I find myself thinking about how easy it is to say “Thank you” since hearing Marcia Reece, author of The Marriage Mouse and owner of Impact, her marketing company for small to midsize companies and entrepreneurs. The other day at a workshop she gave at People House in Denver, she told her story of how Sam Walton of WalMart telephoned her to meet the (then) only business owner who’d ever personally thanked him for his business. At that time, Marcia was a young mom who had invented…(drumroll please!) Sidewalk Chalk, her famous product. That phone call taught Marcia the power of gratitude to forge a bond, boost morale, and motivate our best efforts.
Another participant in the workshop, Barb Warner, author of Keep Your Fork: Dessert is on the Way: Savoring the Second Half of Life, added that cultivating and expressing gratitude is the key trait separating thriving seniors from unhappy ones.
Today a client said he felt dumb telling his doctor how much he appreciates how his doctor has cared for him throughout some really tough illnesses. “I feel I shouldn’t bother her,” he said. Hearing himself say it out loud stopped us both right there, to notice the negative self-evaluation in his thinking. Didn’t his appreciation matter?
How many of us fail to thank someone who has changed our life or made our day easier? Some of us fear “bothering” people who we think are too important. Too important to like being appreciated? That’s indicative of a self-esteem problem that we can work on. How? By remembering that if a mom making chalk in her garage affected Sam Walton with her note of thanks, then even you and I have a big impact when we thank someone. You never know who needed it at that moment, VIP or total stranger. We make a difference! We matter.
Below: Our cab driver, after we thanked him (and tipped well too) for hauling our heavy bags out the door of our vacation rental in Istanbul last October. He gave us a great tour of our neighborhood while proudly practicing his English, which was SOOO much better than my Turkish! I felt…grateful!