In looking at 2020’s setbacks and tragedies, it can be difficult to fend off negativity. But expressing gratitude, even in a tough year, is possible — if not necessary. Here are a few things agents can be thankful for.

If you would’ve told me a year ago this time all the things that 2020 had in store, it simply would have been too much to take in. We started off with the loss of one of the greatest basketball players of all time, his beautiful daughter and the other precious souls. 

Then, we witnessed a global pandemic that felt like something out of a horror movie, followed by an economic shutdown that could have collapsed many industries, a reckoning with our country’s history and the uneven playing field it holds for many. 

The year also included a political election that has tested every American’s moral compass, loss of loved ones in the aftermath of the virus that continues to play out, and so much more that was never given a voice. But yes, in the midst of it all, there are so many things to be grateful for. Here are four of them.

1. Seeing another day

It’s so easy to take the basic things we expect every day for granted — food, shelter, clothing and transportation, to name a few. Even something as simple as the act of breathing. I don’t believe it’s an intentional choice we make. We give these everyday actions little thought and just do them because we know no different. 

As the saying goes, “we’re only human.” With so many things going on in the world and our professional and personal lives, we can quickly get caught up in the noise. Take the time to slow down and truly appreciate all that you’ve experienced and have the ability to do. Take the time to enjoy seeing another beautiful day.

2. Our family and friends

We know — as well as anyone else in the industry — that relationships are everything. It’s in our nature as human beings to connect with people and build something together. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always play out as we plan, and in some cases, those damaged connections never recover. 

2020 was a polarizing year, which is why it’s more important now than ever that we nurture our relationships with people we know and care about, and those who trust us. Our family and friends have been with us through thick and thin this year — not to judge or accuse us, but to love, celebrate and lift us up. So, in return, let’s continue to do the same for them. In the end, that’s what truly matters.

3. Powering through adversity

I think it’s safe to say that when the lockdowns began, we were all a bit nervous. We were worried about its impact on housing, the economy, the world, and most certainly, our lives.

Many markets were scorching hot to start the year, and all of a sudden, it was as if the world started crumbling around us. Instead of shying away, as an industry, we powered through adversity. Our colleagues from across the nation rallied together in support of one another, understanding the pain and uncertainty felt worldwide. We realized that what we were facing was much bigger than us. 

We converted to virtual showings, provided ample personal protective equipment (PPE), revised our health and safety policies and how we interact with clients and customers overall. We stepped in and helped our coworkers who may have been at high risk of complications from COVID-19. 

In other words, we took the cards we were dealt and made the most of them. It has been a wild journey of a year, but our clients have stuck with us through it all — and we are so thankful for them. With so many small businesses shuttering during the ongoing pandemic, you should be grateful and proud to be still standing.

4. The road ahead

There is a light at the end of this tunnel. I truly believe we are never given more than we can handle, and that we are only dealt at certain times in our lives what we are strong enough to take.

If someone would have told you what was in store of 2020, what would you have done? What would you have said? This year has made you stronger, wiser and more aware. 

Hopefully, it has given you a chance to look in the mirror and truly decide who you want to be and the impact you want to have on this world. At this point in your life and moment in time, you are at a humbling crossroads — one that’s character-defining and legacy-building. Be grateful for the road ahead and where it will take you. 

If someone were to ask you to sum up 2020, what would you say? With so much to be appreciative of — and even better things to come — there’s truly a lot to be grateful for. 

Anthony West is a real estate agent, the founder of The Luxury Life KC at Moffitt Realty, and an entrepreneur in Kansas City.

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