Upping Your Gratitude
I was reading an article in the Parade magazine, called, Up Your Gratitude, that came in my Sunday newspaper on New Year’s Day. It was written by John Kralik, a Superior Court judge, who wrote the book, A Simple Act of Gratitude. On New Year’s Day 2008, he was at a low point in his life – being overweight, losing money on his law practice, in the middle of a bad divorce, etc. The idea of a year full of thank you’s popped into his head, and his life was forever transformed. It was a great article, but what was even more interesting and more relevant (to us), that I had to share here, is HIS list of four simple steps to writing your own thank you notes. So, thank you, Judge Kralik!
1. Grab a pen and paper.
Refrain from sending an e-mail. Hand written notes feel special, almost like the person is there with you. I use plain off-white cards that have my name printed on the front and my name and address on the envelope.
2. Be specific.
Perhaps starting by thinking the people who just gave you holiday presents. Open with “Dear So-and-So,” identify the gift (“the red and white tie”), and say one sincere thing about why you like it (“it’s a perfect match for my blue suit”).
3. Dig into the past.
After thanking your close friends and family, write people who helped you at critical moments. I reached out to the doctor whose operation cured my pain, and to another doctor who told me I needed to stop drinking.
4. Keep it short.
Your message doesn’t need to be long and eloquent – my cards are small, with room for only three or four sentences. By sticking to a few lines, you keep the focus on your thank you and on the other person’s kindness.
Erica here again… My challenge for you (and I am tackling this as well) is to get into the habit of writing at least one thank you card a week. I know, stamps are going up in price in the middle of this month (45 cents on 1/22, I think), but mailing a card is just something so personal it doesn’t happen as often as it should. I’ve already mailed out three last week and one this week, so I feel like I am ahead of the game. But what is even more beautiful and important than playing the game is how I feel – being in a state of gratitude. Being in that grateful environment can bring huge positive shifts in your health. And if I have your mailing address, be on the lookout for a thank you card!
What do you do to up your gratitude? If you aren’t doing something already, what would you add to bring some thanksgiving or gratitude to your life?
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