On this date, in 1975, my most important mentor died unexpectedly and suddenly. My father. He was just shy of 66 years of age, very vibrant, very active in the business world, and far too young to leave this earth.

His teachings still resonate with me. In fact, I still feel his presence whenever I have a question or am unsure how to approach a challenge. Sometimes I hear him answer; other times, I use his principles and teachings to come to my own conclusion.

There have been a few other mentors in my life, some of whom haven’t even realized they were acting in that capacity for me. One of them was a good friend who taught me how to look at real estate investments, and how to live a full life, who died at 94. He had more than one career, each one successful. He stayed active in his life’s work right to the end of his life.

Another mentor was an extended family member who taught me, vicariously, how to stay involved with one’s extended family, and the beauty and value of that … and the huge and fabulous impact on the children and grandchildren who receive the loving and kindness of such a man.

And so, for you who are reading this at this time of year, I urge you to reconsider your priorities, not necessarily change them. Merely reconsidering them and focusing your energy for next year on those things that are important to you, both personally and professionally, will enable you to achieve ever greater successes.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season! And may you experience your greatest wishes for 2005! Thank you for being with me in spirit at this time of my life.