WRITE THE NOTE | From Donna Letier

Indra Nooya, former CEO of Pepsi CoFrank Blake, former Chairman & CEO Home DepotMark ZuckerbergDoug Conant, former CEO of Cambell’s Soup, and Dan Cathy, Chairman at Chick-fil-A all noted great business leaders who consistently sent personal notes to their colleagues (and colleagues parents, Indra Nooya), and customers. These leaders have all talked about gratitude and the practice of thanking someone personally for a job well done. My bet is they would agree with Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. We become what we repeatedly study and act on.”

The task of the day: think of three people in your life you want to say thank you to. Not the fleeting “thanks” that is second nature to most of us but the “thank you, I am grateful for you being part of my life” kind of thanks.  Take some time and write them a note. Handwritten notes are the best, but if that is too big of a stretch, micro step your practice of personal thank you notes with an email.

Adding something else to your already full to-do list may seem counterproductive to the idea of slowing down, being mindful, thankful, and focusing on your own self-care but this exercise is one that will have you really thinking about those people in your life who make you who you are today. 

One of George Washington’s favorite savings was “many mickles make a muckle.” It was an old Scottish proverb that illustrates a truth we all know: lots of little things can add up together to make a big lot of something. Believe it or not, a small act, something as simple as a personal correspondence, sharing how thankful you are for them, can be that thing that turns their day around. And just think, what if they in turn took the “pay it forward” approach to sending a note of thanks to those who really mean something to them.   Simple acts of “thanksgiving” can make a huge impact and something worth doing.

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. A day that families and friends come together to be together. It is not all about the presents, or the decorations, it is gratitude for the blessings we have in our lives. What if Thanksgiving became a state of mind, a verb in which we acted on daily? It is a powerful tool, takes only minutes to active, costs virtually nothing, and can have a massive impact on others. 

Everyone I know is strapped for time and looking for ways to maximize the return on their time. The simple act of setting aside time to thank people with a personalized, thoughtful thank you note can be a way to let Thanksgiving be a movement, not just a day. 

On average, a person receives over 120 emails every day, plus texts, Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter direct messages. Choosing to send a handwritten note, an old school medium, or sending a personal email of thanks with no “ask” attached to convey your gratitude is a way to bring Thanksgiving into your daily, weekly, or monthly practice.

So, let’s make thanksgiving our goal. It’s not about giving thanks just one day a year, it’s about making it a part of our life and our mind.  Let it take a firm hold, never to be dislodged. It’s about deciding who you want to be and putting time and attention to doing it.

My three handwritten notes of thanks today: Mike Sutterer, Ann Berry, and the Gardenuity team. All who have inspired me personally, reminded me to be confident, and helped move Gardenuity forward. Your notes are on the way!

Happy Thanksgiving and here’s to letting Thanksgiving be a state of mind.

Growing together,