Category: Gratitude (Page 2 of 3)

The power of a “thank you”

Thank You

The power of a simple "thank you"

I just received an e-mail “thank you” from a client that we did some work for earlier this month.

It was short.  It said some nice things about the work we did.  It said other nice things about how he wanted to work with us again.

In all, it probably took two minutes to write and…


It was unexpected and unsolicited.  It showed appreciation and fed into my drive for achievement and recognition.   It touched on specifics of the works we did.

So with a couple of minutes effort, this person just put a smile on my face (and my employee’s face).  What a powerful simple act that we too often overlook.

A well thought out thank you can do wonders for you in what it can do.  I’ll relate another story from a long, long time ago…

The first incentive compensation communications project that I worked on would not be called one of my most favorite projects.  Time lines were extremely tight, the industry I was working in was new to me, the project scope kept changing and morphing, and the client was very demanding and brought an “East Coast” demeanor to the project (for a kid from “Minnesota Nice” this was pretty harsh).

I ended up working on Christmas and New Years (going to bed at 1:00 AM News Years Eve only to wake up at 3:00 AM to work on the project).   The stress and long hours that I put in were definitely not compensated for and in the end I was not only exhausted physically but worn out mentally and in every other way possible.

I swore that I would NEVER work on another project like this ever again!

I DOUBLE and TRIPPLE swore that I would NEVER work with this client again!

HELL, MY WIFE SWORE that I would never on another project like this again!

But then…when the project was done and all the deliverables delivered…I recieved one of the nicest e-mail thank you’s I’ve ever received from the “East Coast” client mentioned above.

It highlighted the fact that he knew that this wasn’t an easy project, that the scope had changed, and even that he could be hard to work with.  It also went on to state that while the process was challenging, the final product that I ended up producing was the best that they had seen and had gotten great reviews from his internal customers and the sales force.  He thanked me for the hard work and passion that I had put into his project.

It made my day back then…and made a little chink in clear “never working on this stuff again” promise I had made to myself.

Needless to say, it took another 9 months and somehow forgetting about all the stress and long hours and other painful stuff, but I signed up to work on the project the next year…the thank you note having done much to sway my opinion on that.  I’ve  worked with this client every year since (and yes the projects have improved – it’s amazing what planning and actual expertise can do to make life easier) and incentive compensation communications is our biggest product now representing over 60% of the work we do.

It in effect changed my life…

All because of the power of a “thank you.”

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with thank you’s – leave a comment below.

Today I’m Grateful For: My car window being unstuck

There is a sense of justice in the world. As I wrote about yesterday, my car window was stuck open in the middle of winter in Minnesota…and I was grateful that it happened when it did for a number of reasons (see below).

But I’m even more grateful today!

I was on the way to bring the car into the local auto repair shop that is located a couple of miles down the road. I was getting the kids bundled up and the Au Pair ready to take the other car to the shop so that I would have a ride home instead of walking two miles in 18 degree weather.

If you’ve ever tried to get a 1 year old and a 4 year old ready for the snow, you know this is not always easy – so after 10 minutes of haggling, we were ready to go when I realized that the car keys for the 2nd pick-up car were in my wife’s purse with her at work. Ok, unbundle the kids and readjust plan. Now I’ll pick up my wife at the end of the day and we’ll get the 2nd car and drop off the broken window car after that.

Here is the good part…

On the way to pick up my wife, with the plastic taped over the open window, I gave the window button one more try…and to my amazement, up it went!

So I’m grateful that I didn’t have the keys for the 2nd car when I was going to take the broken window car in. I’m grateful that the window miraculously fixed itself. I’m grateful that I saved a few hundred bucks that I am now going to give to charity (Worldbuilders through Patrick Rothfuss’ blog – you should check it out).

All in all – just very grateful!

I Am Grateful For: Making Thanksgiving Everyday

Thanksgiving!  The perfect holiday for being grateful…this is the holiday that is all about giving thanks and being grateful for what we have.  What a great idea.  A day where everyone in the country looks back at their life and gives thanks for the bounty that we’ve been given.

Wouldn’t it be great if this happened everyday!

That’s what I feel like has happened with my experiment on starting each day being grateful for something.  For me, the last few months have been a mini-Thanksgiving everyday.  I have found that while I don’t always get the opportunity to blog about it, I have been pretty good about waking up and finding something to be grateful for.  It is amazing what that does for your outlook for the day.

