“Thank you for…” is a term that doesn’t get used as much as it should. I think there are times in our lives that a simple “Thank you for…” could change our entire outlook on things.
I know this because I’ve experienced it myself in life. Every day I am grateful for the incredible responses I get from people about my teaching, or podcast, etc. Every time I read a Tweet or a comment, I’m filled with the great sense of purpose.
On top of that, I have seen it in action. I’ll never forget Thanksgiving Day 1999. I was moving into my new home, and I had absolutely no food. So I found myself at an IHOP having breakfast. Why? Because it was actually open.
The restaurant was pretty quiet, even though at least half of the tables were full. My waitress didn’t even look me in the eyes when she came by. She just dropped the menus and said she would be back in a few.
I watched her walk from table to table completely unenthused. Never excited. Never happy. Just walking around as if she was in a daze. That’s when I thought to myself, I know how much it sucks for me moving into a new home on Thanksgiving, how much could it suck for her to be working on Thanksgiving?
I watched her a little longer as she moved between tables with little energy. And when she came back to mine, I said the first thing that came to mind.
CLo – “Thank you for working your Thanksgiving Day for all of us. It means a lot!”
Waitress – “Oh…wow…absolutely! Thank you for saying that!”
From that moment on it was as if she had won a small lottery. Her countenance changed completely. Instead of walking from table to table in a zombie like state, I watched her bounce from table to table.
Each time she was happy and asking if there was anything she could do for the table. She thanked people for coming in, she wished them a Happy Thanksgiving, and so on.
As she did, you could watch the people who were spending their Thanksgiving morning at an IHOP begin to lighten up as well. All because of a simple “Thanks for…”
I’ll never forget that day and what it meant to me. But more importantly, what it meant to one waitress at an IHOP. It was the impact that has me looking for those opportunities anytime I can.
Question: Who are you going to tell “Thank you for…” to today? In fact, write down seven people who need to be thanked, and talk to one a day for the next seven days.