Posts Tagged ‘ family ’

A Thanksgiving Activity for Friends & Family

It’s easy to lose sight of the true meaning of Thanksgiving amongst all the parties, the rituals, the football games, the cooking, and the family dynamics.  And yet it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect a little on our lives and to acknowledge all the people and experiences that have positively impacted us the most!

Not to worry! I’ve found a way to do both.

Using selected questions from my book, Creating Authenticity: Meaningful Questions for Meaningful Moments, I’ve created a fun and meaningful activity for you to do with your friends and family at the dinner table that will make this a Thanksgiving to remember.

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Why do we need a Thanksgiving activity, you ask?

You don’t. However, if your Thanksgiving conversations with your friends and family have a tendency to migrate towards football, weather, politics, and gossip, perhaps it’s time for a change. Perhaps it’s time for some meaningful and introspective conversation with each other that come from the heart. After all, isn’t that ultimately what Thanksgiving is all about?

Below are 50 questions that will spark great conversation and gratitude. My simple suggestion would be to:

·      Copy this blog and paste it on a separate page.

·      Enlarge the type.

·      Cut out all the questions individually, or at least all the questions you want to be a part of this activity.

·      Place the questions in a container of some kind.

·      When it’s time to begin the exercise, pass the container around, having each person select a question.

·      Go around the table (once or multiple times) and ask each person to then read their question and answer it.

·      Feel free to alter this activity to fit your group.

Questions

1.     If you were told today that you had a month left to live, what would you want to do with the remaining time?

2.     What friendships have meant the most to you and why?

3.     What do you still want to do in your life that you haven’t yet done?

4.     What qualities do your closest friends have in common?

5.     What’s something crazy that you can still see yourself doing?

6.     What is one of the biggest obstacles you have had to overcome in your life? Please explain.

7.     What do most people who you know not know about you?

8.     What do you wish you were better at and why?

9.     What is one of your biggest regrets in life and why?

10.What kind of kid were you growing up? How have you changed?

11.What’s a recent accomplishment that you are most proud of and why?

12.What are you most passionate about in your life and how would someone know it?

13.What’s probably the biggest risk you ever took and how did it turn out?

14.What’s been the most meaningful feedback you’ve ever received and what did you do with it?

15.Describe your most meaningful possession.

16.When given the opportunity, what do you brag about most and why?

17.What is one of the best compliments you’ve received this year?

18.What memory still makes you laugh when you think about it?

19.When is the last time you felt most alive? What was happening?

20.What’s been some of the best advice you’ve ever received and how has it helped you?

21.What qualities do you find attractive in other people?

22.If you could clone yourself exactly as you are today, but have the ability to change one thing, what would you change?

23.Which of the television shows that you currently watch tells the most about you?

24.Who was your all-time favorite teacher and why?

25.Which of your physical features do you get complimented on the most? 

26.What past or present photograph in your home means the most to you and why?

27.If you could re-live (but not change) a past moment in your life, what moment would that be and why?

28.When was the last time you laughed so hard that your stomach hurt?

29.Describe the perfect romantic evening.

30.Which of your childhood possessions had the most meaning for you and why?

31.You have just commissioned a famous painter to do a painting for you. What are you going to have them paint?

32.Who, among the people your life do you admire the most and why?

33.Complete this sentence: Sometimes I wish…

34.Which of your hobbies probably tells the most about you?

35.What causes you the most stress? How would people know?

36.What’s one of the best decisions you’ve made in this past year and why?

37.How would you define a successful life? How does your life compare?

38.What was one of the most courageous things you have ever done?

39.In what ways are you misunderstood? 

40.Complete this sentence: Sometimes I pretend…

41.What is the most important thing you’d like to learn next?

42.What would you like to have more of in your life?

43.What would you like to have less of in your life?

44.Of all the cars you’ve owned over the years, which one holds the best memories for you?

45.If your life goes exactly the way you would like it to go, what will you be doing five years from now?

46.What would you like to hear more of that you don’t hear enough?

47.What do you think attracts most people to you?

48.What is one of your favorite traditions that you still observe today? Please explain.

49.What’s been the most exciting thought occupying your mind lately?

50.What three things are you most thankful for and why?

Remember, the idea here is to have an activity that everyone can participate in. With that said, it’s also important to allow people the option of skipping their turn if they are not comfortable playing. Simply leave it up to them.

Let me know how it goes.

Celebratory drink

And, have a happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. If you like the process, go to www.thelaughingleader.com or CLICK HERE and download my free New Years Resolutions That Stick! workbook to get a similar New Year’s Eve activity. It’s free after all!

“Because I said so!”

How many times did you hear your father say, “Because I said so”?  And just like that, you knew there was no questioning his decision.

I heard it a lot growing up. Although in my father’s defense, we had at least six kids running around our house in Winnetka, Illinois at any one time. Throw in some friends and neighbors to the mix, and my dad was clearly out-matched.

Yesterday was the first Father’s Day we celebrated without my father. The void left in his passing is still very present. For me, it’s an emptiness in my gut surrounded by shades of sadness.

When I look…and I mean really look, at the photo of my dad above, I see the essence of a man who was happy, content, and very proud. Can you see it?

You know that feeling you get when you come home from a long, hard day and you’re greeted at the door by your overly excited, loving dog! I mean, talk about unconditional positive regard! Well, that’s similar to how I felt every time I was around my father. He had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the world. My mom’s the same way.

But when all is said and done, probably the biggest factor that will become a prominent staple in my dad’s legacy is evident in the family he left behind. Allow me to explain.

My dad was an only child who grew up in a fatherless home. His mother had to work to make ends meet, leaving him alone to fend for himself with no role models to speak of. Not exactly the ideal childhood. He ended up going to military school and eventually joined the Army before meeting my mother…and that’s when his life changed forever!

Together with my mom, my parents had six kids. The six kids all got married and had a total of twelve kids of their own. Those twelve kids are now grown and have had seven kids. Add spouses to the mix and we are talking about a family of thirty-three (and growing).

Not my actual family

Are you seeing it yet?

Part of my father’s legacy was to create the very family he never had. And not just a family, I might add. We’re talking about a family that exudes the traits he exemplified throughout his life. How cool is that…especially if you’re my dad who never experienced what a family even was until he started his own.

So I’d like to end with a Father’s Day toast to my dad.

Dad, it’s an honor to be your son and a member of this incredible family you and mom created. Thanks for everything you did and everything you stood for while on this earth. You’ve not only made a difference in the lives of your family, but you’ve made this world a better place as a result. Happy Father’s Day old man!

Your happy, content, and proud son, Gregory.