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It is the start of a new day & the start of a new year.

Often at the end of the year we count our blessings & think about how thankful we are for the good things in our lives & the good things from the year. Hopefully we even say thank you & express our gratitude explicitly, out loud or in writing.

I think the beginning of the year is also a great time to be thankful. Start the new year being thankful. Not everything is perfect by any stretch of the imagination but each of us can be grateful.

Even as I was writing this a friend sent me a message saying he was thankful for our friendship.

I am so grateful for my family & friends & for our Ball Project partners. I am very thankful for the opportunities through our partners to help children, orphans, refugees, addicts, prisoners, adults & families all play.

It seems obvious & that is likely why too often we overlook it. Be thankful.

Also, at the end of the year we often review our past year, our wins, our losses, our milestones, our learnings & takeaways. I think it is critical to keep studying, keep reading, keep looking for patterns, keep connecting the dots, keep practicing. Keep learning.

A couple of my key learnings from 2015 were:

  1. Simply do my work
  2. Fight my resistance

Thanks Steven Pressfield. & thanks Nathan Sinsabaugh for the introduction to Steven’s books.

& another key from my time in South Africa in 1999 came back to me in 2015: Focus helps results. I struggle with focusing. But slow & easy wins the race for me. I cannot multitask. But usually I can do one thing. & then I can do the next thing. & at the end I have gotten done what I need to get done for that day. There is always more work. & usually work can wait until it gets done.

My friend Alex from Brazil said, “We overestimate what we can accomplish in a year & we underestimate what we can do in ten years.”

Ball Project made grants to ~33 countries last year. That is shocking & encouraging. Thanks to Ball Project’s donors & advisers for helping children by helping children play.

So to kick off 2016:

  1. Be Thankful.
  2. Keep Learning.

Child at Musha Wevana children's home in Marondera, Zimbabwe, kicking one of their old "soccer balls" made from plastic bags.

Help children play

“Give me a ball and I’ll have a thousand kids chasing after it.” –Solomon, Kenya

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