Looking back through the Monkeyz archives, I was shocked to see that I’ve never written a Memorial Day blog—shocked because Memorial Day aligns with a couple of my favorite of life’s tenets: “gratitude” and “fortitude.”

  • Gratitude for those around us each and every day in both our personal and professional lives, from our spouses, children, parents and siblings, to co-workers, colleagues, and friends who work with us and stand by us each and every day, making the lives we enjoy possible.
  • Fortitude for how we and the people in our lives maintain forward momentum turning lemons into lemonade despite those inevitable setbacks and pushbacks life sends our way.

Sure, for many Memorial Day has become just another long weekend—a chance to enjoy some much deserved time off from the grind of the everyday work week and to mark the unofficial beginning of summer.

I get that. We all need to time away to recharge and de-stress.

But this Memorial Day, as you enjoy your cookout or outing with family and friends, take a moment to step back and pause to honor those fallen soldiers who have fought over the years to protect the freedoms we enjoy in this country. That’s what this holiday is really all about. We are grateful for their sacrifices. We also recognize the fortitude that these gone, but never forgotten, heroes displayed on the battlefield. They hung to it when the going got tough, and because of them we are free to pursue lives and careers of our choosing.

Their deeds are truly an inspiration for all of us to do more with the opportunities and the freedoms they preserved.

That said, aside from taking time to participate in your community’s Memorial Day observances, what can you do to make gratitude and fortitude a bigger part of your life—each and every day?

  • How can you express gratefulness to your family and friends for all they bring to your life? Through our deeds and our words we build relationships and show others we care.
  • How can you show co-workers and employees your gratitude for their contributions to your business, your career, and your bottom line? Through rewards and recognition, we show that everyone’s input matters.
  • How can you bolster your reserves of time, energy, and money so that when the going gets tough you—and those who both support and depend on you—have the fortitude to carry on? Through attention to our emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial health, we remain at our best and ready for what lies ahead.
  • How can you do more now to preserve opportunities for future generations? Through responsibility, accountability, and hard work now we ensure that our children and our children’s children enjoy the same opportunities and freedoms as we do.

Happy Memorial Day . . . make it a day for gratitude and fortitude!

Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. We serve as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around!