As 2009 begins to fade away, I can’t help but count my blessings in the midst of such a tumultuous year. Have you done the same? While it’s easy to become distracted by what you may have lost this year in terms of business growth, market share, profits and net worth, don’t lose sight of what went right and all you have that remains. Remember what you learned, appreciate how you were stretched and give thanks for how you grew personally in both character and competence as the economic meltdown challenged your confidence, attitude and abilities. I want to share six of many personal blessings with you and encourage you to share your own victories in the comment section following this piece.
First, here’s a bit of perspective:
Is my 401(k) and other investments in better shape than last year? No.
Are my properties worth more than they were last year? No.
Is my net worth more than it was last year? No.
Am I distraught that the answers to the last three questions are “no”? No!
I have physical and spiritual health, a loving and healthy family, a robust business, a growing foundation, true friends and much more than I could ever list here. While I’m always anxious for the New Year to begin, I’m going to miss 2009. It’s been an invigorating and exciting ride! Here’s what I’m taking about:
1. I am physically and spiritually healthier than I was last year this time. I feel better, stronger and have more energy. My family is healthier as well. In addition, I am less attached to the material and more concerned with the eternal.
2. Our business grew despite the downturn. We were able to expand our offices and give our associates pay raises in a year when others were downsizing or disappearing.
3. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help more people this year than ever before. Our files bulge with letters and emails from clients, new and old, that have benefited from our resources during the downturn. Making a difference is more fun for me than making money.
4. Our non-profit charity, The Matthew 25:35 Foundation, was able to give aid to more people around the world than ever before. I just completed another volunteer leadership conference overseas for Iranian pastors and it was the highest impact event I’ve ever been associated with. We’re feeding the hungry, encouraging the imprisoned, spreading the Gospel and bringing physical and spiritual healing to the sick.
5. I have closer and dearer friends than I have had at any other time in my life.
6. My family still loves and respects me more than anyone else. To me, this is the greatest barometer of success.
My guess is that your own blessings echo many of the six I’ve listed. Don’t take them for granted!
As this year has progressed, I’ve seen fear replaced by faith and anxiety surrender to anticipation. There are bright days ahead, but in your rush to get this tough year behind you, don’t forget or take for granted all that went right and still is right with your business, family, health and finances. Nothing seems to attract more blessings to you than gratitude for those you already have and enjoy.