(White Christmas? I’ll get to that in a minute.)
When it comes to investing your money, it’s hard not to get caught up in and worry about all of the world events that can impact the behavior of the world markets.
Hardly a day goes by where there isn’t some scary financial news being reported — either of things that are happening, could happen, might happen, probably will happen, or won’t happen. Ha! Anything, it seems, to scare us to death, keep us worrying and glued to the TV set.
Did I say “keep us worrying”? Ah, the evil W word.
It has been written that 85%, or 92% or 99% of the things we worry about never happen (writers don’t agree on the number, I guess). The point here is that most of the things we worry about never happen.
I have worked hard at giving up worry, because worry is about projecting some story we are telling ourselves into a future that we can’t possibly know the outcome of.
Worry is a waste of time and energy, yet sometimes it grabs us and won’t let go. And one of the biggest worries out there for most people is around money. We are afraid we don’t have enough, or will outspend our years, or can’t live our dreams due to lack of money.
Even I, a financial planner, sometimes fall prey to money worries. And when I do, I have to remind myself of how good I really have it. (By the way, we all do!)
The other night, for example, just out of curiosity I wanted to see where I ranked in the world as to my income. Don’t ask me how I came up with this idea, it just popped into my head. But look what I discovered. I went to the website, Global Rich List.com, entered that I earned US Dollars, and entered my income for the year, only to discover that I made more money than 99.94 percent of the people on the planet. And I’m no where near the top 1% of income earners in the U.S. According to this same website, my monthly income could pay the monthly salaries of 627 doctors in Pakistan. I had no idea.
I felt immense gratitude knowing this. Try it for yourself. You will be amazed.
I was also recently reminded of how long “practicing gratitude” has been a part of my life. In my all-time favorite Christmas movie which I watched for the umpteenth time the other night, White Christmas, there is a song called “Count Your Blessings” whose lyrics begin like this (sung by Bing Crosby):
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep and I fall asleep counting my blessings.
When my bankroll is getting small I think of when I had none at all
and I fall asleep counting my blessings.
White Christmas was released in 1954, the year before I was born, so counting your blessings, or practicing gratitude, has been around longer than I have, probably since the beginning of time. I rarely go to sleep any more without listing at least three things I was grateful for that day. And often the list is far longer than three things.
I do this because it keeps me focused on all I have, not what I don’t have, and going to sleep thinking about all I have has majorly contributed to my own peace of mind.
Especially at this time of year when the advertisements abound with what we are missing out on and NEED this holiday season, it helps a lot to stay focused on what we have rather than thinking about what we don’t have.
Gratitude is one of those things that makes me realize how great my life really is. I have my health, my husband, my family, my friends, my clients, my pets, a roof over my head that no one is dropping bombs on, a country where I am free to speak my mind and often do, more stuff than I need and my jewelry — yes, let’s not forget my jewelry (haha — a passion of mine!).
All of us have FAR more than most people on the planet yet we are bombarded with messages daily that tell us we don’t have enough, we aren’t enough, we need more to be more, none of which is true.
Peace of mind is something we can’t afford to be without because life is so short.
I don’t know about you but tonight I’ll be counting my blessings and investing in my own peace of mind. What about you?
(This picture from White Christmas is for my sister — SISTERS!)