With Thanksgiving approaching there is no better time to reflect on the things (or people) for which (or whom) we are grateful. The definition of gratitude is: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. We all have many reasons to be thankful, but this week we should take the extra step and focus on returning the kindness.

One of the most simple, but meaningful ways to return kindness is to write a thank you card acknowledging those who have helped us along the way. It’s much faster to send a text or email, but actually writing and mailing a card shows effort. It demonstrates the importance of that person and their kind acts to you and it sets you apart. I really enjoy getting thank you cards in the mail. Most days I receive advertising and bills. A thank you card makes us smile and appreciate the person who took the time to write it.

Gratitude not only helps change your life and the way you live it, you never know how one thank you card can change someone else’s life. It happened to me! I probably wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today if my mentor John hadn’t taken the time to send a handwritten card thirty-one years ago to thank my father and ask him to let him know if there was ever anything he could do for him. My father called him immediately and said, “there is something you can do for me, hire my son!” That thank you card changed my life.

This week, make a list of the people in your life who have selflessly assisted with your career and your life. I believe you will find more, but let’s assume there are 55. That would be five cards a day through the end of the month. Make your list now so all you have to do is cross them off after writing your five each day. This will eliminate the excuse of not having time to think of who to write a card to each day.

Don’t just think this is a good idea – take action. Take the time now to return the kindness of others and make this week and the rest of the year count!

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