There are so many levels to the beauty of giving thanks and each one delivers something deeper and more wonderful into your life. Like so many things, gratitude starts out so subtly, but then as the days go by, your life is enriched in deeper and more miraculous ways than you could have imagined. Today I thought I’d share a scenario with you, so you can understand the immense power of thankfulness to transform your life and your world.
Starting Out Small
It starts out small, like a breath of fresh air. You write your first thank you note. You address it and put a stamp on it, so you can send it off. Your Day one card is done! You don’t know what is coming but you feel a little lighter and happier as you head out, envelope in hand, and you drop it in the mailbox on your way to your busy day.
Life takes over of course. There is traffic and it’s snarled up. You realize you forgot your lunch. And then someone at work is out today and you have to do your own work and theirs too. But you take a deep breath and you tackle it. By two in the afternoon, the workplace is crazy, and you’re overwhelmed. But then Helena appears at your desk. She’s a new co-worker who started a couple of months ago.
She could see you were struggling so she jumped in to help you get the double-dose of work off your desk. More hands make for light work and within about an hour, you manage to complete the most important priorities with her help.
Waking up now to Day two which you sincerely hope today will be less chaotic. You sit down to write your daily thank you note and you write it to Helena for her kindness in helping you out the previous day. You plan to drop the note on her desk while she is up to get coffee and it feels good when you do that. You head back to your desk, take a deep breath, and sure enough, the day goes more smoothly. You feel calmer, more centered, more aware of your day and you’re on top of your stressors. It’s a decidedly new feeling and it feels good. Could it be because you started your day in gratitude?
Then you see Helena coming over to your desk with a broad grin on her face. She wants to thank you for the note you dropped off and she is beaming with happiness at being recognized and appreciated. She shares with you how hard the transition to this new job has been for her, but in getting your note, she realizes that she has finally become a valued member of the team, that she truly belongs, and she feels wonderful.
You both smile and laugh about how much easier things are when you are in the flow, helping each other, doing your best work, getting things accomplished. And you feel an extra-double-dose of warm feelings, and you know that gratitude has brought this on for both of you.
Fast-forward a few months down the line, and you realize that the gift of gratitude is one that keeps on giving at so many levels. By this time, you are a pro at your process of giving thanks each morning. The finding of someone to thank and your writing of the notes is effortless and fun. You know each card transforms your life and positively impacts the person who is the recipient. You may not hear back from them, but you know their day is improved when they get your note.
But then you feel a whole other level of whoosh. A truly “aha” moment. It happens when you get to work one day, and you see your name on a small white envelope on your desk. It’s a thank you note to you from your boss. You had no idea he sent out notes like this but you love opening it up. In the note, he thanks you for your hard work and he thanks you for inspiring others within the office to be grateful as well.
It turns out that Helena has been writing daily notes and her kind actions in spreading thanks have inspired co-workers from all different departments to also put pen to paper. The boss became aware of it when he got a note from yet another person and he felt the good energy personally. He set out to find out where this all started, and with Helena’s help, he traced it back to you!
Thus you received a thank you note out of the blue from him — recognizing your leadership! He had seen that morale was up, co-workers were kinder to each other, and productivity was way up. He feels that your daily practice you set in motion was a big part of the transformation of energy.
Furthermore, he says he wants to encourage a company-wide gratitude day and hopes you’ll help with it since you started the ball rolling. Wow. Really? All you did was send a card to a co-worker and you both kept up sending notes to all kinds of different friends, family and strangers.
But such is the power of gratitude. You don’t know how far it will reach and how many lives it will transform, both in small ways and sometimes in big ways. The Day of Gratitude event was a big success and your bosses’ colleagues in his same industry got wind of it. They wanted to know how it worked so they can encourage it at their workplaces too. Really? Yes, really.
It’s a beautiful thing when you can see and feel the ripple effects in your life! It’s amazing how just sending out one thank you note each day has the power to explode and exponentially impact so many others. If you’re new to the concept of spreading thanks, just check out the resources on my website and the how-to steps within my book. Share your own ideas below if you can and thank you for spreading thanks each and every day.
Elena Anguita is a change agent, speaker, and author of Spread Thanks! Create Miracles Through The Power of Ink who supports education and passionately believes in the transformative power of gratitude. You can connect with Elena on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and SpreadThanks.com.
Image courtesy of Angela Roma.