A thank you note can be a small gratitude list with a stamp.

Last week I got an email from someone that I had interviewed with about a writing assignment. They were wondering if I was still interested. The reason they weren’t sure was because the original interview was in 2006, five years ago. There has been a lot of living packed into those five years. It turns out that the original person who got the job has been flourishing in their writing career and didn’t have as much time to ghostwrite anymore. The corporation had circled back around and asked for the names of worthy candidates from the round of interviews in 2006.

My name popped to the top of the list.

Some of that I owe to my writing skills and the fact that I’ve stayed in the public eye all of this time so they were aware that I was still writing and even managing to get better. But some of it was also due to a habit I have of sending a thank you note to everyone who I do business with, regardless of the outcome.

It’s so easy to say thank you when things head the way we want them to go. Of course we’re grateful when we get what we want.

But what about the times when things sour or unravel and we’re left with a lot of effort and work but nothing really to show for all of it? That’s the best moment to sit down and write a short note of gratitude for the other person’s work on my behalf and mail it off with a small prayer and a blessing.

Sure, there have been a few times when I had to overlook the chatter in my head that wanted to point out all the things the other person did wrong and maybe they’re even a little dastardly. Visions of just how far ahead I could be if only they had done their part would dance around in my head. Enough drama, already.

Writing the note puts me back into the right size in my own life and shrinks my pride back to more tolerable levels. My truth is that God can get me to wherever he needs me to be and if I’ve done all that I can to the best of my abilities then it just wasn’t meant to be. I can not only let everyone off the hook of my expectations, I can even be a little gracious in recognition of their efforts.

There’s been more than once that someone has called or emailed me back to thank me for the note and said in wonderment that no one else ever does that anymore.

It takes only five minutes of time and a stamp to do and is a small reminder to myself of all that I have to be grateful for in this world. Besides, I’m here to be of maximum service and not the 24/7 Martha show on every channel.

Sometimes, when we’re out there living our life and being happy in the moment someone else remembers that little gesture and five years later the plum finally falls from the tree.

Q: What do you do to remind yourself to be grateful and to thank others in your daily life?

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