“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
– Wayne Dyer

Alright, I don’t really mean that. And it’s not some gimmick to get you to read this blog post.

No, as your family’s Personal Financial Guide, I’ve got some words to say about your peace-of-mind–and what leads to TRUE wealth. THIS week–this happy week–I want to point you higher, and to what keeps regular families rich.

You see, “rich” is a state-of-mind. And many families that YOU might consider very wealthy are (frankly) miserable. I’ve got first-hand testimony to that, as I deal with a wide variety of people on every point of the economic spectrum.

But before I go into all of what I mean, let’s get some pertinent news items for you to munch on, shall we?

So…we’ve got this:
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200911201556dowjonesdjonline000589 (some tax deductions are being extended, it seems). And we’ve got this: http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/11/17-tax-increases.html (tax increases in the Senate Health Care bill).

What’s a regular family to do, to keep their head from swiveling like crazy with all of these competing events? Well, the simple answer, of course, is to walk with a competent guide. As these proposals actually turn into law…we’ll keep you updated.

Next, we’ve had news of hundreds of thousands of college parents inaccurately claiming deductions. They’re in for a nasty surprise, unfortunately.
(http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2009-11-19-college-credit_N.htm )

Again…it quite literally pays to have someone in your corner to manage these items for you. Now is the time to ensure you’re protected during next tax season.

Now, to my Strategy Note for the week…would love your feedback, as I read every email that comes my way!

“Real World” Personal Strategy
Why Thanks-Giving Matters

First, a short history of this week’s holiday…

According to scholars, the first known Thanksgiving took place on September 8, 1565 in Saint Augustine, Florida when Spanish settlers held a Mass of Thanksgiving after arriving safely in the New World. English settlers in the Virginia Colony held a similar day of thanks in 1619. Two years after that, the colonists at Plymouth Plantation celebrated the most famous Thanksgiving, during 1621.

It wasn’t until October 3, 1789, that it actually became a holiday, when then President George Washington proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving…but just for that year. In 1795, Washington again proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, and President John Adams also declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799. After a decade and a half without the celebration taking place at all, President James Madison renewed the tradition in 1814, and even went so far as to declare the holiday twice in 1815! In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln finally proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of Thanksgiving that should take place every year.

Now…President Lincoln struck on something very important. You may have noticed the date–the country was mired in civil war, and the national mood was bleak. But President Lincoln understood that the mindset of a nation (and a family) is to be protected at all costs. Yes, it may have *seemed* a ceremonial gesture, but I can assure you that if a war-torn nation can turn its eyes upward–so can you and your family.

And, herein lies the wealth secret of Thanksgiving: When you walk in gratitude, you never feel poor.

I told you that I’ve worked with families with seven, eight figures in their bottom line…but some of them are flat-out miserable. Why? They’ve forgotten gratitude, and they can never get enough. Yes, they may *seem* wealthy, but they sure ain’t rich.

“Rich” is a state-of-mind–and it’s tied into gratitude. It can affect how you see savings, retirement and investment. And, of course, gratitude is the enemy of fear. It’s like an opposite magnet for it–walk in gratitude, and fear just melts away.

So, here’s my advice for this week: Whatever financial situation you happen to find yourself in, be thankful. There are hidden blessings in any adversity…and hidden fear-traps in any windfall. Find them, savor the blessings…and watch your family thrive.