By Michele Howe.
I was telling a good friend how much I had been appreciating reading two books on gratitude – the kind of gratitude that is not dependent upon having good things happen or experiencing favorable circumstances.
In other words, developing an attitude of gratitude that “sticks” no matter what.
This friend (whom I am always so grateful for…) recommended another book on the same theme called 365 Thank Yous by John Kralik.
The timing of this book was perfect because this author, a lawyer, discusses his 15 months of sending out 365 thank-yous to different people who touched his life and how it changed him forever.
Recognizing that time was slipping away from me and soon I’d be in recovery mode for a while (and unable to write with my left hand), I decided the month of August would be my month to send thank-yous.
Reading about Kralik’s inner transformation as he began (very uncomfortably at first) to come up with people/things/events for which to give thanks…sparked in me some forgotten (people/things/events) for which I was grateful but had forgotten to say, “Thank you,” to the people responsible for bringing good into my life.
As Kralik writes, “I did not view writing thank-you notes as a self-help system, nor did I view it as a new, positive psychological method to delude myself into believing that my life is better than it really is or to cultivate an artificial state of well-being. This is just an exercise in average good manners. At the risk of making an unscientific and directly moral statement, I will say writing thank-you notes is a good thing to do and makes the world a better place. It also made me a better man. More than success or material achievement, this is what I sought.”
Throughout this book, Kralik is continually amazed at the power of a simple written, “thank-you,” and how it totally changed him (on the inside) and his relationship with the recipients of his expressions of thanks. Whenever he wrote and shared his “thanks” it “stuck” and everyone was the better for it.
Kralik has pretty much mastered the art of writing a thank you note…but he gives one primary suggestion for everyone to follow.
“The one sure piece of advice I have on how to write thank-yous is this: write a lot of them.”