The power and magic of a quality Thank YOU

We are all quite busy and often hustle from one meeting to the next, from one project to the following, and from one task to the looming next one that requires our attention.

With that, it’s easy to forget what others did for us, helping us along the way. Even if we remember their crucial contributions, how often do we stop and take the time to say “Thank YOU” in a genuine and heartfelt way? Not the quick “thanks” in passing, but a thoughtful “Thank you” that is meaningful enough for us to warrant spending a few minutes thinking it through.

Those “Thank you’s” can be verbal or written, one-on-one or in front of a group – much of that depends on your communication style and even more so the recipient’s preferences. The delivery method doesn’t matter as much as whether you took time to think about it and whether you truly mean it.

If you truly mean it, make your “Thank you” specific. What did the other person do, why did it matter, and what impact did it have on you? Explain those, and your “Thank you” will mean the world and make the day for the person who receives it.

Which one do you think will make a deeper impression?

“Thanks, Alex, great job.”


“Thank you, Alex, for emptying the dishwasher on your own. I had a lot going on and really appreciate that I didn’t have to ask you to do it. That made my day a lot easier. I love to see how you thought about how you can help.”

Yes, Alex is our 10-year old son, and he sometimes remembers to empty the dishwasher on his own. No, he didn’t do it today – I made this example up. Parenting is a never-ending exercise in chasing tiny improvements…  😉

I have a reminder in my calendar every Friday to send those Thank you’s for cases where I received great service during the week. If I wouldn’t have those reminders, I would probably forget them in most weeks. I don’t send a “Thank you” every week, but the reminder ensures that I do in the cases when I should.

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Lessons from Amazon, a global pandemic, and other crazy times
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Health must come first!

Over the last three weeks, we had a few people – including myself – being out and sick. This is the season for it, but it also reminded me harshly of the importance of proactively investing in our future health.

The reason I’m writing about this is because I consider myself a pretty well-informed and health-aware person. I have been active my whole life, health is my number one value, and I even taught Karate and Tai Chi for many years (taking a pause from teaching right now). However, despite all of that, severe issues still snuck up on me because I got distracted and didn’t give enough time and attention to my health.

A few weeks ago – maybe two months by now – I pulled something in my back and suddenly felt nerve pain all the way down into my leg. Of course, being a tough guy, I ignored it and kept doing smart stuff like shuffling gravel in my backyard or riding the ATV over rocky mountain trails. Fast forward four weeks, and I find myself on the table at the orthopedics center with a herniated disc and almost unable to move.

While I did enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors over the last years, I stopped going to the gym due to COVID restrictions and didn’t do any strength training. That works well for a while until it hits you big time. I’ve let my guard down and became lazy with my health.

Don’t ever get lazy with your health and other things that you value highly (e.g., relationships and time with loved ones). Don’t ever deprioritize those for other seemingly urgent things – keep your focus and your time on your values and priorities!

How you feel in five years depends largely on what you do today for it. How you will spend your days in ten years is defined by what you prioritize today. Make the right decisions and make them count.

For myself, I’m of course doing PT twice a week, and it helps a lot. I also added a few small tools to our little downstairs exercise area, and I’m now working on my weak spots at least 30mins every day.

Invest in your future – focus on your health and what matters to you!