When I was a youngster, I was always excited for the arrival of my birthday each year. My grandmothers always filled my birthday cards with a single crisp five-dollar bill, which at the time was an awesome amount of money. My mother usually allowed me to spend it on anything I wanted, except there was a catch. I couldn’t spend the money until I had written my thank-you notes. It seemed like it took forever to sit-down with a pen and paper and write those notes. It was a simple task; yet for some reason, it wasn’t easy; at least not for me.
I was inspired several years ago when I read the book by John Kralik, titled: 365 thank-yous. Kralik begins his book with a description of his unsettling life – A painful second divorce, bad relationships with his kids, a failing business and being forty pounds overweight.
Instead of focusing on what was going on bad in his life, he began focusing on being grateful for those things in his life. He set out to begin writing one thank-you note per day, every day. He began writing notes to loved ones, coworkers, past business associates, college friends, doctors, store clerks, handymen, neighbors and actually absolutely anyone that crossed his mind. Sometimes, coming up with a new name wasn’t an easy task.
Thank-you notes have always been an important part of our office philosophy. When we add a new employee, one of the first things they receive on their desk is a stack of notecards and envelopes. A daily requirement is that at least one thank-you note be written to someone, to anyone; it doesn’t even need to be a client. Being thankful breeds gratitude. Gratitude can breed happiness even during difficult times; and this past year has been exceptionally difficult. Who have you said thank you to today or this week? It’s a simple task; but not necessarily an easy task. Don’t leave a voice message or a text. Take a pen to paper and show your thankfulness to someone, today.