Being Thankful 2014

As many of you know, I write a Thanksgiving blog every year that focuses on being thankful.  A couple days ago I went back and reread several of my past Thanksgiving blogs and was a bit shocked by what I found.  Other than the occasional typo, I found I had plenty of ammo to point me in the direction of thankfulness.  I found a common theme: conflict.

Last year at this time we (our society) were involved in a continued debate regarding the behavior of celebrities and professional athletes. The year prior we just wrapped up an election filled with discourse and division.  Three years ago we were facing the fiscal cliff. And this year we are dealing with riots in Ferguson Missouri and across the country.

While we need not turn our backs to the difficulties of life, it seems our greater electronic connectivity makes it easier and easier to find ourselves surrounded by struggles, whether they are ours or not.  It’s easy to simply let our blessings slip by.  If we surround ourselves with enough negative thought and negative self talk, it will catch on and deeply set hold.

As a fee-only financial advisor, I often find myself discussing topics outside the “normal” lines traditional advisors tackle.  It’s a part of my work that I really enjoy. Understanding the values and goals of my clients helps me to help them create a balanced approach to financial growth.  It’s not just simply about the numbers.

A client recently relayed a thought that hit the nail on the head. To summarize, she stated, you can chose to view your life from a perspective of “quality of life” or “quality of living.” Quality of life is based around the measure of “things” you own, and quality of living focuses on what you do with what you have.

If we focus on all the information put in front of us, we can easily fall into a trap.  We are bombarded this time of year with product advertising, and keeping up with the Jones is a dangerous game. The neighbors just bought that shiny new car: why can’t we? There is always someone out there who will have more “things” or more money, but is that the measuring stick in which you chose to value your true happiness?

As we move into the holiday season, I send out a challenge to you. Ask yourself what guidepost you are using to measure your financial wellbeing and overall happiness. Again, in my client’s words, is it “quantitative” or is it “qualitative”?

As another year soon comes to an end, I am once again thankful for so many blessings. My clients continue to teach me and help me to grow, as we face unique challenges together.  I work everyday to help others, which brings me great joy.

So, if you are reading this, I am thankful for you.  I am thankful for the opportunity to share my passion with you.

I hope this Thanksgiving finds you well and “fat” with happiness!


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