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Bill Sims, Jr.

Ours is a world focused on “shiny stuff”. An endless parade of shiny new things that will supposedly make us happier.

Whether it’s a new baby doll or toy car, we are taught from the earliest age to strive harder, to be better, so we can get more shiny stuff.

Soon we learn that shiny stuff isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. The wrapping paper goes in the trashcan, and the shine begins to wear off. It’s time to donate the old stuff to make room for the new stuff…. “Do you have something shiny?” we ask….

And so the cycle continues throughout our lives… an empty pursuit of more shiny stuff.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get off the bus any time you like.

A wise man once said that our happiness does not come from shiny stuff, and he counseled that it is better to give than to receive.

When we take time to give thanks to others for what they do, we become happier and healthier. And they do too.

A string of tragedies from Boston to Sandy Hook to Aurora have left thinking people questioning what is missing in our world.

Sadly, the young have few answers… for this dangerous world is all they’ve known, and they have little to compare it with. But those with gray hair know the answer. Our affection for our fellow human beings (even strangers) has, without our knowing it, cooled off.

Want to make a difference?

Then start by thinking about that special person in your life who made a difference to you. Pause for a moment and reflect on that special parent or child, aunt or uncle, grandparent or sibling.

Perhaps it was a special teacher who first inspired you, or a boss who mentored you. Or maybe you will remember fondly that co-worker or friend who has always been there for you through the ups and downs.

Reflect on their kindness and be thankful for it. Tell them how much they mean to you, because life is shorter than we think. And don’t forget to thank yourself for hanging in there through the tough times in your life. You made it this far. Nice job!

The best chapters of our lives end, and we don’t realize it until we turn the page and begin living the next one. Only then do we fully appreciate the chapters we have left behind.

So, gaze at the stars tonight and give thanks for them. Watch the sun set and marvel at the picture painted for you. Be thankful for these and ponder their source, because they offer a powerful testimony to those who are willing to listen. Look for the best in yourself and those around you every day, instead of focusing on what’s wrong. Like those stars in the heavens, you and they will soon shine with a joy that money cannot buy.

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Bill Sims, Jr., is President of The Bill Sims Company, Inc. For nearly 30 years, Sims has created behavior-based recognition programs that have helped large and small firms to deliver positive reinforcement to inspire better performance from employees and increase bottom line profits.

A sought-after speaker, he has delivered leadership workshops and keynote speeches around the globe and has built more than 1,000 positive reinforcement systems at firms including DuPont, Siemens VDO, Coca-Cola, and Disney.

For more information, please visit

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