Saying Thank You

Let’s talk about a very small, yet very big, thing any of us can do—right now, today, tonight, tomorrow, multiple times this week—easily, again and again and again.

Express thankfulness.

First, the easiest, expressing thankfulness to others. Has anyone done anything nice or helpful for you this year? This month? This week? Today? Did you thank them? Did you let them know that what they did mattered?

And, not the drive-by thank you—a courtesy quickly tossed out—but the meaningful thank you. There are best practices for these things!  Be specific about what you’re thanking them for and why. And, to the extent you can move past the superficial, move beyond it and go deeper.

Second, something that, at least for me, has gotten harder as adulthood has continued and piled up, expressing thankfulness about your own life. No matter what isn’t sorted out, what’s going wrong, or what day-to-day to dos are occupying real estate in your mind and heart, there are things you have figured out, there are things going right, there are treasures you’re lucky to have, and there are things in your life that you have accomplished. It is time to step back and marvel a bit at the goodness that is there. We spend enough time, too much time, focusing on the things that are not.

Finally, but certainly not least, and very easily overlooked, expressing thankfulness about yourself. You are (probably) pretty rad. There are things that you are good at, people whose lives you brighten, skills you’ve developed or are developing, ways you’ve helped others, kindnesses doled out, contributions you make, strengths you have… how often have you spent time expressing thankfulness for all of your strengths? The little ones, as well as the big?  All of the good and unique things about who you are?

And- here’s the beautiful thing— expressing thankfulness to others will help them express thankfulness about themselves. So, in doing one, you give other people a much-needed nudge. And, in doing any of these, in acknowledging the good, you amplify the good that’s out there—in yourself, others, and the world.