Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.

I appreciate the annual ritual of surrounding ourselves with family, making a big dinner, and enjoying all of that.

I also appreciate taking some time to look back on things and be thankful for what we have.

I am most thankful for what I have around me today, my wife, who makes everything better for everyone around her, and our three fantastic children.

But I thought I would also talk about something that has helped me a lot in the past year – taking a more meditative posture to life. I started meditating last fall and have now been doing it every day since then. But that’s only part of what I am talking about. I am also talking about doing yoga two to three times a week, and making the most out of those sessions. And then taking all of the experiences and sensations and feelings that those things give me and introducing them into the rest of my day.

I have always been high strung. I throw myself at the world and keep throwing myself at it until I am exhausted. That personality has made me who I am and produced much of the success I have enjoyed. But it is also the source of the anxiety and worry that I have experienced regularly and, at times, acutely.

Breathing, deeply and repeatedly, and taking it down a notch and sitting with that feeling is something I wish I had learned as a child. I am sure that there were people who tried. But it took me until my mid 50s to really get it. But now that I do, I have found a balance to the “go go go” way of life that I still live and enjoy.

I am very thankful for that.

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. Dana

    I am thankful for AVC, Fred! Would love to read more about how your “high strung-ness” has helped or hindered you. I’ve been described in a similar way and now that I’ve turned 30, I’m trying to figure out what to do with it… Hard to balance the drive with wrecking yourself and burning out…Have an awesome day with your family!

    1. fredwilson

      it drives me to take on things and get them done. often hard frays my nerves though

      1. JamesHRH

        Balance is overrated but glad you have it and want it.

  2. Arnold Waldstein

    Lots to be thankful for.Interesting that some of the most powerful apps used today are gratitude apps which are never shared only a personal journey of thankfulness.Pic below is the family recipe of raw cranberries, oranges and honey that both Asa and I made and talked via Skype about my mom as we prepared. The good stuff of life.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. William Mougayar

      What is the recipe? Is it for turkey specifically?

      1. awaldstein

        Raw organic cranberries (3 packs), 5 oranges (i with skins) ground coarsely.(i use this ancient hand grinder from my mom) but Asa uses a kitchen grinder of some sorts.)Add raw honey to taste. Steep for a day or so.The only time of year you can get cranberries is Thanksgiving so that is how it comes together.I am at this moment eating this spread on Gluten free Matza which is so so So good with hot green tea.

  3. harmonyjones .

    Hi Fred – Thanks for sharing. You mentioned mediation and “sensations” so I’m wondering if you learnt Vipassana and did a 10 day retreat. If not you should consider it:

    1. fredwilson

      no, i have not done deep on this. i may but i have not yet

  4. Mac

    Happy Thanksgiving to the AVC community. I’m grateful for the ten years I’ve spent here learning from many of you. And, Fred, thanks for sharing so much. Just remember something very important today; keep the top up on your Jeep.

  5. kenberger

    SOLD, re the meditation.It’s just that I actually have no idea what it means and how to even get started.I will be extremely thankful for any tips, indeed.

    1. Chimpwithcans

      headspace app is a good one 🙂

    2. fredwilson

      this is what i was told and it worked great for me (and still does):1/ find a time where you can get some alone time every day for at least ten mins. for me that is right after i wake up. try to do this at the same time every day.2/ sit on a chair or couch, upright with straight back and close your eyes3/ breathe through your nose and count your breaths4/ do that for at least ten minutes and try to tune into the sounds around you5/ if your mind wanders (it will), just bring it back to the breath. the real exercise is catching the mind wandering and bringing it back to the meditation. that’s where trhe magic isi count until 125. that works out to be about 10-12 mins for me

      1. kenberger

        Thanks for Giving this, Fred.Fascinating. I did hypnosis therapy in Malibu Beach at age 23 (to get over a fear of writing) and similar steps were the key.

      2. JamesHRH

        Tony Robbins is constantly stealing from classics and repacking things. Some of them are hilariously trite. Others make a ton of sense. This one is an interesting Thanksgiving one:https://www.businessinsider

  6. iggyfanlo

    FredThanks for sparking this community every dayAnd joy to you for finding what seems like the prefect feedback loop; gratitude—> mindfulness—> gratitude….

