I start 2018 with valuable lessons taught me by two special individuals. One was the head waiter on our family Christmas cruise. Cruise ship employees tend to be good natured and service-oriented, but this man was above and beyond the standard. He was so cheerful and always willing to do whatever was needed to make our day pleasant. He was not our specific waiter but went out of his way to make sure one of our daughters, who had special dietary needs, was well cared for.
On the last day of our cruise I asked him why it was that he was always so happy. He responded that happiness had always been part of his nature; that when he awakes in the morning and sees that he is still alive, he knows it is going to be a good day. He is not from a country with all the great blessings we enjoy here, but he found joy in every moment of life and with his presence lighted the lives of all around him. He told me that his motto was, “Life is like a bowl of ice cream. You need to eat it before it melts.” This man had a great attitude, especially for someone who spent most of his Christmases away from his own family.
The second man is one I met on Christmas Eve. We had been travelling all day to get home from our trip and on the way out of Vegas we were so starved we stopped to grab something to eat. The best option we could find was a fast food restaurant in a less than desirable part of town. While standing in line inside the store for our hamburgers, a disheveled man came up beside me to await his order. I could tell by his appearance and smell that he was not in the best phase of his life. I began making some light conversation with the man and joked, “Look at us here, pretty sad we find ourselves enjoying our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at a cheap fast food restaurant.” The man smiled and surprised me with his response when he said, “I think this is a great place for a Christmas Eve dinner. I am sure there are many in the world eating much less tonight.” I have had many wonderful Christmas Eve dinners but I will always remember this one, and the smile that man had as he sat down to his feast.
So many investment mistakes come from greed or a desire to get too much, too fast. It is good to grow your wealth but if your happiness is based on your net worth, it is possible you may always be disappointed. Let’s make 2018 a year to begin our investing plans with gratitude for what we already have, then if something greater comes it will be all the more appreciated. Either way, if we start with gratitude, it will definitely be a Happy New Year.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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