For December, this is a personal account of gratitude. I hope you can take something away from this as we start to really celebrate the season and each other.
As I finish my Thanksgiving dinner and start to think about the rush of the next holiday, I start to feel a little overwhelmed. For me, the holiday season, while has many great aspects, it is also the realization that I am another year older. Having a November birthday probably has something to do with that and the time for self-reflection. I begin to wonder if I am doing enough for my family and friends, am I creating some type of value with those I meet, am I leaving the world better than I found it and am I creating a legacy for those I do leave behind. I believe, in some way, we all have these thoughts. If we allow it, those thoughts can create a sense of disappointment or unfinished business. I choose to not feel disappointed. I choose to feel fortunate for the opportunity to do what I can do for those lives I touch. Isn’t that all anyone can do? Do what they can?
I choose to be thankful for those around me that I love and those that love me. I am so appreciative of the fact that I am able to help my family; this is important to me. For those that know, I come from a very humble background. I was the oldest of three boys of a single mom that had to work three jobs just to keep us in one place. During my high school years we lived in a singlewide mobile home. I choose to be thankful for the work my mom did to raise those three boys. I am thankful for those that have guided me through some of the toughest times I have had to endure in my life. I am so thankful for the many mentors and role models that I have had and have aspired to be. Some continue to guide me and some have moved on to a better place; Uncle Jack, Coy Sanders, Ted Santon and Rex Athan to name a few. Some years ago, I was given a poem titled “The Bridge Builder”. I keep this poem, framed outside my office. The idea of the poem is that those that lead the way, need to “build a bridge” for those following behind you. I believe this is not only in business, but in life. I only can hope that I am providing that same mentorship and guidance to those on the bridge behind me that my earlier bridge builders did for me. I will continue to build that bridge and encourage others to help me with the bridge.
I choose to be thankful for the career that I chose by chance based on the people I met early on and what I felt in my heart when I interviewed. However, it came to be, I am fortunate to work with some of the finest people around, people that would be my friends outside the office. We are doing great work for those our team cares about, our clients. I am thankful for my fellow Lincoln associate friends throughout the nation that have guided me and inspired me over this 35-year career. I have a career that has allowed me to meet so many interesting people and listen to so many interesting and unique stories. Everyone has their own story. I now call many of these people my friends. Some of these friends I have been helping them, their parents and their children for over 30 years. I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t a financial planner coaching my friends.
I choose to be thankful for living in the best country in the world. In spite of the many differences (both ideological and political), social media rants, and the current economic challenges, I am still thankful for being here. I enjoy freedoms and liberties that many around the world do not. I am able to travel where I would like, have dinner, shop at a grocery store and enjoy the company of whoever I choose to or just sit at home in my sweats and watch Netflix on a Saturday night.
This is my list. I encourage you to take a little time to reflect on what you have and what you have to be thankful for. The more we can reflect on what we have and not on what we don’t have, I believe, the healthier we will be. I believe your attitude can be contagious. This is something we want to spread, right?
I choose to have an attitude of gratitude with a servant mindset. How about you? What do you choose? Have a Happy Holiday Season my friends.
Mike Lockwood (CA Insurance License #0730158) is a registered representatives of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln Marketing and Insurance Agency, LLC and Lincoln Associates Insurance Agency, Inc. and other fine companies. 17400 Laguna Canyon Road, Suite 125, Irvine, CA 92618, Phone: (949) 341-4277. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp does not provide legal or tax advice. Oakwood Wealth Partners is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. CRN- 5270247-112822