From the Desk of Tom Steelman

It’s fascinating to think about the role of gratitude in our lives — even more so when thinking about financial and life planning. After spending decades helping hundreds of families contemplate, plan for, and dream about their futures, I’ve come to this conclusion: wanting what you have helps you get what you want. Not the other way around.

A gratitude-driven person doesn’t make hasty, flippant decisions just to escape their current situation. They deeply value what they already have. Their appreciation for the present allows them to be patient during the pursuit of their future.

To gratitude-driven people, exercising self-control is a habit and adopting a forward-focused perspective on money is just common sense. But gratitude isn’t a characteristic someone is born with. People aren’t just born “grateful people” or “ungrateful people.”

Grateful people become grateful people because they practice gratitude. Gratitude is a force of habit. It’s repeatedly choosing to take stock of our assets rather than our misfortunes. It’s about seeing the advantages in every situation — even the setbacks.

We may not have everything that we want, but we can always have gratitude.

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