Armanino Blog

Therapeutic Accounting®: Trying

by Harvey Bookstein

When making a New Year’s resolution, most people will make it by looking into the future to see what changes they need or want to make for themselves, for things or for people that they care about.

I also look into the future, but I find myself first looking significantly into the past year or years. I find the New Year is a time of reflection for me as much as it is for looking into what may be.

For the past several years, I have looked back to see who I may have wronged. This is true whether it was accidental or deliberate. I try to find a person who I may have wronged in order to apologize to them if I have hurt them in any way. In most cases, it has been accepted. In one case, it allowed one of my old relationships to start fresh again. And in another particular case, when I called, I was hung up on and have never heard from that person again. At least I tried.

I also find the New Year is a great time to figure out what I need to address with my family. As one of my daughters (Roni) has said on many occasions, I am the most frustrating generous person that she has ever known. This time of year gives me the opportunity to look back and see how I might be a little less frustrating in the coming year. I cannot change in a way that would make me acceptable to all, nor do I necessarily want to, but I do try to figure out how not to hurt those whom I care for and love. At least I will try.

As I have gotten older (and maybe wiser), I find that the New Year’s resolution that I make is done internally and is much more about those around me, rather than for me personally. At one point in time, it was about what I wanted for myself. Now it is generally only for things for those around me. I find I mostly think about my family members and wish for each and every one of them something that I believe would make their lives better. I try to figure out how I might help them.

This is not their thoughts but it is what I see that may allow me to help them. I usually do not discuss it with them as I am not looking to control their lives in any significant way. Once I have gone mentally through the list of all my family, I find myself thinking about my friends, partners and those with whom I work. I even find that my mind wanders to thinking about the charitable organization that I am involved with.

I know I cannot single handedly solve my perception of what others need, but at least I try to think about it and, if the opportunity presents itself, I can then address it with the person about whom I was thinking. At least I will try.

Therapeutic Accounting®
Harvey Bookstein has more than 40 years of public accounting experience, and he specializes in estate planning, charitable giving, and dealing with financial issues relating to children, divorce and successions planning for businesses/wealth from one generation to the next. When dealing with these issues, Harvey developed a method he has registered as Therapeutic Accounting®. Harvey’s approach is to not only look at a particular business, financial or personal issue—but to look at the specific issue as part of the “big picture.”

October 25, 2014

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