I'm thankful for work. Not simply for my company, or the money I earn. Not for the perks or interesting things I get to do. I'm thankful for the fact that I love to work and accomplish something. I like the challenge of working with people, of explaining something and seeing their eyes open wide with an "aha" moment.  

I am thankful that I have topics to discuss besides sports, the weather, TV shows or the news. Because of work, I get to create my own news. I work with people and exchange ideas. I learn about their views and their lives. I then get to share their experiences, and in some weird way, they become my own. The topics I discuss at home and with friends are deeper and wide-ranging because of these interactions. Because I work.

Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for my health and my kids. I want my kids to be happy. However, with social media, happiness is made to seem like a simple journey between two points. It's not. There are highs and lows along the way. Being successful at work teaches us about happiness in life.

I want my kids to find this and feel a sense of accomplishment. Why do we tell them to do their homework? To get good grades. To get into a good college. To learn. For what? To find a career that makes them happy and that challenges them. A career that gives them a sense of accomplishment. "I did that!" 

To fall in love with a career can be as rewarding as any personal relationship. Those who disagree haven't been lucky enough to feel it.

I am thankful I found the joy of work. The joy of career motivation. The joy of impacting people by solving problems. I know people who say they work to live and not live to work. It's not that complex. We have to work to survive. To be challenged and find satisfaction in accomplishment makes me feel alive. 

Like a teacher who sees a student finally get it. A doctor who heals a patient. A lawyer who wins a case. Business is that for me, and my career allows me to teach my kids in so many different ways about life. About people. About choices.  

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

If you like this, follow @TomGimbel for more.

Published on: Nov 24, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.