Perhaps it’s my age speaking here, but I always keep stacks of blank thank you cards in my desk drawer at home.
From a young age, my mother taught me the importance of thank you notes. If I was given a gift and did not have a chance to verbally thank the person, I was to send a thank you note. Here’s the catch: it had to be an honest, thoughtful thank you note. Even if I didn’t love the gift itself, this forced me to find something to be thankful for.
They say it’s the thought that counts. I find this to be particularly true to everyday life. The little things that people do for one another speak volumes of that person’s character.
Did that stranger have to open the door for you? Did your coworker have to bring you coffee? Did your friend have to text you this morning to say hello? Absolutely not. All of these little things that happen on a daily basis show that we care for one another.
Giving Thanks. This idea of gratitude is particularly popular around Thanksgiving. Perhaps it’s because the word “thanks” begins the word “Thanksgiving”. It’s easy to be thankful as the holiday draws nearer, but what does that say about our gratitude on a daily basis? Start looking for something to be thankful for.
P’s & Q’s. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed a steep decline in the amount of people that actually say “please” and “thank you” on a daily basis. This bothers me to the core, as I know my mother would say I was “raised better than that”. With this decline, it’s brought an increased awareness for me when people actually use those words of gratitude. I’ve even started thanking people for saying “please” and “thank you” in hopes of positively reinforcing a great habit.
Duly noted. My boss is particularly great at expressing her gratitude on a regular basis. (This is one of the reasons why I enjoy working with her so much). She notices the little efforts that myself and my coworkers make on a daily basis that make work much easier for the entire team. I cannot even begin to count how many times she has called me into her office to express her gratitude or placed little thank you notes on my desk. This practice of hers has also reminded me to express my gratitude to others on a daily basis (even if it’s for something small).
Building a habit. This is where I should thank my mom for making me struggle through all of those thank you notes as a child (Thanks mom!). Although I try to use my “P’s and Q’s” to express my thanks in small ways, thank you notes have become something of a habit for me. I find that when I sit down to write out a note on a thank you card, it has more meaning. We live in a highly digital world, but there’s still something to be said for the handwritten note. Handwritten notes are personal.
Take the time to notice. Lately I’ve found myself stopping in the middle of what I’m doing to let people know that I’ve noticed their effort. While this might not always be the most productive thing, it seems to have a positive impact on my surrounding environment. We all need to feel important, even if it’s just for a moment each day. We’re all busy people. Take the time to look around you and notice the little things. Stop and write a note or tell someone thank you. I promise it will make their day.
Gratitude us more than a laundry list of things you’re thankful for. Take the time to show someone that you appreciate them.
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