By Rob Schulz
We all know the story. In 1621, a successful harvest after a brutal winter was celebrated with a feast the pilgrims shared with local Native American tribes. At that moment, a new world tradition was formed that continues to this day. For the past 400 years, giving thanks has been a part of who we are as Americans. It’s in our DNA, and I believe its deep immersion into our culture is a major contributor to our success as the greatest economic power in the history of the world.
That economic power is the sum of the individual efforts of all of us as we find ways to overcome and even thrive and succeed in the face of risk and uncertainty. Forty-five of the original 102 Plymouth colonists died, primarily of starvation, malnutrition and scurvy during the first winter. But just a few months later they were celebrating a bountiful harvest with local tribes who had helped and taught them how to farm local crops.
Our nation grew out of that first Thanksgiving with a thankful attitude that has led to continued financial success for all of us. When we are thankful for what we have and for those who have helped us achieve it, that success is free to grow and flourish beyond our wildest dreams. If we fail to acknowledge good fortune and those who help us find it, success gets trapped in the confines of our own limited abilities and imagination. When trapped in this way, we perceive our resources as scarce and finite to the point we want to control them, hoard them, and we become fearful of others and circumstances that may steal them away.
But true financial success is boundless and begins and ends with thankfulness. We must accept risk for what it is and understand that most of what happens around and to us is beyond our control. Hard work, good relationships and sound decisions get us to the gate, but a grateful attitude takes us down the road.
Living through one of the most challenging years I can remember, it feels as if our last Thanksgiving was a lifetime ago. This year will be different than past holiday seasons in many ways, but a tough year has brought out the best in those around me. I feel like I have more to be thankful for this year than any other.
Rob Schulz is a local Certified Financial Planner and author of “Thoughts on Things Financial: Your Guide to a Chaotic Money World.” Schulz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can buy his book by clicking here: https://www.schulzwealth.com/book/
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