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Gratitude in the Toughest of Times


I’m living it, you’re living it, we’re all living in the new normal. A few months ago, this world with a pandemic from a novel disease that we are struggling to defeat or live with would have been unimaginable, yet here we are. Many have experienced losses, from minor inconveniences the new world brings to those of the greatest magnitude.


While my family’s losses have been minor, I still fear the worst and strive to do what I can to be safe and keep my loved ones safe. I’m beyond grateful for how fortunate we’ve been.



When things get difficult, it is tough to remember the good in our lives and the things we are fortunate to have still. Many journal or take notes to list the things they are grateful for and I believe it’s a helpful and worthwhile exercise. Personally, I tend to meditate on it and think on it usually, but I thought I’d share some of what I’m most grateful for in this time of great losses.


What does this have to do with finance?

Well, on its face, not a lot. However, delving deep into thought and philosophy is one of the key drivers of why I started my own practice. To help families and individuals realize a higher level of financial planning. Not just to accumulate X dollars or buy a fancy car, but to live a life you would be happy to live. To live it on your terms and within your means.


Telos is a philosophical word and I encourage you to explore yours. Demonstrating gratitude can help you find what it is you are most grateful for and in doing so, may be able to help you better organize your priorities. That’s why gratitude is important. It’s being introspective.


I’ve seen studies that show practicing gratitude also helps improve happiness and improves your health in several ways.



I have so much to be grateful for it’s impossible to list in a blog. My wife. My kids. My family. Health. Success in my work. Health in my family. I grew up in a loving household. I have the ability to provide for my family. I’ve exceeded any goals and dreams I had for myself when I was young. I haven’t lost anyone close to me. I have the ability to shelter at home and keep my distance from others. My wife and I both are still employed.


My struggles these days are remembering how much I have to be grateful for. To remember to live in the moment. It’s easy to get frustrated when kids misbehave, break things, or don’t listen. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be home with them and to have this quality time to get to know them better. To just be with them. I never would have done this if we weren’t living through a pandemic.


Outward Looking

I would encourage you to practice recognizing things you have to be grateful for on a regular basis. There’s no doubt many have life much harder than I do at this time. I don’t take it for granted. I would encourage you, regardless of how difficult your struggles, to remember to keep gratitude at the front of your mind. Savor the best moments every day. Live your best life, whatever that means to you.


If times are hard, is there opportunity for a silver lining? If you lost your job, can you take the opportunity to grow, learn a new skill, pursue a career you’re more passionate about, or find a another new path?


If you lost someone, there’s no making up for that. You can’t replace a loved one and my heart breaks for those who have had loved ones pass away. Those who couldn’t be with their nearest and dearest during their last moments. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through or are going through, but know you are in the thoughts and prayers of many others.


It’s easy to dwell on the difficulties we are living. If you’re going through it, try to draw your mind to the good things in your life. It works for me.



Gratitude can help you get through hard times. It can help keep things in perspective. It can help you prioritize your life, personal goals, and financial goals. It helps to slow the mind as well as provide other mental health benefits. I would encourage you to look to gratitude when it feels hopeless. It may take small steps, but, for me, remaining grateful helps me know that all I am doing is for what I care most about. I hope it can work for you too.


If you’d like to discuss your financial situation or create a financial plan, Telos Financial welcomes the opportunity to talk with you. Contact us today to schedule a no cost or obligation introductory meeting. Telos is a financial planning firm serving Michigan’s high income and high net worth millennials, recent college graduates, and small business owners.


Telos Financial is a fee based, holistic financial planning firm located in Plymouth, Michigan serving young professionals and their families. Dennis LaVoy is a Certified Financial Planner® Designee and a Chartered Life Underwriter®. Dennis is proud to be a firm based in Michigan focused on serving high net worth and high-income young professionals, millennials, and those preparing for retirement. He founded Telos Financial and to provide fiduciary financial services to families across Michigan including Plymouth, Canton, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and as well as all over the great United States of America.


Thanks for reading the latest edition of Planning for your Purpose, Telos Financial’s blog, where I discuss different topics related to investing, personal finance, and financial planning. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Dennis LaVoy is Plymouth, Michigan’s holistic financial advisor serving clients throughout the mitten as well as across the country.


The primary purpose of the blog is to introduce financial planning concepts and questions I receive from clients that I believe are important. I want to start discussions that will educate, benefit, and improve your financial life, ultimately, to help you focus on your telos!