my life every day that I so often forget to appreciate or even, at times, notice.

So I made my Sue pledge, and I hope I can stick to it…or at least go back to it when I forget. I pledged to do my best to savor each moment of life – to enjoy each bite of food I taste, each hug from a friend or loved one, each sunrise or sunset I see, each breeze on my skin and laughter from my heart. I pledged to do my best to outwardly love and appreciate those around me – to remember to thank people for their kindness; to acknowledge the efforts my colleagues, friends, and children make on a daily basis; to praise and compliment those around me; to laugh and hug and smile and share good thoughts. I pledged to notice when things go well, to find a reason to smile, to go out of my way for others (and to go out of my way to spend time with others), and to live my life to the very fullest – with the fullest, most giving heart I can. I want to bring more good to this physical world that my friend has left and to appreciate the gift of every day that I’ve been given.

I hope this pledge affects my life and leadership forever. I hope this helps remind me to be more present, caring, laughing and thoughtful going forward. I hope this helps me remember to seize the day – each day that my friend has missed here I want to live more thoughtfully, to honor her and to honor life.

How do you live more thoughtfully? How do you seize the day? Please leave a comment.

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