Your community supports you and creates your world. Say thank you to those all around you with random acts of kindness and gratitude!
As part of my practice in living the Thankful Life project, I've been trying to pay attention to all the small things that bring me joy. Every night I make a list of the things I was grateful for that day: a hot cup of coffee, clean clothes to keep me warm, a coworker's compliment, my daughter's squeal of delight when her dad tickles her belly, and, of course, a comfortable bed with blankets to snuggle up with.
Throughout the day, I take note of things to add to my list. This past week, I was walking in Wallingford near our office when I discovered something that made me smile: a small wooden house perched on top of a pole in the middle of a neighbor's yard.
Underneath the house, there was a sign that read "Little Free Library," and inside of the house was a small collection of books free for the taking. My heart leapt with glee--what a wonderful surprise!
When I returned to our office, I grabbed a copy of our book What Makes You Smile? and wrote a note of gratitude inside the cover.
I ran back to the little wooden house and tucked the book inside next to Temple Grandin and Ivan Doig in the hopes that someone else will discover the simple joys in life and find gratitude in the small things.
Thank you to the Little Free Library for adding to my Thankful Life!
Mid-winter in Seattle can be pretty blah. The skies are gray, it’s usually raining, and we still have months to go before the balmy weather and sun return. In other words, we’re ripe for any kind of a pick-me-up the world might send our way.
So you can imagine the surprise of discovering that someone, some person with a heart of gold, has been posting these signs around town.
On busy roads and main intersections, they've cropped up everywhere. And no matter where your mind is when you pass one, it makes you stop and think.
Yesterday, I passed one of these signs on my way to the coffee shop after work. “What this day needs is a cup of hot cocoa,” I thought, and as I was walking briskly to get it, I passed by a gentleman who moved his umbrella aside to let me pass. As I was in the coffee shop ordering my cocoa, who should walk in but the gentleman with the umbrella? A little voice, one which must have been inspired by those signs, whispered to me, “buy his coffee!” So I did. I tried to do it anonymously, but he eventually figured it out and stopped by my seat to thank me on the way out. “What a kind thing to do,” he said. “I like it. I really like it. It does a body good.”
And, just like that, I remembered how simple an act of kindness can be. Also, just like that, I might have started a new tradition for myself—one of little kindnesses wherever I can give them. Have you done something like this lately? You hear so often how great an act of kindness can make you feel, but when you actually do it, it’s astonishing. It really does feel good. It's enough to make a gray day bright.
Gratitude is a miraculous little thing. It can be so small and simple to show—and yet its consequences can be enormous. Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for years. In research studies, groups of people who have been tasked with writing down what they are grateful for each day have shown remarkable improvement regarding both their physical and emotional well-being. They note that they feel stronger, happier, and more satisfied with their life. Just by noticing—and appreciating—the good around them.
“To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings,” says Dr. Emmons, one of the leading authorities on gratitude. It’s simple: When you take the time to really acknowledge the good things that are in your life, you expand your potential for happiness.
This life-changing philosophy has inspired us to launch a bold, exciting new campaign this year called A Thankful Life: Inspiring Gratitude. Our goal is to inspire the writing of one million thank you notes over the course of the year!
It’s our hope to spread the joy of gratitude well beyond our offices. We want to encourage others to notice and appreciate the gifts given each day—whether it’s reconnecting with an old friend, enjoying a beautiful mountain drive, or something bigger such as starting a new business or seeing a loved one finally come home.
And we’re beginning the campaign with several exciting projects. First, the release of our new A Year of Gratitude Kit: A Kit to Inspire 52 Weeks of Giving Thanks. It includes 52 thank you cards with envelopes, a guided journal to chronicle your year of gratitude, and helpful tips on how to write meaningful notes—all housed in a gift box.
Second, we asked each employee to anonymously write a few adjectives about each other as well as state our own personal goals for the upcoming year. A small group gathered these kind words and created individual Wordles for each employee as well as a company-wide poster.
The more an adjective or phrase was stated, the larger the word became. So, if more than one coworker used the same description for someone, then that word increased in size. As you can see, our Emma is very sweet and Renee is fun and hardworking—and now they know that we know it too! And, we have a lot of people with goals to spend more time with family and friends, do community service, as well as communicate appreciation to each other.
And lastly, we’re also taking the time to write thank you notes to our extended Compendium family. From designers to accounts payable, every employee is taking it upon themselves to go beyond our doors to say thank you to our sales representatives, retailers, and dedicated customers. We are so grateful here at Compendium for the ways these individuals and businesses make our company possible, and we sincerely hope that our spark of excitement will light a candle of gratitude in the hearts of others.
Please join us! Each month we’ll post more ways to inspire gratitude, your stories on how gratitude helped you, giveaways, as well as share a weekly gratitude quotation on our Facebook page. To get started, “like” us on Facebook or check back here. Or, even better, start by writing your own thank you note!