I’m quick to extol the benefits of expressed gratitude. Not only is it scientifically proven to make us happier, it can be super easy to do—if you get in the habit, that is.
Take thank you letters for example. All you have to do is think of someone who has blessed, supported, buoyed, transformed, changed, or even saved your life. Then visit them, call them, or write them to express your gratitude for helping you. (For more tips, click here)
I like to take this a step further, however. Eventually you might run out of people to thank. What can you do then? Thank them again for their continued support. Then again and again. When that gets awkward, I move to the next best thing.
I regularly thank strangers for little acts of daily kindness or for otherwise brightening my day. For example, just today this gruff-looking country man with an epic white beard went out of his way to hold the door for me while schlepping a return box into the shipping store. Taken aback, I smiled and thanked him. He smiled back. We both felt good.
On top of that, I like to thank fellow writers for publishing really good work that moved me. I do this several times a year after Googling their email. Several years ago, for example, I thanked a woman for a powerful article she wrote. With the subject line, “You’re a good writer,” I quickly thanked her for publishing her report and for all the hard work she obviously put into it.
Months later, I received the following: “Blake—I’ve kept your email at the top of my inbox for the last several months because it brightened my day and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. Thank you so much.”
After reading that, I felt good about myself. But I was also bewildered. “I can’t believe how powerful three short sentences can have on complete strangers,” I thought to myself. All because of a simple thank you, which makes both the giver and receiver feel uplifted.
That’s why “thank yous” are so powerful. They change the world!
On that note, thank you for reading and listening to me. I hope this newsletter has benefitted you in some small way. Happy thanksgiving.