Friday, January 04, 2013

It's A Wonderful Life

“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I had realized it sooner”.

When I first read this quote I immediately thought about gratitude and the importance of appreciating the moments of our lives. If you live a grateful life and are present to the moment, you will realize how wonderful your life is most of the time. Of course, we all have challenges and setbacks but that doesn’t necessarily diminish the quality of our lives. Yesterday my wife, who is the Chief Financial Officer of the Brown Corporation, sent me an email with her estimate of the financial impact of the new tax rates on our paychecks. As with many of her “business” emails to me it sounded dire and foreboding. There will be a noticeable bite into our paychecks. It will require some adjustment. I may have to cut back on some of my workday lunches at overpriced restaurants along Main Street. However, the point I want to make is this. The new tax rates, as well as many other things in life, are an inconvenience not a crisis. As I told my wife on our drive home last night a crisis would be losing our jobs. I don’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else. However, I am grateful that I have a paycheck that can be taxed. My paycheck is not all that impressive and the money that flows into my checking account has fluctuated up and down over the years. However, it has provided me with reasonable security and it has contributed to many wonderful things in my life. It is so easy to complain and complaining seems such a part of being human, but if we are honest most of us have far more for which to be grateful. Sometimes you need to just sit down and count your blessings. We tend to take the good things in our lives for granted and to blow the bad things in our lives out of proportion. My experience of life’s challenges is that their size is a matter of perspective. Today’s problems seem huge. Most of yesterday’s problems seem like a bump in the road. Start today to realize what a wonderful life you probably have.

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