As we approach the 2021 holiday season, I hope family gatherings and holiday travel will be back to normal as our world puts this pandemic behind us. The experiences of the past 18 months will leave lasting changes on us all. Our clients and we have experienced life-changing impact, both good and bad. I believe being thankful and expressing gratitude is a start in overcoming these adversities.
Gratitude is the recognition of all that exists in our messy lives and all that has made it possible to have the life we have and the moments we are experiencing. We must recognize the importance of being grateful, which requires acceptance. Acceptance means not fighting reality. Gratitude means embracing reality. It means moving from complaining to counting our blessings. It allows us to shift our perspective toward all we have been given and all that we have. It moves us away from the narrow-minded focus on fault, lack and fear, and to the expanded perspective of benefit and abundance.
This is a great time of year to chat with clients about the good things in their life. Or show your gratitude to them with a personal email or small gift. You may be surprised by how much they appreciate it.
Be a Supportive Partner
In hard times, it’s often hard to find gratitude and express thankfulness. Families have lost loved ones and the holiday season can be hard to get through, especially the first. As their trusted financial advisor, we can help by being a supportive partner: Listen generously and then inspire them to find the gifts in all experiences. When we are in turmoil or trauma, it’s hard to do this for ourselves. It takes an outside perspective, an advisor, to gently guide us to see the light. It can also take time.
Media messages are constantly telling us to buy more, do more, look like this, or act like that. This doesn’t foster abundance. Choosing to be thankful helps us overcome these distractions and give appreciation for what we have right now. Often, we do not need more. Instead, we need to focus and be thankful for what we do have. A focus on thankfulness leads to contentment. Gratitude brings joy and a feeling of abundance.
The holidays represent a stressful time for many of us. Reflecting on what we are thankful for can reduce stress. “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress,” says University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. He goes on to explain that gratitude and optimism can even boost our immune system. Being thankful keeps us healthy!
Reach Out to All Clients
The Thanksgiving holiday can cultivate our thankful hearts and generate those warm and fuzzy feelings. It provides an opportunity to count our blessings and feel gratitude which make us feel good. Be sure to reach out to your clients and express gratitude, especially if you know they have had a rough year.
What if every day we make this choice to choose to be thankful and to experience the benefits of gratefulness all year long? That is my wish for you.
Julia Carlson is the founder and CEO of Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group, LLC in Newport, Ore. Her email is Julia@juliamcarlson.com. She also invites you to check out her personal website, www.juliamcarlson.com.