Growing up I was “forced” to do a lot of things I hated. They sounded a lot like this:
Parent: “Set the table.”
Parent: “Make your bed.”
Me: “Why? I am just going to get back in it.”
Parent: “No wearing sweatpants to school. This is your job- you wouldn’t wear sweats to work.”
Me: “I’m a lifeguard.”
Parent: “Write a thank-you note for the gift you were given.”
Me: “That’s a waste of paper.” (I have always been a staunch environmentalist and I am old enough to remember a world sans email so that was not an option.)
I could bribe a sibling to set the table, shut my door so no one could see my bed, or stuff sweats in the bottom of my backpack to get around these. Clever, I know. But the last one was never a debate and there was no way of getting around it. My folks would make sure I handed the thank you note for them to proofread. There was no screwing around with thank-you notes.
While I could not see the importance of these things then (and, I’ll be honest, my bed doesn’t get made every day even now) the habit and act of saying “thank you” and even going so far as to hand write, stick a stamp, and snail mail a note is something I take pretty seriously.
As a company we recently created a list of five things we want to do everyday. Number five? “Say thank you/show gratitude to each other, a client, a potential client, family member, etc. every day”
While this act should always come from the heart it’s also something that’s incredibly easy to forget. A deadline shifts, a client has an urgent need, we need to “run out” because the phone rang.
At Proof, we set the intention to make sure the people around us who give us advice, support, and love on regular basis know that we’re grateful and we would not be where we are or who we are without them.
Who can you show gratitude to today? tomorrow? The return on your time investment, I promise you, will pay dividends.