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Dr. Hallowell’s Thanksgiving Message

Each Thanksgiving I compose a note from me to the readers of this newsletter in which I try to highlight one or two reasons I feel thankful, and offer some reason(s) we all might feel thankful.

But why bother?  Well, the fact is that feeling grateful is actually good for you.  Studies have shown that people who take the time regularly to take stock of the positives in their life and make it a daily practice to offer expressions of gratitude not only feel good for having done but enjoy better health and longer lives than people who don’t.

It turns out that being grumpy, bitter, cynical, and pessimistic are bad for you, not to mention the people around you.

But you don’t have to be Polyanna to feel grateful.  You say quite honestly that your life is very hard, and yet you are grateful to able to live it.  You can say quite honestly that you’ve suffered more losses than you care to count, but you are grateful still to be in the game.  You can feel disappointed in humanity in general, but love and feel grateful for the good and generous people you do know.

So what’s one specific reason I feel grateful right now?  What’s something in my life right now I am especially thankful for?

Right off the bat I think of my son, Jack, and the fun we are having developing a business right now. Jack graduated last June from Elon and he got a job working for New York Life.  They put him in their Boston office, which is actually in Waltham, near where we live, so Jack is living at home.

As Jack became excited about his work in the world of numbers and financial planning, I said to him, “Boy, do I wish I ever had your help when I was younger.  I never figured out how to manage money.”

With that remark, our business idea was born.  It turns out MOST people who have ADHD, like me, have a terrible time managing money.  Jack inherited ADHD from me, but he actually is very good with managing money.

Jack proposed that he work up some plans to offer a specialized financial management and planning service aimed at people who have ADHD.  I loved the idea right away because I knew what a great need there was for it.

Once he’d put enough thought and planning into the idea, we told people about it on my podcast (“Distraction” is the name of the podcast) and we received an enthusiastic response.  If you’d like to listen to the actual podcast, just go to this link.

Out of nowhere, a new project was born.  Jack, age 25, and me, about to turn 68, combining our skills and experience to offer a much-needed service to a group of people we understand very well.

I am sure you have some specific project, person, or other blessing for which you feel thankful.  To add another item to my list, I am grateful to all of you and the support you give my work.

This is the best of life: connecting with others in useful, warm, and unexpectedly rewarding ways.

  With all the blessings this season and the expression of gratitude can bestow, I wish you all bounty and good cheer.


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