Very simple words. Two words. Sometimes they are said as a matter of routine, like when someone says "Bless you" when you sneeze or a waiter brings you a glass of water. It has been ingrained since childhood to thank, appreciate, others. And mostly, there is not a lot of emotion or care when saying something that has been ingrained, taught and done as a matter of routine.
Contrast that to the times when those two words were meant to convey your sincerest appreciation and acknowledgement for something someone did or said that truly contributed to you. At times, those two words cannot possibly capture all the expression of your appreciation.
When you are on the receiving end of a "thank you", do you pay attention? Do you allow the acknowledgement and appreciation to get to you? Do you allow yourself to experience the gratitude of another person and allow yourself to experience how great you are, for contributing to that person?
My experience is that mostly we, you and I, do not allow ourselves to appreciate who we are. We don't get how great we are. We don't allow the sincere acknowledgement of another to sink in, to wash over us and allow ourselves to truly get it. If we did, we would be moved to tears. We would stop saying things like, "it is no big deal" or "no problem". Or even an automatic but not truly felt, "you are welcome". We would allow ourselves to soak it in and say whatever there was to actually say when we allowed ourselves to get how extraordinary we really are.
I recently attended an event that was a thank you, an acknowledgement, of myself and several other people who had contributed to a friend in a very challenging time. We had fun. She had handwritten notes of appreciation and acknowledgement and we toasted her. I was moved to my core. I was so moved by the opportunity of contributing to her and the privilege it was that she allowed it. I was moved by who I am that I would do that. I was moved by the other people that were there in who they are, in contributing to her. It was such a demonstration of those two words; thank you.
I work with people all the time who thank me. I contribute for a living. In my entire career, first as a registered nurse for 21 years and then for the last 20 years as a business success coach, my thinking, my writing, my designing of programs and my coaching is all about contributing to someone else's success. People succeed wildly around me. They appreciate me. Rarely do I let it in, really. I decided, after this event, I am going to let myself really let in their thank yous. And I will do whatever I need to so that other people truly get my appreciation for them.
To you, who took the time to read this, thank you. It is with such joy that I get to write and contribute to you, your success and your quality of life.
Who can you thank today? Who can you allow to truly thank you?