Thankfulness is not a state of being. It’s not something you are born into or discover. It’s not something that comes naturally or that you accidentally wake up feeling. Thankfulness is something you practice, that you develop intentionally.
In the United States, this is the week that we all are mindful of thankfulness. Perhaps we even share some things for which we are thankful around the table on Thursday, and resolve to be more thankful next year.
And then Friday comes. That thankful feeling is replaced by the same mundane feelings of every other day.
Thankfulness should be an everyday practice. Thankfulness is directly tied to your levels of productivity and performance, and therefore your success at work, your income, and the stability of your relationships.
In short, thankfulness is one of the lynchpins in determining your ability to live out your calling, achieve your dreams, and change the world.
So, how can you be more thankful throughout the year? Here are 9 ways.
Why do members of the Thank You Revolution stand out so much?
This sums it up as well as anything I could write or say:
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Seriously, you know the old saying, “a cartoon is worth a thousand words.” (that is the old saying, isn’t it?) In this case, it’s absolutely true.
Stand out. Amaze someone. Make a difference in someone’s life. Join the Revolution.
Success in life is the sum of a lot of small things.
I’ve discovered that only recently. I always thought that success required big thoughts and big actions. I let the little things go by the wayside.
Success in life is the sum of a lot of small things. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Don’t get me wrong…big things matter and little things rarely change the world. But I’ve found 16 things I can do almost every day that make a big difference in the end. And they all take less than 5 minutes each.
No, you probably can’t add all 16 of these tomorrow. That would be unrealistic. Combined they take less than one hour to do, but I know that finding an extra hour per day can be hard at first, so pay attention to the action item below and start them one at a time.
One of the most common excuses I hear for not writing thank you notes is:
“I don’t have time.”
Actually, you don’t have time not to write them. Let me explain…
Writing thank you notes can make you 31% more productive. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Now before I tell you why that is a lame excuse and tell you why you have to write them, I need to admit something.
The number one excuse I use is that “I don’t have time.”
Thursday rolls around and the calendar says “Write thank you notes,” just like it does every Thursday. Thursday, for me, is like Christmas for some, I know it’s coming. I know what it means, but I always act surprised when it comes around and I never budget the time to write notes.
Meetings at 10:00 and 2:00, interview at 3:00, phone calls to return, blog posts to finish, and lunch…I’d like to eat. And I have a mound of email. But no time for thank you notes.
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“English is not my first language,” Pat wrote. “And in India we are not taught to express our feelings in business as much as in the United States.”
So Pat (Short for Parthapratim) never thought he could write thank you notes.
“I read your post about thank you notes,” he began. “And I thought it was a good idea but not for me.”
“I run an IT department of mostly younger people. We rarely use actual paper.”
Pat runs a department of twenty-four people for a multi-national company. The culture, as he describes it, is very “professional.”
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Do you want to truly impress someone?
Perhaps someone who has sold more than a million books and has spoken in front of tens of thousands of people. Someone that you consider “famous.”
Mark Sieverkropp didn’t set out to do that…but he did. And he shared his story with me recently. It’s a story of how the Thank You Revolution helped Mark connect on a deeper level with John Miller, the author of QBQ.
Here’s Mark’s story.
Last time I guest posted for Matt, I talked about some hard advice I received from John G. Miller.
In that post, I talked about how it was a bit embarrassing and I felt like I was a complete idiot for the things I had screwed up. But John was very gracious with his help, and as I mentioned in the other post, I was grateful that John was the type of man that would take the time to figuratively put his arm around me and give some advice.
Well, now let me share with you what legendary radio commentator, Paul Harvey, would’ve called “The Rest of the Story”…
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Do you know what really happens inside of you when you write a thank you note?
What if I told you that thousands of years of scientific research showed me that one note, once a week can change who you are? Would you join the Thank You Revolution then?
When you force yourself once a week to write a thank you note, here’s what happens:
You recall the event and person for which you are thankful.
When you sit down to write that note and require yourself to think of something from the previous week for which you are thankful, you will recall certain events. Think of them and then allow yourself to progress to step two.
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Are you a part of the Thank You Revolution yet?
If so, you are part of a dying breed. And also a very noticeable and profitable breed. You stand out…big time.
One of my readers, Jana Botkin, recently sent me an article from CBS Local News in Minneapolis entitled, Are Hand-Written Thank You Notes Extinct?
Here is one excerpt that got me really excited:
Temp firm Accountemps did a survey of HR managers and found the most common way they get a thanks for a job interview is email — 62 percent.
Another 23 percent said thank you over the phone. As for a hand-written note, it was 13 percent.
When those same people were asked what is the appropriate way to say thanks, 87 percent said email, 81 percent said phone, 38 percent said hand-written note, 27 percent said social media and 10 percent said text.
I keep hearing the coolest stories from the Thank You Revolution.
Unfortunately, I can’t share all of them here (That’s why I created the Revolution email list…you should sign-up). But I did recently get a great story from Kirbie Earley that I wanted to share with you. Kirbie is an innovation coach in central Ohio. She focuses on leadership and team building within innovation. You should definitely check out her blog and follow her on Twitter @inov8coach.
Take it away Kirbie…
Like many, I was taught to write thank you notes. As a child, this was more of a chore than a joyful endeavor, and as kids we certainly don’t see the importance of it. Over time, I got away from it, but it always nagged at me. I did write them occasionally, but I let busy life get in the way of doing what was the right thing.
Recently, I was asked to present an Innovation Workshop at a University about 3 hours away. I had about 11 or 12 people in attendance – a typical group for this type of event. Since it is hands-on, I cap it at 20 or so in order to be able to give personal guidance where needed. I get to know a few of the participants pretty well.
It’s time I came clean.
I’ve been keeping a secret from Jon Stolpe for way too long.
He is the reason I started a movement. He is the reason I started the Thank You Revolution.
Not the hundreds of thank you notes I’ve written over the years. Not the hundreds of responses I got. Not the even the prospect of turning it into a money-making venture.
None of those led me to start a movement.
But Jon did.
That’s how I start a post today over on Jon’s blog.