Sadly, I do not have any book stores within 30 minutes of my home, so I purchase almost all of my books online. So it was a treat to visit a local Long Island bookstore a few weeks ago. Despite promising myself I wouldn’t buy anything, I emerged with two large bags of books.
The books included a used copy of 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life. It took me a couple of weeks to read, because it was one of those books that you want to savor. Even though I often only read a few paragraphs, sometimes I’d get a surge of energy from the loveliness of the thank you notes and the transformation of the author.
The book begins on December 22, 2007. The author is a lawyer. His business of seven years is about to go under due to a lawsuit against them and non-payment of bills. His marriage has broken up. He’s maintaining two households and cannot afford even one home. And he’s living in a crappy, cheap apartment. He admits feeling like a loser on many levels.
Then he came up with an idea, which was inspired by his grandfather. He was going to find one person to write one thank you note each day for the next year. (It ultimately took him 15 months to reach this goal.)
He keeps track of the notes on a spreadsheet and shares many of the notes in the book. They are simple, short and direct, which is the perfect way to write a thank you note. Sometimes he has to stretch to find someone to thank (such as the barista at Starbucks), and sometimes he uses the notes to connect with old friends.
Here’s the note to his daughter’s teacher: “Thank you for taking time out of your schedule, over and above the usual, to spend time with us discussing our daughter. You went into such depth and detail that it was evident how much care you have devoted not just to her intellectual progress, but to her emotional development as well.” (page 130)
Over the course of the year, his life transforms. The book is a great read and an example of how small acts of gratitude can change many lives.
(My only criticism of the book is the title. It should say “Thank You’s” and the missing apostrophe bothers me.)
Today, blog about something you’re grateful for.