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Nov 14, 2016 10:51AM ● By Laurie James

By: Laurie J. James, MCD, CCELW, CDCC

As the holiday season approaches, I always take time to reflect back on the year. In 2016, our Acadiana community had several hefty challenges including devastating job losses and immeasurable destruction and financial loss due to our unexpected August flooding. We have also been anxious about our future, with one of the highest profile national elections in history. This time of year can be discouraging and lonely. However, when we are intentional about the gifts that surround us, we are more likely to enjoy a happier transition into the future!

If we don’t give (deposit) to others, we won’t get a good return for our efforts. When we do pour into others, however, we yield a great harvest and receive tenfold. Here are ways to embrace our gifts:

G – GOD DOLLARS: We always cross paths with someone less fortunate. Consider calling charity work a chance to earn “God dollars!” There are times when we don’t get paid for gifts or services that we provide. Knowing that compensation comes in many forms helps keep the giving alive, even if it seems like we can’t afford it.

I – INDIVIDUALITY: We are all different. When we invest the time necessary to learn who we are, we can then identify our own imperfections and find our purpose. As we embrace our individuality, we can share our unique piece of the puzzle with others.

F – FOCUS ON OTHERS: We are human and inherently self-centered. We live in our own bodies, and we see ourselves in the mirror every day. We live with our own thoughts and actions. Focusing on others, however, solves problems like depression and negativity, while filling our hearts with hope, peace, love, and joy!

T – TIME: Spending quality time with others is a real gift. Try visiting a nursing home, shelter, or popping in unexpectedly on extended family or a friend in need. We may not all have financial wealth, but we all have time. We never know when a breast cancer diagnosis will pop up! At that point, our actions and thoughts are consumed with other things! Let’s be proactive with our time!

S – SHARE: Reflect on some great memories! Then commit to sharing those great memories with others. After hitting a milestone birthday, my new hobby is jigsaw puzzles. I’m converting memorable photos into puzzles and using the finished product as a way to decorate our home or as a gift for someone special.

Discover your gifts and deposit (share) them with a full heart. Give, share and earn some “God dollars” for future use. The return on investment is out of this world. From my family to yours, have a positively happy and fruitful holiday season enjoying your gifts!

About the Author: Laurie J. James is one of the only 16 Master Career Directors globally. She co-founded and presided over the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association from 2000-2004. PRWRA rebranded to Career Directors in 2005. Laurie has created 10,000+ job-winning resumes in her career. She is a credentialed resume & LinkedIn profile writer, seasoned public speaker and award-winning career image coach. Visit her at

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