My wife has a quote hanging in our home that states, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” It was said by Amy Collette that “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” Oprah Winfrey said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Finally, Epictetus stated, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not but rejoices for those which he has.”
In our world, we often tend to focus on and measure how much we “have” in comparison to others. The competitive nature of our society brings about advancements in science and technology, etc., but it also can tend to make us less grateful for what we have and can lead us to being discontent with what we have been blessed with because someone else has “more”. The trait of always striving to improve ourselves is noble, but we also need to learn to appreciate what we have and the opportunities that are afforded us at any point in time and to give thanks to those around us who have done so much for us in our lives.
If we are never happy with our current state, life goes by too quickly and we may find that happiness was there for the taking all along if we would just pause to enjoy it instead of constantly stressing about the next project or venture. If we spent more time thanking others, we would be in such a better state to succeed moving forward. Gratitude and thankfulness breeds happiness and success.
If you have not done so in a while or have never done so, I encourage you to sit down and make a list a page long of the things you are thankful for in your life. If you truly take the time to ponder what you may often take for granted, you will be astounded at how long the list will be!
When working with our clients, we often assist in helping them determine how much in taxes they will owe based on their income. I have yet to find a client that has asked us to do all we can to increase his or her tax liability. In fact, when many clients preface our discussion with a comment about how they want to pay what they need to, but no more than they must in taxes, I tell them, in jest, that they are the first client ever to make that request! A conversation that often ensues after we have done all that can be done to reduce or mitigate their tax liability for a given year, they or I make the comment that owing taxes means that they generated net income when all was said and done. Most of them don’t like to be told that they should be thankful that they owe taxes, but almost all will agree that there is truth in the fact that they have been blessed to have the ability to generate income and owing taxes is simply a sign of success.
I am so thankful for my family, my health, my abilities and the opportunities that have been afforded to me. I am also thankful for many, many friends, clients and associates that have enriched my life for the better. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that no matter what trials or circumstances you may currently be facing, there will always be blessings surrounding you that you may not notice or recognize. Take the time and effort to recognize these blessings and your trials will become lighter on your shoulders.
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