I have a long-time friend named Walter Green who just wrote a book called This Is the Moment! Walter, in his 70th year, decided he would make a list of the people who really impacted his life at different stages. He had to locate some he had lost contact with, but over the year he traveled the country and met with 44 people to thank them and tell them how important they were to his life. I think the book’s real message is the enormous power of gratitude. Walter wrote this book to motivate all of us.
Are there people in your life who have really made a difference? Have you reached out to thank them? Have you thanked your parents, friends, mentors—perhaps a teacher, professor, or colleague who had an impact on your life? Don’t wait to reach out. This is the moment.
Yesterday, just one day after being inspired by Walter’s book, I had the perfect opportunity to put his idea into action. Every morning, our newspaper delivery person drives through our oval driveway and drops off the paper right at our front door so we don’t have to go to the end of the driveway to retrieve it. I’ve always wanted to thank her for this courtesy, and yesterday morning I saw her through the window just as she was getting out of the car to deliver the paper. I met her at the front door and said, “I just want to tell you how fabulous and caring you are, and what a difference you make, and how much we appreciate what you do,” and I gave her a little money. Her face just lit up and she almost had tears in her eyes as she gave me a hug. She said, “You’re really special,” and I said, “I’m not special. You are.”
This morning, tucked into the newspaper, I found a note from her. On the outside of the envelope was written: “To a great and loyal customer.” This is so consistent with what Blanchard research has found: If you hire passionate people, they want to go out and take care of your customers. Then the customers become loyal and get excited about the company and tell others, and it keeps going back and forth—and that’s what makes a great organization.
On the card inside it said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You made my day yesterday. I was flying high on a cloud of appreciation. Your recognition of my service to you has revived me. Thank you for taking the time to think about me.” Then she signed her name and phone number and wrote: “Please call if you ever have a bad or poor quality paper delivered.” Isn’t that amazing? It made me feel good to read her note.
I hope this motivates you to reach out and thank people who have done special things for you—people who have made a difference in your life, whether big or small. If we all took the time to do this, think of the difference we could make in the lives of others. So reach out and say “thank you.” It’s such an easy way to make another person feel special, and it is guaranteed to boost your spirits, too. Have a great week.