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What We Are Thankful for in 2020 Thumbnail

What We Are Thankful for in 2020

By Bryan Lee, CFP®, MBA

While Thanksgiving became an official holiday in 1870, Americans have been taking part in this tradition of gratitude since the Pilgrims arrived on our shores. Since then, our country has experienced wars, depressions, natural disasters, social upheavals, and international crises, and still we come together at this time of year to remember what’s important and be grateful for what we have. This year, in the middle of a global pandemic and a charged election season, we think it’s more important than ever to celebrate Thanksgiving and turn our minds to our many blessings.

Gratitude in Hard Times

There’s a reason why you hear a lot about gratitude. It’s more than just a good practice—it actually rewires your brain, (1) improves your physical health, and can increase happiness and reduce depression-related emotional states. (2) After the year we’ve had so far, we could probably all benefit from the positive effects of gratitude. 

When COVID-19 shut our country down back in March, many of us took the time to slow down, reflect on what matters to us, and be grateful for both the small and significant things in life, like our homes, the healthcare workers on the frontline, the scientists developing treatments and vaccines for this virus, and our schools. We encourage you to use this time of year to continue or develop a practice of gratitude, relax and unwind, shut out the noise, and celebrate!

Our Gratitude List

Many of us have missed countless family gatherings, making memories outside the home, and spending time with friends in 2020, which means we are probably all the more thankful when we do get the chance to safely be with loved ones who bring meaning to life. Even if you are not traveling to join with family this Thanksgiving or your traditions have to be modified, don’t forget to reach out to those in your life and share what they mean to you. 

This is our chance to do that with you, our valued clients! We have missed having clients come in and out of our offices on a daily basis and seeing you in person. We are so thankful for the technology that allows us to build our relationships and be a support for you in these times, and we look forward to connecting with you when it is safe to resume life as usual. It means a lot to us that you rely on us and continue to trust us in light of the sharpest drop and quickest rebound in the history of the market.

We are also thankful that our clients, families, and friends have remained healthy and safe during this pandemic. We love hearing stories about families who have grown closer together and communicated more because of the limitations of sheltering in place. Even though our holidays will likely look different than usual, we appreciate the holiday foods and traditions that remind us of a younger, simpler time, no matter our age.

Finally, we are incredibly grateful for nature and its beautiful gifts all around us that we can experience every day if we only stop to look. Take the time to watch a sunset or behold the moon and sky and regain some wonder for the world. 

While you’re reflecting on what you’re thankful for, don’t forget to thank yourself for what you put into and get out of life. While we should of course be grateful for the positive forces in our lives (family, friends, teachers, colleagues, and the good fortune and many blessings bestowed on us), to a great degree, it is also your hard work and careful decisions that make so much possible. You deserve to not only enjoy your life but to feel grateful for everything you’ve done to make it happen, and to have some self-reverence for the positive influence you’ve had on others along the way.

We hope that your Thanksgiving leaves you refreshed and recharged and ready to look forward with hope. Through it all, we at Strategic Financial Planning are here for you and your family, just a phone call away. Reach out to us at (972) 403-1234 or contact us online with your questions, concerns, or just to touch base before the end of the year. We are thankful for YOU! 

About Bryan

Bryan Lee is founder and President of Strategic Financial Planning, Inc., an independent, fee-only financial advisory firm. With over 27 years of industry experience, Bryan uses a unique client-first financial life planning approach and process to help his clients get the most out of life. Bryan earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and MBA in international finance from the University of North Texas and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) practitioner. Bryan is actively involved in his community and industry and has served on the boards of several associations and charities, including serving as President and Chairman of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the CITY House Board of Directors President and Chairman, Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Financial Planning, Family Services of Plano, as well as a Junior Achievement Volunteer Teacher. Bryan has been featured in local and national magazines, newspapers, and journals, including The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, CNNfn, USA Today, SmartMoney, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Financial Planning Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, Dow Jones Newswires, and has been recognized as a Five Star Wealth Manager and one of Dallas’s Best Financial Planners in D Magazine every year since its inception. To learn more about Bryan, connect with him on LinkedIn.


(1) https://dailyhealthpost.com/gratitude-rewires-brain-happier/

(2) https://emmons.faculty.ucdavis.edu/gratitude-and-well-being/