An Attitude of Gratitude


As the Thanksgiving holiday passes and we enter the Christmas season, I typically like to take time to reflect.  I, for one, feel like I have much to be thankful for.

This year brought a number of changes for me personally, professionally and for my family.  We successfully moved from out of state.  My wife and I each found new jobs, and we have been welcomed graciously into this wonderful new community.  Living closer to family already in Michigan or nearby has made for some very happy grandparents!  Grand Rapids has yet to see significant snow and we have had a very mild Fall.  I could go on and on about the great things I have experienced in 2015.

As I was reviewing my 2015 business plan, I stumbled upon a goal of mine that was to adopt an Attitude of Gratitude.  Although not a numbers-based goal, it is a personal aspiration that can pay many dividends.  My mind became flooded with all of the things I am grateful for.  It also reminded me of some of the tougher times I experienced this year and I immediately saw them from a different perspective. A much better perspective!

Sometimes, it is the tough times that allow us to appreciate the good times in our lives.  Why wait for the hard times to express what we are grateful for?  Why not remind ourselves daily of what and who we are and should be thankful for?

And while good things are happening, it is important to recognize and to embrace those moments.  I will admit, this has been difficult for me at times.  Experiencing the joy of a precious moment can be a frightening, vulnerable event.

When I intentionally practice an Attitude of Gratitude, it is truly amazing how much easier my life becomes.  Problems seem to be much easier to solve.  I am more positive, productive and proactive.  A subtle shift in mindset can be particularly transformative.  Each of us can easily come up with things to complain about; knowing full well it is not an exercise in productivity.  Seeing the good and being thankful is empowering and progress becomes much more achievable.  Not to mention, gratitude is contagious and something that can catch on quickly.

I will look back on the year of 2015 with a smile.  And, hopefully that thought will also cause me to pause and to remember to keep my Attitude of Gratitude alive and top of mind.  For 2016, one of my goals will be to practice gratitude at least once each day.

While I have the opportunity, let me kick off the gratitude season.  I am thankful for the clients of Legacy Trust, because without whom, this wonderful place called Legacy Trust would not exist.

The very best to each of you and your family in the upcoming year of 2016.