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The Lost Art of Thanks

Pure, unselfish acts of kindness are rare, but each occasion of graciousness extended toward us is cause for celebration.  Sometimes it’s a lonely walk where we’re going and the farther we climb, the thinner the crowd.  When someone decides to help us in whatever way – small or large – it deserves an immediate and sincere response.

Thankfulness is almost a lost art.

Developing a habit of gratitude is one of the most important habits to build into your life.  Here are four considerations:

1.  Learn to speak in terms of gratitude. Elaborate.  Don’t just throw out a quick “Thanks,” but instead say, “Thanks for the really good job you did.  It made my day so much easier.”   I actually see this in action on Twitter, in the short 140 characters allowed for micro-blogging.  High-class “tweeters” usually thank people for re-tweeting an article or link.  It’s impossible to get too thankful.  Take the extra time – it will add value to the lives of others and will make you a better person as well.

2. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  You might be making minimum wage (I hope it’s much more!) but graciousness is free.  Cards at the Dollar Store are about 50 cents.  With a stamp, that’s less than a dollar.  Even email thanks are better than none at all. Sometimes a phone call will suffice.

3.  Remember EVERYONE wants to feel appreciated. Wealth, fame, power, social status…it doesn’t matter – the desire to be acknowledged and valued is built into the heart of every human.

4.  Your attitude of gratitude will make you stand out in the crowd. You will become unforgettable.  The ability to give appreciation and thanks freely, without a second thought, is characteristic of someone extraordinary and uncommon.   In the Proverbs of King Solomon (one of my favorite men of history), he says, “Don’t withhold doing good to whomever it is due, when it is within your power to do it.”

Start today.  Start with your family.  Think of something right now that you will express gratitude for the next time you see them (spouses, children, etc…)  What about your business associates?  Your boss?  Your friends?  If you have to make a list, do it.

A couple years ago, I found a special way to help me with expressing special thoughts to family, friends, and business contacts.  It’s a company called Send Out Cards.   It allows me to go online, select a card from a catalog of over 10K cards, write a note in my own handwriting (I’ve uploaded samples of my writing which were turned into my personal font), and press the Send button.  Send Out Cards will then print the card, print the envelope, put a real stamp on it and mail it.   I have even uploaded my business logos to use for business purposes.  I keep a small sum of money in my “postage bank” and I absolutely LOVE using this service.   I’ll give you my personal link in case you want to check it out.  My daughter and I set it up together in case she wanted to work it as a business.  Neither of us has pursued it as a source of income, but we both treasure the flexibility and professionalism of the service.

Whatever way you choose…just DO IT!