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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

How can we fill this Thanksgiving with positive emotion? If there was ever a holiday to chase positivity, this is it. How can we support our family, friends and clients through an abnormal holiday ahead? Perhaps we start by thinking about expectations.

Full disclosure, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. As such, my enthusiastic anticipation always sets an extremely high bar of expectations. "Expectation is the root of all heartache." Perhaps you are familiar with Shakespeare's quote? No matter how great the holiday experience ... well, you get it. Turkey was a bit dry, too many dishes to do or maybe the kids are bickering?

Let's flip this thought around as we consider the upcoming holiday. For so many of us, this Thanksgiving will be like none other we have or, hopefully, will ever have to experience again. Have you ever had lower expectations? Is that an opportunity?

In the days ahead, consider what success can look like this Thanksgiving. Call your family, friends and clients and talk it through. Help them envision an alternative set of expectations by avoiding anchoring to warm memories of yesterday and, instead, envisioning some positive memories to create on this holiday season.

Perhaps you have shared one of my great heartaches throughout the pandemic; a sense that it is robbing us of tomorrow's memories. Recently, an alternative thought became an inspiration: As long as you and your loved ones are healthy and safe, you have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Start there.

Bottom line: Keep high expectations from robbing you, your inner circle and your clients of the new memories you can create this holiday season by chasing positivity.