I’ve found that it has:

  • Brought a smile to my face most days
  • Made me focus on what’s really important
  • Allowed me to have a little less stress in my life
  • Given me the motivation to actually say “thank you” to a few people I normally wouldn’t have
  • Brought to life how very lucky and blessed I am

Thank you to everyone who has read these blogs and who has commented.  It really has been a very fun experiment that I’ve done.  I’m planning on continuing this, but not sure if I will blog about it as much…let me know what you think.

Leave a comment and let us all know what you are thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Today I’m Grateful For: Dan Wilson

Ok, this might seem like a strange one…Minneapolis musician Dan Wilson (formerly of Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic) has some really great music out there.  Not only his music, but the songs he’s written for others (i.e., Dixie Chicks).  It is music that I listen to often.  I find a connection with his lyrics and they inspire me in a way to work harder at this writing stuff (he is a great lyricist).  Anyway, I am on the road today…which means that I’m in a hotel in New Jersey – far away from all the comforts of home.  So it is nice to be able to play a little music and feel a connection back home.  It eases the discomfort of travel and makes these types of trips a little more bearable.

Here is one of my favorite songs…

What are you grateful for?  Let us know, leave a comment.

Today I Am Grateful For: Work

I have been remiss about getting a daily grateful post out – part of the reason has been that I’ve been busy with a lot of work lately.  I realize that I sometimes feel that all this work is overwhelming and that I don’t have enough time to do the things I want to do.   However, I am grateful for the fact that I have these projects – knowing that so many people are without work right now.

Today I Am Grateful For: Elections

We live in a land were we get to peacefully choose who will lead our government.  Are there games played?  Are the ads to negative?  Do the politicians all seem to be weak at best?  Maybe…but in the end, it comes down to us.  We the people who go to the polling places are the ones who decide who will lead this great country of ours.

Get out and vote today!


Today I Am Grateful For: A Crying Baby

I am thankful for my crying baby at 4:30 AM.


I had gotten up to let the meowing cat out at 3:30 AM – again.  Needless to say I wasn’t too happy.  Then I couldn’t fall back asleep – now I’m even less happy.  I end up tossing and turning thinking about what I have to do today and how I need my sleep and I’m getting more and more frustrated.   And then to top it off, our 11-month old baby starts to cry…

I go down to her room and pick her up out of the crib and she immediately starts to calm down – the crying subsides.  I hold her and rock her for 10 minutes and she is fast asleep on my chest, her hand outstretched over my heart.  She is breathing in and out peacefully as we sway back and forth in the rocking chair.

All the frustration and bitterness that I had earlier is gone.  I am looking down at her face as she is sleeping and a wave of peaceful joy passes through me.  Finally, after a long time, I place her gently back in her crib sleeping soundly.

Thank you, thank you, thank you….

What are you grateful for?  Let us know by clicking on “leave a comment” below.

Today I Am Grateful For: Electricity

We have been without power for approximately 24 hours…it is now back on!!  When the power is out for that long one realizes how much we depend on it.  Candles are nice for atmosphere, but for actually providing good light to see or do anything by…well, they leave a lot to be desired.   We had to keep the refrigerator shut.  The gas furnace needs electricity to ignite the pilot and for the thermostat.  Our gas stove still worked, but we had to light the burners with a match.  No T.V..  No radio.  And worst yet, no internet…

Very grateful to have our electricity back and hoping that everybody has there’s back soon.

What are you grateful for?  Let us know, click on “leave a comment”

PS – what do people do in the middle of winter when the power is off?  How do you prevent the pipes in your house from bursting?

Today I Am Grateful For: Imagination

How boring would this world be if we did not have imagination?  How limited would our opportunities be if we couldn’t dream?  I am grateful for the fact that we have an imagination – one that can inspire us or grant us a few moments of escape.  I am grateful that others can share there imagination with me and I’m better for that sharing.

Dream big…

What are you grateful for today?  Click on “Leave a comment” below and tell us.

Today I Am Grateful For: Opportunity

The real motivator for me has always been the opportunity that exists out “there.”  In other words, the possibility of what could be.  Regardless of where or what or who, I am always intrigued and moved by what might be.  I know that today can always be better than yesterday.

Share what your thankful for – click on “leave a comment” below – we’d love to hear from you.

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