Gratitude is very important to us a Weaver Consulting Group. We have been consciously thinking of what we are grateful for through our 21 Day Gratitude Challenge this month. What are some ways you are practicing gratitude in your life? When you compare your life 10 years ago, what aspects do you appreciate the most? How you spend your time today can have an everlasting impact on future generations.
With the holidays in full swing it’s important to practice the art of gratitude. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Emerson’s message is simple: Gratitude should always be practiced. Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It’s a state of mind that comes about when you affirm a good thing in your life. It’s noticing and relishing in life’s simple pleasures. So what are we most grateful for? Other than our health, family, and friends, in our daily experiences we all found ourselves grateful for the same thing; you. We are grateful for the relationships that have been cultivated.
In a business that can be seemingly transactional, we are constantly impressed at the depth of the connections we have with our clients, and the abundance of trust. As a practice through the month of November we decided to do 21 days of gratitude. Sharing what you’re grateful for daily has been shown to have positive impacts on an individual’s ability to handle stress, increased feelings of happiness, and a generally positive overall feeling of well-being. In a world where you can find bad news at the turn of every corner we figure why not practice some gratitude. Who couldn’t use a new reason to smile? So we invite you to find a smile with us, and ask yourself what am I grateful for?
Many of us remember a time when we made much less money and could not afford the niceties in life. Perhaps you lived on top ramen in college and had to share a room with three other random students to be able to afford rent and college tuition. Or possibly, you have experienced working two jobs a day to support your family. It is only natural that as our incomes increase we want to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
Some people buy that car they always dreamed about. Or purchase the perfect home in a neighborhood they would drive by and wish to live in. When you look back on those early days of struggling, did you have more joy in your life than you do now? What aspects of your “upgraded life” do you appreciate the most?
We have found that practicing gratitude every day could be one simple way to appreciate the things you already have. In our practice, we have noticed that clients who are more grateful for their family, friends and/or life in general tend to be more satisfied with their financial situation. Possibly because they have a more optimistic outlook on life. Or maybe because being grateful helps them avoid those unnecessary purchases and emotions that go along with them. As you reminisce, ask yourself, has your “upgraded” lifestyle brought you the happiness you always thought it
would? Or are you spending more and more money trying to chase joy?
When you Google “the definition of a legacy,” it reads “An amount of money or property left to someone at will.” We at Weaver Consulting Group think this is incomplete because a legacy can be so much more. This has come up recently after Jason and Travis’ grandma passed away in August. She grew up poor in Huntington, West Virginia. She started to cook for her 5 person family at the age of 14, got married at 17 and was married for 53 years. Their grandma loved her family like no other until the day she passed at the age of 94. Money and property were not her estate. But rather, the values and memories she shared and the connections she made will continue well beyond her years.
Memories of her getting down on the ground and playing with kids, memories of her cooking great meals and the memories of holidays at her house in a warm room full of laughter with no distractions is the legacy she will pass on. Many of you have heard us use the term “Living Legacy.” This is the opportunity we all have to create lasting memories and live the values we want to pass on.
For example, if generosity was a value we want to embody, we can start implementing that trait now. One method would be to donate our time, for instance volunteering at a food bank. Another would be to provide financial assistance to bring the family together. To illustrate, we have a client that paid for hotel rooms at one of her favorite family destinations, just so everyone could be together with her. The whole family made the trip, including her son from Hawaii.
Living Legacies are more about living than they are about dying. How you spend your time and money today can have an everlasting impact on future generations.