Honestly, I get really tired of Thanksgiving before it ever happens. Starting roughly last Friday for most people, but as far back as Halloween for others, you starting seeing the “I’m thankful for …” posts on Facebook and the occasional Tweet. It builds to a crescendo on or about Wednesday of this week and certainly becomes all you see online Thanksgiving morning. By the time the actual day happens, I’m bored with the meme and want something better from a content consumption perspective.
But then again, I don’t think we thank people enough. We live in a take-it-for-granted world. Whether it’s distractions or lack of time or even appreciation, we don’t stop to thank those that deserve it often enough. So I suppose I’m advocating for the thankfulness meme everyday, even though after a while that would annoy me, too.
2011 has been a watershed year for me. I published my first book and expanded my business, moved from a really good conference session speaker to a keynote speaker and began work on launching a series of events and a research product. But I did none of these things alone or without a tremendous amount of help and support along the way.
For the book project, probably my favorite part was writing the acknowledgements. For the first time, I had the chance to put in bound, commercially viable print who should get thanks for helping me get where I am. Sure, I could have listed a few hundred names, but the fact that I could put some thought into thanking some folks who never got their just credit for my success was awesome.
But I wish I was conditioned to thank people every day in better ways than I do. Jess Ostroff puts up with a ton of crap from me and seldom gets thanked for it. Nichole Marshall has taken one of the more critical responsibilities on for me because I’m apparently incapable of doing it well (scheduling) and I’ve only thanked her with a couple words signing off an email. There are tons more.
Then there are some people who do things like send hand-written thank you cards after speaking events or even getting a copy of my book in the mail. Getting these thank you cards always makes me feel guilty for not sending them myself. I wish I could be more like those people in that way.
It extends to the social web as well. We don’t thank our customers nearly enough, regardless of what business we’re in. Think about it: We’re in the middle of one of the most trying economic times in recent history. If you still have a single customer coming to you and purchasing something — anything — find a way to thank them now. Go ahead. The rest of the post will wait.
It’s a simple gesture: Saying “Thank you!” We say it several times a day to clerks and wait staff and cab drivers and delivery folks. Yet we don’t think to take a moment and say it to our parents? Our teachers? Our colleagues? Our clients? How messed up is that?
It’s sad we need a holiday to remind us to be thankful. Maybe we can do something more to remind us to say it more often.
Thank you for reading. For coming to my events. For buying my books. For recommending this blog to others. Without you, this would be a lonely website that I would get bored with eventually. Without you coming here, regularly or once, I’d probably be doing something else. And forgetting to thank folks for making it possible.
And have a happy Thanksgiving.