Life Lessons: Why saying thank you is the best thing you can offer

Life Lessons: Why saying thank you is the best thing you can offer

Valentine’s day is upcoming. Probably you’ve already got a gift for your loved one or if not, it’s on your checklist. Flowers, a box of chocolates, candles, romantic dinner. Certainly, you’ll put on pleasant experiences. Is the gratitude on your list?

As the new year goes by, I offered myself a new calendar book. This time I chose the one with the coaching main theme. Yesterday, I opened a new page. Gratitude. I flinched.

– Again… – I thought – The same topic over and over. How many times can you thank someone? It’s like saying “I love you” every day. After a month it loses its charm.

As always I gave it a longer thought. Maybe, after all, I don’t say it so often. Other people don’t say it either. We quickly get used to someone’s goodwill and take it for granted. We quickly get used to someone’s presence and take it for granted. All we get becomes normal after a while. At first, we don’t thank as we’re surprised. Then, we don’t thank as it already feels usual. Eventually, saying thank you seems lofty and exaggerated.

I was used to thanking people for many things. I stopped doing it when I realized it didn’t make any difference to them. Today, I know it makes a difference to me. Being able to recognize people who accompany me every day. Being able to recognize wonderful things which happen on my way. Being able to recognize God’s blessings I’m given. Gratitude strengthens my ability to see that nit everything in my life goes wrong. There are plenty of beautiful things, moments and acts of kindness which pass unnoticed.

Another day, I heard that the best background for every relationship is to implement three simple words to your dictionary:

  • Please
  • I’m sorry
  • Thank you

It opened my eyes. I understood that a successful and happy relationship isn’t about the occasional passionate expression of feelings. It’s about integrating those three expressions into the daily language we use to communicate with others. Especially, the last one is the most powerful in my eyes.

  • Thank you for…
  • Thank you that…
  • Thank you because…

I tried it out. The results exceeded my expectations. Thanking turned out to be one of the most effective ways to plant a seed of positivity and tenderness in my life and people who were involved in the gratitude process. Gratitude is an underestimated source of happiness. That’s why let’s see how you can share it in a variety of ways.

1. Face to Face

There’s a massive emotional charge when you voice your gratitude aloud. This is not something which comes easily, but the more you practice it, the more energized you get about the idea of doing it again. Seeing the face or the faces of people whom you thank is priceless. Only then you realize how little they need to feel valued. A good word, praise, recognition, acknowledgment change a lot in other people’s attitude.

We’re used to believing that we may change people when pointing out their weaknesses and criticizing their deeds. I’ve experienced the opposite. Despite you’re tempted to focus on negatives, make an attempt to remark a positive. Thank someone in your midst for anything you consider valuable. I know it might be difficult at the beginning. Often times, I struggle enormously to find positive traits in some people. Not because they don’t have any. It’s because I don’t want to see it. Because I’m biased. Because acknowledging them would require to change my approach.

Regardless of how hard it might seem to you, offer the best gift you can share. Offer your gratitude. Serve it face to face. Observe people’s faces. Spot their smile. A twinkle in their eyes. A tear on their cheek. You’ll see the miracles happen. If you don’t believe people need it, read this post.

2. Gratitude Jar

Source: Melbourne Legacy

I love this idea which is so simple and so powerful at the same time! The best thing is that you can keep the jar either for yourself in order to cultivate your personal gratitude or you can offer it to someone you’re particularly grateful to. How to use it? Every day write down 1-2 things you’re are grateful for. It can be something really basic. Someone smiled to you, someone gave you a compliment, you spend a nice evening watching your favorite series, you’ve got an inspirational chat with your friend, you learned something new or you’ve got a tasty coffee.

Put your gratitude jar on a shelf in a visible place and see how it gets filled in. It brings incredible results. As you pay attention to what positive events occur in your life, you start to notice more and more. Your sight and perception sharpen. As long as the jar gets full of little papers with all the positive things you’ve experienced, you realize how blessed you are and how rich your life is.

