Every now and then a book will serve to remind you of something you’ve known since childhood, and 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life by John Kralik is a simple, beautiful way to relearn one important lesson.
When was the last time you wrote – or received – a hand-written thank you note? For the person to have gone to such lengths means a lot to the receiver, but who takes the time anymore? During a difficult time in his life, Kralik realized that he needed to be grateful for everyday things – good friends being helpful all over again, a Starbucks employee calling him by his name, a homemade gift from his daughter – to lift himself out of his depression. He had forgotten this until he heard a voice say just that while he was lost hiking in the mountains. He decided to write a thank you note every day for the next year to cement it in his memory.
After his first few notes, Kralik received surprised replies by phone, e-mail and more written notes. Everyone so appreciated that he took the time to say thanks in such a concrete way that it began to change his thinking. Little by little he spent less time concentrating on the negatives in his life because his mind was filled with positive thoughts, which brought on more positives in his life. He includes examples of his notes throughout the book (not all 365 though), and a few words on how to write thank you notes yourself (Appendix I). Even his “Acknowledgments” are earnest and reiterate that what he really wa+nted to be when he was a kid was a writer.
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