The following is a guest post from Mike Branch, Certified Financial Planner and good friend.
Mike has been practicing Give THANKS with his young daughter and doing a 30-day gratitude challenge on Instagram. I LOVE that he's completely embraced the magic of gratitude and is now sharing it with everyone he knows.
Here's Mike's "gratitude story" in his own words: (Link to the original post here.)
A few years ago Josie Robinson was a part-time high school guidance counselor, a mother of two boys, and an alcoholic who quietly suffered from a seemingly endless bout of postpartum depression.
In her own words, she “went nuts after becoming a mother”.
Today Josie is a sober, happy mom and a successful author and speaker. She works part-time as a high school guidance counselor, and credits her habit of practicing gratitude for the miraculous turnaround in her life.
Her book The Gratitude Jar: A Simple Guide to Creating Miracles chronicles Josie’s journey through a dark time in her life and how being grateful for the simple things made room for the small miracles that would take her from where she was to where she was meant to be.
In full disclosure, Josie is my primary contact at a local high school where I deliver my Pay Less for College presentation to parents of college bound high school students. She is also a friend.
As a show of support, and partly out of curiosity, I bought a copy of her book when I saw her last year. Not that I needed it or anything. I was just curious.
In The Gratitude Jar Josie shares some of the details of this dark time in her life. Of course, it’s easy to be grateful when you get one promotion after another, have a million dollar house, beautiful and talented children who get full-rides to elite colleges, and take world-class vacations every year. (You will read about those people when you get their holiday letters in a few weeks).
What impressed me most about Josie’s story was how she was able to be grateful even when her own circumstances were, well, not so great. It was her practice of gratitude that lead to what Josie calls the “small miracles” that turned things around for her.
It made me start to think about the things that I should be more grateful for in my life. The small miracles that I take for granted every day.
For example, maybe I don’t have a million dollar house, but I do have a home that my family and I love. It may not be my dream house, but by the standards of most people on Earth it’s pretty darned dreamy.
As I practice gratitude in my own life, I have come not only to appreciate what I have, but also to be more content with where I am at now. Practicing gratitude has added a level of richness and contentment to my life that I had not experienced before.
Yes, I still want to do more, be more, give more. I hope I always will, but now I appreciate on a deeper level how important it is to have the basics: A happy, healthy family. A body that works. A job that pays the bills. A dog.
Thanksgiving, a national day of gratitude, is a great way to kick off the holiday season and wrap up your year.
This year I have so much to be grateful for. I have clients who love me. The above mentioned dog. And you! Someone who actually reads what I write. How much better can it get?
And thank you for reading.
Mike Branch is a Certified Financial Planner™ who helps working professionals cross the bridge from work like to life in retirement - with confidence. Go here to visit Mike's website.