This week, the author invites her readers to play a game she calls The Thank You Game. Cheryl Richardson explains how this was inspired by her father that loved to surprise people with gifts of gratitude. For many people, they only wait for special occasions in which to express their gratitude towards others, usually during the holidays.
Like Cheryl’s father, my dad would do things like this, too. Year round. He was a most generous man and was always thinking of others. Maybe it was because of rough childhood, filled with an impoverished upbringing. Maybe it was just his nature. Whatever the reason, he passed this kind of example along to his kids. Some of us took it to heart. Others never gave it a moment’s notice.
Regardless, I fall into the camp that if you want to thank someone for something, you don’t wait until a special holiday to express it. You tell them, show them, do something to demonstrate your feelings. There is always something to give thanks for. I don’t always capture every opportunity that comes my way to do this, but I have a higher than normal average.To me, giving thanks isn’t a game. It’s a way of life and should be treated as such if one wants to make a heartfelt difference in their life or in the world.
Several years ago, I read a book that made a huge difference in my life. It made me look at the people surrounding me with gratitude and it did what a month of Sundays in church, did not. It made me feel grateful without the guilt.
The book is called, 365 Thank Yous. It is a true story about a man whose life was in the toilet and he turned things around by a conscious decision he made to be thankful for all situations in his life instead of continuing the victim role he had partaken in for so much of it.
In this book, the author makes a vow to handwrite a thank you note a day for an entire year, to see if he can notice any difference.
His whole life changes as a result.
The very thought that something so small as a simple thank you can create worlds of difference is exciting and awe inspiring.
I think it’s time for me to reread this book. As with anything, gentle reminders are sometimes needed to get our feet back on the right track.
This week’s work:
The author suggests to make a list of seven people to thank for something, and spend one day each week to do just that.
I am not making a list as I feel that since this is a deeply ingrained part of my life, all this does is limit my actions. But if this isn’t something you are used to doing, I would highly encourage you to do this.