As a coach, I believe thankfulness is vital to keep mindful for proper perspective. All of us have it so much better than most; we should be thankful and grateful. You are reading this on a computer, tablet or smart phone; many do not have that opportunity.
But just being thankful is not enough; we need to pay it forward. We need to share our gifts with those who need it. I do not care what you give, just do it. It can be a gift of time, talents or treasure. Whatever you have, please give.
My family and I recently received an e-mail from a colleague asking if we could help out a family from her daughter's school. A single mother with four kids moved to our area to get help from her family. After arriving, they offered her no help and she has found herself living in the basement of a local business. The requests were for simple things, including blankets, shoes, and socks. They have nothing … except hope.
We held a family meeting to discuss what we could contribute and it was difficult for our children to understand what having nothing means. They have so much more than we did as children. When we asked them what they wanted to give them, it was amazing how giving they wanted to be. Thankfulness is taught and it is a skill; you have to practice it. I am asking you to practice it again.
I ask my clients to practice their profession and life in general. It is game time and it is time to bring your “A” game. It is time to practice thankfulness. The best way to practice is to show others how thankful you are for your blessings and hard work, and give back.
One of my longstanding clients does something remarkable. He feels blessed, blessed beyond belief. He and his teenage children go to K-Mart and pay off people's layaways a few days before Christmas. This allows those families who hoped to have the money to buy presents, the ability to give them to friends and family members by the generosity of a loving fellow resident.
You don't have to do this much, but thanks and giving are modeled by us to our children, our nieces and our nephews. Don't walk past an opportunity to give and teach your children the gift of charity. They will feel great and understand what this season is all about: helping others and being thankful you have the chance to give.
So, do something extra this holiday season. Don't just get those closest to you gifts, share your wealth with others, there is so many who need a helping hand.
Remember when you didn't have it so good? Sometimes, that little act of giving, kindness or help can give someone else that same boost that you received at some point.
Matthew Halloran is a certified coach for advisers. He wrote "The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors: How to Use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to Build and Grow Your Business."