Leadership with heart, mind, and soul

Saying Thanks

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Happy December. After taking the month of November off to focus on a few new personal and professional areas, I'm excited to be back regularly writing. 

Let me tell you the story about what I did on Thanksgiving.

This is not a story about trimming a Christmas tree or drinking a latte at Red Bicycle (they made a turkey in the foam, you guys). It's about saying thanks.

I'm not one long on tradition. Most traditions in my family last the grand total of a single year. Those that last a bit longer get blown up at some point (our steady Thanksgiving dinner out as a family was obliterated last year when I came down with a case of food poisoning). But this year, I hope I set in motion a new habit that I'll continue for a while. 

I carved out time to write emails to a handful of people whose friendships I've been thankful for this year. These weren't long notes, but they were specific. They were personal. And they were long overdue. 

Thanks - as we all know - isn't a one-day-a-year activity. But we're all guilty of treating it as such. I've remarked before how you can begin a discipline of ending phone calls this way. Some people keep gratitude journals. No matter the time of year, we could all be thanked more, I'm sure of it. And I believe that sort of community begins when we're willing to go out of our way to thank others.

See what I wrote there? "Go out of our way"? When was the last time you went out of your way? I don't mean saying thank you when the cashier hands you the receipt. That interaction is planned and habitual. I don't mean thanking someone when they gave you their extra concert ticket. Unofficially, you at least owe them some semblance of a recognition. 

When do you thank someone to the point of inconvenience? 

When has thankfulness not been scheduled in your day? When was it not planned? When did you make sure you were heard and the person you were thanking truly understood what it was you were saying (and why)? When gratitude is easy, it's overlooked. When it's deliberate and complete, it's unmistakable. 

Let your thanks be unmistakably grateful this time of year and always. 

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