3. Gratitude Diary

It’s not easy to spot little bliss on a daily basis. We tend to stay trapped in a circle of destructive thoughts believing that life forgot about us. Do you appreciate that you’re given one more day to live? Do you enjoy “small” things which happen to be part of your life? Have you eaten today something delicious? Have you been taking a walk during beautiful weather? Have you seen a magnificent sunrise or sunset? Have you listened to your favorite song in the radio? Have you waken up today next to the person you love?

Those are extremely important things whose value we become aware of only after we miss them. When we’re on diet, we’re overworked, it’s raining several days in a row, the radio got broken or our partner went on a business trip. Or in the worst scenario when we get ill.

Don’t let these moments to be fleeting. Write them down in your diary, notebook, sticky notes, text notes on your smartphone or anywhere you please. Anywhere you can quickly come back to. Read them once a week. Keep them close to your bed or working desk. Remind yourself about them when you undergo a challenging time. They will reinforce your capability of overcoming any adversity with a heart lifted up.

4. No Words

Gratitude is not necessarily to be expressed verbally or in written. You can express it in deeds. Do an act of service every day. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything demanding or complicated. Smile, hold the door, invite for a lunch, help to achieve a goal, volunteer, donate, buy someone a book, bake a cake for someone, listen actively, DIY.

There are countless things you can come up with in order to thank someone. The best ones are those which are not expected. The more unconditional they are, the more priceless they become. Invest in them. Share them with anyone you meet on your way. We all need them.

Thank you for reading this post! If you feel like it may help someone, please share it. I will be very happy to have your feedback!



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4 thoughts on “Life Lessons: Why saying thank you is the best thing you can offer”

  • You hit the nail on the head with your examples. Simply saying “Thank you” might seem like nothing. However, saying “Thank you for…” elevates it to new heights.

    I think it’s the same with “I love you.” It can definitely become a “throw-away” phrase. But if you say it after your loved one does something you like, it brings on a whole new meaning. It’s not that you only love them in the good moments, but it reminds you of the good things in them and it shows them that their actions matter to you.

    • It seems so simple to say “Thank you” or “Thank you for…”, though it comes quite heavily to a majority of people. Unless it’s a part of the required business code, thanking for small things is still perceived as kind of an embarrassing thing to do. I’m trying to figure out why.

      Thinking about my own experience, I’m used to thanking my parents for everything when we say goodbye, but hardly ever I express my gratitude to them when we’re together. It sounds rather like a courtesy. At the same time, I don’t spare appreciation to the people I work with in order to motivate them and make them feel their work is valued. Is it the matter of the position we take in social interactions? Why do I want to make my co-workers feel good, but I get blocked to make my parents feel this way?

      How about you? Is thanking a part of your daily routine?

      • Interesting disparity.

        At work, dealing with all sorts of clients, you are expected to be courteous. It got to a point where I thank them for nothing. That’s just how you’re supposed to end an email, a call, a conversation. It’s starting to sting when I say it without really meaning it. It makes me feel like I’m cheapening the phrase while leading people to believe that they’ve helped me when it was really me who helped them. It’s weird and I’m observing all of that to see if something should change.

        As for other instances – I think I’m pretty fair in expressing gratitude. To co-workers and family alike. The problem you are describing is not an unusual one. We take family (and close ones) for granted. It’s like we expect them to cater to us. We’re their family, after all. I’m not sure if that pertains to me, but I was raised and surrounded by people who would always say: “No biggie. No need to thank me. We’re family and family takes care of one another.” Or something along those lines. So they wire our brains in a way, too.

      • Indeed, at work, we’re somewhat obliged to thank our clients for everything and for nothing. The purpose is totally different than in case of private relationships where feelings and emotions come into play. And obviously a sort of pride especially if those relationships are tough.

        Sometimes I believe that gratitude comes so naturally for me when dealing with strangers or people with whom the proximity is not on an advanced level. For the time being “Please” works the best with my loved ones, but I’ll keep working on “Thank you” 😉

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