holidaysAdvice Column: 5 ways to thrive during the holidays
By Tom Shieh

1 – Let go of your idea of perfection.
Simple fact: families don’t always get along perfectly and holiday events don’t always go smoothly. You can expect that decorations may not be magazine-worthy, travel may have some glitches, food may not taste exactly the way you intended, you may not be able to attend every family gathering, or you may not be able to find the perfect gift for everyone. Set practical expectations for yourself and others. When your expectations are more realistic and attainable, it will foster a healthier attitude toward the holiday season.

2 – Don’t romanticize past holidays.
Focus on today, not yesterday. When you focus on the present moment, you won’t fall into the trap of comparing past holidays to current ones. Don’t waste your energy by dwelling on good times from the past that cannot be recaptured. The past is in the past. Be fully in the moment and embrace it. Create new traditions as your network of family and friends change. Accept that every year will be different and celebrate that diversity.

3 – Don’t lose sight of the true message of the holidays.
Many of us end up “hating” the holidays and getting so stressed partly because we forget the true nature of the season. In actuality, the holiday season is really more about reconnecting with friends and family and being good to each other. When we forget this fundamental detail, the holidays become a stressful, expensive, obligatory exercise we all have to grudgingly plow through every year. Instead, let’s set our focus on gratitude, contribution, love, and creating magic moments this holiday season.

4 – Worry less about others.
In our quest to make everyone happy around us, we can often end up in disappointment. That’s because it’s not possible to make everyone happy. Don’t allow the emotions and mood swings of others to rob you of your personal joy. You are not responsible for everyone else’s happiness. You are responsible for your own happiness. Focus on being joyful yourself and let that naturally radiate towards others.

5 – Ask for help.
Holidays are often a time people attempt to take on too much, or do too much on their own. It’s perfectly fine to ask for and accept help from family and friends. Don’t be prideful that you’re afraid to ask. For example, if you’re preparing a meal, ask your guests to bring something to share. Let others be involved. So whether it’s decorating, shopping, cooking, or just being a shoulder to lean on, if you need help… just ask.

Tom-ShiehTom Shieh has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and master’s degree in telecommunications. He took a leap of faith and left a well-paying job environment to pursue his entrepreneurial passions. During this journey, he’s started 14 different companies and developed, managed and acquired over 150 websites. Through his successes and failures in business and life, he loves sharing his experience in a truthful and relevant manner as a national speaker, best-selling author and industry leader and has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and Forbes. He is blissfully married to his high-school sweetheart; they’ve been together for over 21 years. Originally from Taiwan, they have three joyful children together and currently reside in beautiful Denver.

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