The Gift of Thanks

Campers, have you recently said ‘thank you’ to someone and really meant it? The standard ‘thanks’ whilst looking at a screen or jumping out of a cab, or running to the next door for more candy doesn’t really cut it. I’m talking about stopping everything else, connecting with the person who just served you in some small or big way, and saying ‘thank you.’

Did you know the word ‘thank’ comes from a Latin word that is roughly translated as ‘I will remember what you’ve done for me?’ Keeping this in mind, think back over your last few interactions with your parents, friends, the check-out person, waiter, etc. When you said ‘thanks’, did you really mean I’ll remember what you’ve done for me?

This is certainly not how I’d judge all of my past interactions. And, because of my lack of intention, I’ve robbed many of a gift.

Simon Sinek wrote two of my favorite leadership books. Short quotes from him arrive most mornings to my inbox. Today’s read:

Giving is sometimes as simple as saying “thank you” to someone and meaning it. We should all give a little more.

Waffle House Lesson

Spending the morning in a diner close to a meeting, I decided to try out Simon’s prompt. When my server, a young lady with tattoos up her arms and a smile on her face delivered my breakfast, I smiled, looked her in the eyes, and said ‘thank you.’

You know what? It felt great. For me.

I got a big smile from the server and, later, a free refill with a ‘shhh….’ as well! So, I’m pretty sure the ‘gift’ was received and enjoyed.

Typing this much later in the day, I’m still on a bit of a high from the whole experience. That one small moment of genuine connection with another person has lifted the sails on everything else throughout the day, even the tough conversation I had with a former staff member and the workout I really didn’t want to do.

After a Halloween night full of candy, laughter, and fun, don’t you think it would be a good idea to spend the next few days thinking about ways you can say ‘thank you’ and really mean it? It’ll be a gift to the recipient and to yourself as well.

Have a great week!