“What are you thankful for?” It’s a question that will be asked around countless tables this Thanksgiving. For those reticent to talk about themselves, the easy way out can be to make a joke, or mention a particular food being served.
This Thanksgiving, I offer you both a challenge and a way to meet it.
First, the challenge. Don’t pass up this opportunity. The people sharing that table with you are likely among the most important people in your life. Some, you may only see this one time a year. You have a limited number of Thanksgivings on this earth. The number of Thanksgivings you’ll share with each person at that table is even more limited. Take this opportunity to let them into your life just a little bit more.
Now, a suggestion for answering the question.
Think about the past year; the choices you’ve made, big and small, that led to positive outcomes. The best decisions are not made in a vacuum. They are collaborations. Sometimes those collaborations are contemporary; you have a choice to make and you ask someone’s advice. Other times, it’s the actions of others you observed in the past that guide you in the present. Either way, the benefits you reaped were, at least in part, due to the influence of others.
Many of us tend to underestimate the impact we have on other people’s lives. I’m one of the lucky ones. The advice I give to clients has tangible results; I can see how the choices I help them make impact their retirement, at least financially. It’s reinforced when a client refers a friend or family member to me.
Referrals should not be limited to recommending who to hire to perform a service. If someone has had a positive influence in your life, take the opportunity at that Thanksgiving table to give them a referral. It will let others know they may benefit from that person’s wisdom. And, it will give you the opportunity to give thanks.