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365 Thank Yous (or A Simple Act of Gratitude)

DP'ers, the power of "Thank You"....

"...“Knowing that you had to work on Thanksgiving of all days, I thought I’d express my gratitude that you have taken the time and made the effort to learn my name and greet me each day in a way that makes me feel like a person instead of a number. It’s a small thing, but on any given day, it can make all the difference. Thank you!”

I sent this thank-you note to a barista at Starbucks who had brightened my day, and many other days before and after, by remembering my name with a smile every morning. It was one of the special things for which I was grateful at Thanksgiving of 2008, the year in which I had vowed to write a thank you note every day of the year. It nearly brought her to tears.

Strangely, the idea for this year-long act of gratitude had come to me on a day when I was desperately looking for something, anything, for which to be thankful, New Year’s day of 2008. On that day, I went for a walk up the Echo Mountain trail in Pasadena, California, where I lived. At 52, I owned a law practice, but after working hard at it all year I found I had earned nothing. Actually, having lost money, I earned less than nothing. As a result, I could not afford to pay Christmas bonuses to my employees, a failing that greatly embarrassed me. My firm was losing its lease, and I could not afford a new one. After a divorce, I was living in a cheap apartment instead of my own home. Even the hopeful aspects of my life had just deflated with sudden and despondent developments: A woman I had been dating ended our relationship suddenly before Christmas, and a million dollar jury verdict that would have bailed me out was nullified by a judge’s ruling.

In the mountains, I heard a voice I did not recognize. Wherever it came from, it did not seem to come from me. It told me I needed to learn to be grateful for the things I had, rather than to focus on the things I wanted, or the many things I felt I had lost.

It took a little more than a year, but by the time I had written the 365 thank you notes I had set out to write, my life had been transformed in ways I could not have expected. As I saw how my children, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and even baristas had blessed my life and as I acknowledged their impact by writing to them, my blessings seemed to multiply. When I was grateful for clients paying their bills, they paid faster. When I thanked lawyers for referring clients to me, they referred more.

The benefits were not just economic. As my barista later told a reporter who came to ask about the note I wrote to her, “So when I saw this, I realized that what I do really counts.” By showing others how their lives had meaning in mine, I found them reflecting back to me that my life also had meaning in theirs. I gained an overall sense of peace, a belief that my life was, and had been, a good one. The change did not happen overnight. My note to my barista was thank you note 260.

Almost without intending to do so, I started to change my life in ways that would make me more worthy of receiving thank you notes myself..."
from author, John Kralik's blog at

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Wonderful Lao Tzua

Did you know?

Gratitude is a weapon?
It is.
It is a weapon against depression.
It is a weapon against envy.
against despair, loneliness and abandonment.
Make a 'white' list today.

and thanks for your story, good post!

Wonderful Story

...and for posting this, I say to you;

Thank You

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

Thank you for your thank you :)

And a song I love... "Thank You"..
"Thank you India, Thank you terror, Thank you disillusionment, Thank you frailty, Thank you consequence, Thank you, Thank you Silence..."