I recently saw a fried making her young daughter write out thank you notes for her birthday. She was less than thrilled. I thought that was great. (the look on her daughters face as well as the fact that she was writing thank you notes) The tradition of writing thank you notes may be disappearing but what it stands for needs to come back with force.
We’re all busy these days. And lets face it, we’re in a digital age where it’s almost odd to see something on physical paper. I’m totally that person who still has a physical planner, a journal and my to-do lists are on a piece of paper. I’ve also had a box of thank you notes sitting in a file cabinet for years. In a general sense we don’t really express gratitude the way we should. We all have our heads in our technology too much that we can’t even look up to tell someone “thank you” for holding a door open for us. I mean look them in the eye and try to smile at them while being genuine.
I can’t tell you how many people have help the door open while I shuffle two small kids out the door. I absolutley tell them thank you because just holding the door open really does make my life easier. Most of those people have said “you’re welcome, and thank you for saying thank you.” After so many of these, it’s made me think twice. It seems we’ve lost the art of being grateful.
I believe its still common practice to send a thank you note after an interview. Even that seems to be more of just, how it works, than anyone being generally grateful for the opportunity to get the interview. Some more experience , and a chance to get a new position.
I would ask, how often do you thank someone for their time? No matter family, friend, peer, colleague, boss, mentor, whoever the person may be. Fact is, people always have things they could be doing, but they chose to give it to you. Even if you asked, they could have said no. Do you send a simple email or text to someone just to thank them for their support? I hope so, it only takes about two minutes. You’d be shocked at how far a simple “thank you” goes.
The last point I would mention is that if you are having a rough morning, day, whatever the case. Find some things in your life to be grateful for. Whether its a good day, a meeting went well, you got a new opportunity, you and/or your family is healthy, you got some good news. You get my point. Being mad or upset about something becomes much harder when we take a few minutes and think about the small things in our lives we are grateful for.
I would challenge you to find something on a daily basis to be grateful for. The next time someone gives you their time in some way or does something for you they didn’t have to, express some genuine gratitude. You never know what opportunity will come your way or who you’ll influence to share that same mindset and attitude if you make a point to be grateful.