  7. William Mougayar

    ” taking all of the experiences and sensations and feelings that those things give me and introducing them into the rest of my day.”- can you elaborate on that? how do you introduce them into your day? any examples?

    1. fredwilson

      here’s an example. i don’t like being on super crowded subway cars. but from time to time, i find myself on one. i just close my eyes and start breathing. it helps enormously

      1. jason wright

        a form of claustrophobia.

  8. William Mougayar

    Re: “I wish I had learned as a child”Must see video of these cute kids in Vietnam getting into meditation… (sorry couldn’t snip off the video itself from facebook due to walled garden practices, so you need to click on the Facebook link, but you can play the video without signing in Facebook)

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Really good looking school room and kids. Really good for Viet Nam.

  9. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Fantastic. Everyone should be required to say what they’re thankful for. And Im thankful for Fred’s educational daily posts. And how about da Bears this year??

  10. Tom Labus

    I hope that it’s a good day for all. We got our turkey from this farm in Sussex County NJ. It had been abandoned for 30 years but these people are slowly bringing it back to life.

    1. JLM

      .As far north as you can be and be in NJ. I used to hunt up by Goshen, just north of there.Happy Thanksgiving, Tom.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Tom Labus

        Just a few miles back into orange county. All the best for you and your family, Jeff. We know Goshen well. We’re down the road in Warwick in summer. Have a good one.

  11. fredwilson

    that is fantastic

  12. JLM

    .Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  13. JLM

    .Happy Thanksgiving to folk near and far.I am grateful for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen, border patrolmen, law enforcement, first responders, medical professionals, those who will serve, stand a watch, go in harm’s way so that we may enjoy this day of blessing.Godspeed and know that a grateful nation honors your sacrifices until you may rejoin us. May God bless and keep you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Richard

      And let’s continue our long journey of fixing the VA and learning why government run healthcare is as un-American as boiled turkey.

    2. JamesHRH

      I played the Dan Crenshaw CBS News ‘as someone who HAS literally been under attack ‘ clip for my 16 year old……..’most people in the USA don’t know real fear or hardship’ was her response.I am thankful for her response and for the softness of our daily life that congressman-elect Crenshaw eludes to in that clip, but I hope those people who are not aware of just how soft they have it do not find out first hand how hard it is for the people who provide them with that soft life.Let’s hope thankfulness becomes an epidemic.

        1. JamesHRH

          Corrected, iPhone.

  14. Richard

    Sri Sri Ravishankar and his art of living meditation is special. He has brought it to 10 of thousands incarcerated individuals throughout the years. It is something special.

  15. Pointsandfigures

    Happy Thanksgiving! For me it’s fear. I made a lot of bad decisions from a fearful place. Haven’t tried meditating yet but do a lot of Iyengar Yoga. When I used to shoot baskets it was a form of meditation for me. Rip, rip, rip. Just concentrate on one motion over and over again with focus.

  16. Lawrence Brass

    Happy Thanksgiving Fred and everyone here at AVC.Thank you for your efforts in making NYC a better place for tech and entrepreneurs, local and foreign, and for sharing that experience through your daily posts.I liked the words for your wife, “who makes everything better for everyone around her”. I think that the ones which have the luck to have a great partner and great people around are blessed, blessed by their love.Thanks to all that special people which give away their time, love and dedication to others, usually asking for none in return. YOU make a difference!

  17. george

    Blessings to All and many Thanks for sharing your brilliance!

  18. Jim Peterson

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Fred, and to the smart, diverse, and entertaining people that assemble here.

  19. JamesHRH

    Your best work.

  20. Twain Twain

    Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with family and friends!I’m grateful for being able to pop by AVC’s bar and to understand different perspectives from regulars and newbies on all sorts of topics.

  21. Naimish Gohil

    Fred, Happy Thanksgiving. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you. I read your blog everyday religiously and as a founder and CEO, I take a lot away from it. Thanks again.

  22. kirklove


  23. Pete Griffiths

    So what you’re saying is…. You’re getting older.