MY TWO CENTS:
As 2019 draws to a close I find myself reflecting back on the year. In those reflections, I’m struck by the number of people who have influenced my life so positively. This leads to today’s topic…gratitude.
When you search online for the definition of the word gratitude, Google provides “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” That feels like a fine definition, but somehow seems lacking. Being thankful and wanting to return a kindness is certainly important. However, gratitude seems to me to be more than that…deeper than that.
This year, I have had countless people speak into my life. Family members to encourage, congratulate, challenge, and chastise me. Friends to be alongside me for my wins AND my losses. Clients that allow me to serve them and, more than they know, speak into me with their courage, resilience, spunkiness, and grace.
Am I thankful for those people…sure. Is it more than that…ABSOLUTELY!
In fact, I am who I am (and am becoming who I need to be) as a result of those gracious inputs into my life. To me, gratitude is a depth of thankfulness that acknowledges there would be a substantial gap in realization or fulfillment if that act of kindness hadn’t been shown to me. Gratitude is effectively saying, “I wouldn’t be here without you. I couldn’t have become who I’ve become without you.”
So, from the depths of my heart, please know that I am grateful for you and for our relationship. Even if we haven’t connected in a while, you have had a positive impact on my life!
As we enter this holiday season, please accept my encouragement to spend some time considering for whom you are grateful. Take a minute over a cup of coffee or a hot cocoa to think through your growth this year, your challenges this year, your joys and your sorrows this year, and acknowledge to yourself those that have been alongside you speaking into your life. If I were a betting man, I’d put a nickel or so on the idea that this exercise will lead you into a depth of gratitude that will overflow onto those around you.
Make it a great week, and have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!!
Scott Cousino, CFP®