Creative Gratitude

Good Morning Relaxing Retirement Subscriber,

On this great day of “Thanksgiving”, I’d like to take our annual sabbatical from our financially driven curriculum, and reinforce a strategy I learned a while back that has been extremely helpful to me.

With everything we want to get done, and with the massive amounts of distractions we encounter on a day to day basis, it’s easy to lose our focus and forget about the long term “big picture.”

And, that “big picture” is for you to bring as much enjoyment and personal satisfaction to your life as you possibly can for as long as you’re able to do it.

Another way of saying that is spending as much of your time as you can doing:

  • what you really want to do,
  • when you want,
  • where you want to do it, and
  • with whom you want to do it.

Means vs. Goals

Everything else we talk about each week is simply a means to moving closer and closer to that goal.

Now, all of us have a different definition of enjoyment and personal satisfaction.  That’s what makes life so great.

Every day is a new opportunity to choose what brings enjoyment and satisfaction to your life.

So, given that, here’s my Strategy for you:

Take 15 minutes RIGHT NOW and use it as an opportunity to stop, reflect, and be ”creatively” grateful

By creative, what I mean is don’t wait for something to happen or for someone to say or do something to feel grateful.

Instead, use your creative mind to experience gratitude for a moment.


Because when you’re experiencing a state of “gratitude”, it’s really hard to be fearful.

It’s hard to be anxious.  To be resentful.  To be impatient.  To be angry.  To be bored.  To be sad, etc…

If you doubt this, try it.  It’s impossible!


What might you try and be “creatively” grateful for?

Well, there are endless possibilities, but here’s a quick and easy list:

  1. You could be grateful for who you’ve become and what you’ve been able to accomplish in your lifetime.
  2. You could be grateful for the fact that you live in a free country (imagine being a woman living in the Middle East for a little contrast).
  3. You could be grateful for the family you have.
  4. You could be grateful for the variety of abilities of others who make your life better and easier by what they do best.
  5. You could be grateful that you’ve made important decisions in your life that have worked out for you.
  6. You could be grateful that you’ve made decisions in the past that didn’t work out, but that you had the opportunity to learn from them in order to make better decisions in the future.
  7. You could be grateful for maintaining the necessary discipline to achieve financial independence.
  8. You could be grateful for the values that you’ve developed.
  9. You could be grateful for “the little things” that may go unnoticed as you rush through a typical day.

Your Confidence Level

Take just 15 “quiet” minutes to really think about these.  And, then notice what happens to your confidence level and your day-to-day mindset.

Like you, I get “caught up” in my day-to-day life of deadlines and solving problems, and lose sight of the big picture.

Right now, for instance, I could get caught up in a dozen different things on my “list” that I want to accomplish.  (I wish it was only a dozen!)

Instead, I could choose to focus on how grateful I am for each of the nine points listed above.

Just taking a moment to seriously think through each of these nine points and all the areas in my life where I am grateful changes my entire short and long term outlook.  And, my confidence level.

So, take 15 minutes RIGHT NOW, just 15 minutes, and creatively think about what you are grateful for.  It will completely change your outlook.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Committed To Your Relaxing Retirement,

Jack Phelps
The Retirement Coach

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(The content of this letter does not constitute a tax opinion. Always consult with a competent tax professional service provider for advice on tax matters specific to your situation.)