Whenever November rolls around, my immediate thought is always about the Thanksgiving holiday. For me, this is always a time to reflect on what has transpired over the past year. As you know, my life has been filled with ups and downs (just like the market!), but I have much to be grateful for.
In the “downs” of the last year, it was important to remind myself the importance of being grateful when things weren’t going so well. I found this talk from Professor Robert Emmons of the University of California Davis, a leading researcher on the science of gratitude. In it, he covers the key benefits of practicing gratitude, breaking it into four main categories:
- Gratitude Allows us to Celebrate the Present
- Gratitude Blocks Negative Emotions
- Grateful People are More Stress Resilient
- Gratitude Strengthens Social Ties and Self Worth
Celebrate the Present
I sit here today still happily married to Michelle and in an empty nest. My kids are out in the world actively pursuing their education and careers. While a parent’s work is never done, the season of hands-on parenting at home has come to a close (or something near it). At work, I am so thankful for this newest iteration of Chichester Financial Group LLC! Once an “office guy” I am enjoying the autonomy of working from home and the challenge of leading my team remotely.
Block Negative Emotions
Zooming out for a minute, we are in a time in our country and world that is increasingly polarized and difficult to navigate. Yet, our gratitude for all the things that are going right, the progress being made, and everyone who is energized to be a positive force in this world helps us cope with the negative. Financially, negativity was an easy trap to fall into in the last year with the combination of rising inflation and a turbulent market. Gratitude doesn’t erase those feelings, but makes them more bearable.
More Stress Resilient
This speaks to me on so many levels. From the tragic loss of my niece to working through relaunching my business this year has been a challenge. Without gratitude, exercise, and the occasional cocktail, I would be lost to the stress that has been ever present. I know so many of you can relate as you navigate transitions. Perhaps, like me, you are part of the “sandwich generation.” Keeping a careful eye towards both your children and your parents for what they may need.
Strengthens Social Ties
I am most thankful for everyone who has stood beside me, my family, and my business in the last year. We have experienced a full range of emotions and experiences persevering through tumultuous times, mourning losses, navigating a changing market, and celebrating each other’s achievements.
As you gather around the table this Thanksgiving, know that I am grateful for your friendship and your business, not only today but each day of the year.