The Power of Intentional Gratitude

How One Email Renewed My Commitment to Thankfulness

November 1, 2023

How One Email Renewed My Commitment to Thankfulness

Thanksgiving prompts us to reflect and express gratitude for what we have and the people who impact us. But while I’m certainly among those who need the reminder, I also wonder why we don’t do it more often. Recently, a former client made me consider how there’s no wrong time for thankfulness.

A few months back, I received an email from a guy I represented a long time ago. He’d recently learned of an online movement called “Say It Now,” encouraging people not to wait to tell others how they’ve impacted them. It seemed like a great idea, and his words touched me immensely.

He wrote that I’d helped him during one of the worst times of his life. When he was confused and afraid, he said I’d helped guide him through it and made him feel things would be OK. He’d known for years what a difference I made in his life, but I hadn’t until that moment. I’m grateful he took the time to tell me approximately 20 years later.

I think most people make an effort to say “thank you” often. But routine pleasantries simply can’t compare to someone taking time out of their life to offer a heartfelt expression of gratitude. “Thank you” is one thing; hearing what your actions actually meant to a person is something different.

A person doesn’t have to completely change your life to make an expression of gratitude worthwhile. I can’t honestly say that my client’s note inspired me to reach out to long-lost friends or colleagues, but I am mindful of expressing gratitude more often and going beyond mere politeness. Here’s a recent example.

Earlier this year, I sustained a concussion and went to the emergency room, as all experts advise you to do. Afterward, I had roughly $9,000 in medical bills for services the insurance company should have covered. It was not the first time this had happened, and wrongful denial of medical coverage is a topic that seriously chafes me — it’s the reason I went to law school.

So, when I called the insurance company’s customer service team, I was angry, impatient, and not my best self. However, the representative who took my call was excellent and handled me incredibly well. She carefully walked me through the entire process and explained what I could expect to happen. By the end of the call, I was calm. Mindful of gratitude, thanks to my client, I decided to say something.

I paused to thank the woman for helping me deal with this problem and being respectful and patient even when my behavior didn’t quite merit it. I told her that while mine was only one call in her day, I wanted her to know that she’d made my day much better by the end of it. Working in a call center has to be incredibly difficult, and I imagine people don’t say thank you often. So, I hope I made a difference to her. But even if not, I’m better off for having said it.

I hope to find more such moments to say a heartfelt thank you and eventually make it a habit. Knowing its impact on someone, I can’t think of a good reason to keep that gratitude to myself during Thanksgiving or any other time of the year.

West Coast Franchise Law

If you have any questions about franchising, please contact the experienced franchise and business law attorneys at West Coast Franchise Law today at (206) 903-0401 to discuss your situation. Nate Riordan is a 2023 Franchise and Bankruptcy Super Lawyer with over 20 years expertise helping clients achieve their business goals.