Retirement Planning Strategies May 2018

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MAY 2018

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Gratitude Isn’t a Reaction

IT’S A STATE OF MIND

“Thank you” is one of the most powerful phrases in the English language. It shows appreciation, lets somebody know you care, and is just plain polite. Giving thanks for a specific action, however, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to living with an attitude of gratitude. We don’t need to wait for something to happen to express gratitude. There is already so much in our lives for which to be thankful. We just need to take the time to stop and recognize it. Every night before I go to bed, I think of three things that filled me with gratitude that day. It’s important to take the time to think of specific, unique events or relationships, rather than generic categories, like “family” or “work.” While I’m thankful for these things, I want to dig a little deeper. The other day, for example, I was driving to work and realized how lucky I am to have a staggeringly beautiful commute. The scenery looks different every day, and the mountains are awe- inspiring. There’s nobody I can thank for the view, but I’m grateful for it all the same.

When you adopt a mindset of gratitude, you realize how abundant your life is. Little blessings happen around us all the time. We have a family of owls living in a tree

hard to understand why. As a government employee, there is so much you can’t control. Policy changes happen all the time, and nothing is guaranteed. When people talk about the federal budget or the deficit, they often forget that the budget impacts the lives of thousands of workers and millions of citizens. It’s enough to make anyone exasperated. Dwelling on these negatives will only make you more frustrated. Instead, I recommend you focus on the parts of your job and your life that you love and for which you are grateful. Even at its most chaotic, work for the public good is an honorable, rewarding pursuit. I’m guessing that something remarkable happens to you at work every single day. If you’re too busy fretting about the bad stuff, you might miss the good unfolding before your eyes. That’s why I say gratitude isn’t a response; it’s a state of mind. When you approach the world looking for the awesome, you end up happier and more fulfilled. That’s not to say there aren’t times when things are crummy. But even on the worst days, we all have something to be thankful for. Just make sure you don’t miss it. –Ann Vanderslice

outside one of the Denver Federal Center buildings. When the guard at the gate told me about them, I knew I had to take a look for myself. I couldn’t believe it. These majestic creatures made their home right outside our office. How cool is that? GRATITUDE ISN’T A RESPONSE; IT’S A STATE OF MIND. WHEN YOU APPROACH THE WORLD LOOKING FOR THE AWESOME, YOU END UP HAPPIER AND MORE FULFILLED. I bring up the importance of gratitude because I think it’s easy for federal employees to feel beaten down by the negative aspects of their jobs. It’s not

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