There’s a guaranteed way to attract great people into your life and business. It starts with two words: Thank you.

Don’t you prefer to work with thankful people? Don’t you like to spend time with them? On top of that, appreciative words are one of the most powerful forces for good on Earth. They always leave people feeling and behaving better.

Cicero said, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” Being thankful affects every area of our life. It always makes your life, business, and relationships better.

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. How long has it been since you thanked those closest to you—or those you interact with everyday? Here are four ideas to make that happen:

  1. Appreciate others for no reason. Take a proactive approach to thankfulness. Make a list of five or more people in your life. Let them know what you appreciate about them and do it for no reason. We don’t need to wait for the right time or the appropriate moment to tell someone we love them, what they mean to us, or how much we appreciate them.
  2. Take time to write a heartfelt thank-you note, text, or e-mail. Let people around you know what you appreciate about them and how they have influenced your life. There’s something extremely impactful about taking the time to express in writing your sincere gratitude thoughts.
  3. Compliment people. Make a commitment to go out of your way to “catch people doing things right” and let them know about it. When I think something positive about my wife (which I do quite often) I say it to her as soon as I can. I’ve found the longer you take to act on something positive the less likely you are to do it.
  4. Let people know what you appreciate about them in front of others. Let the world know how great they are and how they have made an impact on you.

Would you like more results? Thanksgiving is the best attitude for a productive life. I challenge you to find twenty things to be thankful for today. As you do, I promise creative ideas will spring forth as a result of the mental conversation you are having with yourself. This is one of the best ways to generate momentum and opportunities in your life.

William Ward spoke wisely: “There are three enemies of personal peace: regret over yesterday’s mistakes, anxiety over tomorrow’s problems, and ingratitude for today’s blessings.”

Replace regret with gratitude. Be grateful for what you have, not regretful for what you don’t have. Successful people take what they have, are thankful, then go and make the most out of it.

If you continually compare what you want with what you have, you’ll be unhappy. Instead, compare what you deserve with what you have, and you’ll be happy. What if you lost everything, then miraculously gained it all back, how thankful would you be?

If you can’t be satisfied with what you’ve reached, at least be thankful for what you’ve escaped. I remember several years ago driving to dinner, completely absorbed in thought about my latest book, so focused that I drove right through a red light at a major intersection.

After being greeted by several horns and one man who wanted to let me know with his finger that I was “number one,” I pulled into a parking lot to give thanks to God for His protection—even when I’m stupid!

We all have a lot to be thankful for. No matter what kind of house you live in, wouldn’t you rather be there than in the best hospital in the world? At any given moment there are billions of people who would gladly trade places with you.

A friend of mine recently recalled this conversation with an exchange student from a developing country. As they compared and contrasted her experiences in the United States with her home, she remarked, “You Americans get to complain about the nicest things.”

Today is the best day to be thankful! Count your blessings at every opportunity. The seeds of discouragement will not grow in a thankful heart. So, take some time every day to reflect on all you have to be thankful for.

Studies have shown that even the most introverted person will have contact with more than 10,000 people in their lives. Just think of the impact you can have for good by being kind and appreciative everywhere you go.

Kind words do not cost anything, yet they accomplish much. Start with some appreciative words on your travels. There is no telling where the good it may do will stop.

What would your life and business look like if you spent the next thirty days, the next year, or twenty years being genuinely, deeply grateful?

Don’t find yourself at the end of your life saying, “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d appreciated and realized it sooner.”

JOHN MASON is a bestselling author and executive author coach. His books have sold over 1.6 million copies and are translated into 38 languages. John is a popular speaker across the U.S. and around the world. Connect with him at FreshWord.com.

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