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Friday, April 12, 2013

Gratitude & Thanks

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I really admire your dedication in reading through this book.  It gives meaning to my life that other people can appreciate my experiences and ideas.  I truly hope that this book is making a difference in your life and opening you to new ways of being and communicating.  You are in a select group of people who want to improve their lives and are willing to exert effort to make things happen.

Notice that I didn’t say “thank-you” or “thanks?”  Raymond Aaron, a professional speaker in Canada, says that one of the qualities in being successful is appreciation.  His twist, however, is to remove the word “thank you” from our vocabulary.  What a powerful idea!

Saying thanks often gives us a short-cut in life.  It allows us to say two words to express gratitude, but these two words are so over-used in our daily living that people don’t make anything of it.  We thank people for everything!  If someone says, “How are you?” we say, “Fine.  Thank You.”  We must hear hundreds of “thank-you’s” everyday.  With that many, a “thank-you” has very little value.

When we eliminate those two words, we force ourselves to really think about what we want to show gratitude for.  We become more expressive and describe what the other person has done that we appreciate.  That is sincere.  That is authentic.  When people hear that, they feel special.  When people hear that, they want to do more.

This is not to say that we should eliminate the two words from our vocabulary all together.  We could be self-expressive and genuine, and say “thank-you” at the end.  However, the exercise of not having those words readily available helps us to become more expressive.  It’s a wonderful practice.

Let’s have an attitude of gratitude.  That’s a cliché many people think is important, yet don’t necessarily practice to its full extent.  When we are expressing gratitude, let’s think about what we’re saying.  Let’s express our feelings.  Let’s deliver acknowledgment.  Let’s not stop at a “thank-you.”

In Australia, a quick thank-you is often expressed as a “ta.”  That’s right, “ta.”  I was startled when I first heard that.  However, that cultural twist does make a difference.  (Historically, “ta” is short for “thanks, awfully.”)  In small scenarios of appreciation, a “ta” does suffice.  And, when a “thank-you” is being used, it is valued at a higher level.  What an excellent example of how a single word can make such a profound difference in communication.

A French proverb says, “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”  When expressing gratitude, don’t think.  Just feel what your heart already knows.

Let's love the world together...

Danish Ahmed, blind visionary

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