How many people will you say, “Thank you” to, today?
Your doorman. The cab driver. The guy at the coffee shop. The person who holds the door open for you. Or asks you to have a seat in the lobby. When you think about it, you probably say “Thank you” more times than you realize everyday.
The question is, how many times do you really mean it?
We learn to say the words early on. Even 2-year olds know to thank you when you give them treats. Sure, the words sound sweet and it seems like they’re the right thing to say. But, when you give it some thought, you’ll probably see that most of the time, they’re empty.
We say thanks when someone wishes us a nice day, and yet, do we really spend a moment to appreciate the beautiful day outside? We say, “Thank you” to the person who hands out our order at the drive in. And yet, do we really feel the gratitude deep in our hearts, for the food we are so blessed to have everyday? “Thanks.” “Thank you.” “Appreciate it” are words we use over and over, without giving as much as a thought to what they really stand for.
Gratitude – is it just a seasonal, marketing tool?
It’s one of those over-stressed, yet under-valued concepts that has spotlight shined on it every once in a while. Like around Thanksgiving, for example. The entire month of November, you’ll probably see articles and blog posts everywhere you look about being thankful. Come December, and the focus will turn to the best holiday deals and New Year’s parties. Why is it that something that ought to be an intrinsic part of our lives and our vocabularies acquires importance only during certain times and fades away into oblivion for the rest of the year? How did we end up reducing gratitude to something like a seasonal allergy that we talk about only when everybody else is talking about it?
How do we go back to being grateful for and appreciative of the gifts in our lives, not just around Thanksgiving, but all through the year, year after year?
- Before you say “Thank you”, stop. The next time you’re about to say the magic words, catch yourself. Think about what you’re going to say. Whether you’re about to thank the cashier at a store or the teller at the bank, remind yourself what you’re grateful for, before you utter the words. They will sound far more sincere, leaving you (and the other person) in a better, more appreciative frame of mind.
- When you say it, mean it. Or don’t say it. When you say “Thank you”, make sure you’re expressing your feelings, not just exercising your lips.
- Be thankful, even if you don’t say it out loud. There are countless gifts we’re blessed with – small and big, for which we can’t be thankful enough. Be it our family, friends, our health, our jobs, our lifestyles, the opportunities we’re given, the talents we have or just the fact that we’re alive. Regardless of your religious beliefs and faith, appreciate all that you have at least once everyday. You don’t have to be expressive – just spend 30 seconds thinking about and being thankful for the wonderful gifts in your life.
- Thank the people closest to you. They’re the people who care the most for us and who love us unconditionally. They’re also the people we appreciate the least. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, children, husband/wife…we can never thank the people we love enough simply for being a part of our lives. Just thinking about what life would have been like without even one of them…makes me shudder. But, sadly, they’re the people, I’ve probably said the least “Thank you”s to! If you’re like me, today’s the day to change that and become more appreciative of all their loving gestures. If you’re not too good with words, or don’t live close to them, our Thank you Ecards are a great place to start. Of course, adding your personal note or even better, making your own Printable Thank You Cards would be great.
What are you really thankful for today? And how will you say it?