#13 - 365 Thank Yous

One of the books that further ingrained in me the power of gratitude is John Kralik's 365 Thank Yous. I found it in my mother's things shortly after her death, a gift to her from my older brother in 2011 (she wrote that information inside). I feel as if she meant me to find it.

Rather than awkwardly paraphrasing what it's about, I'll just share the jacket copy here:

One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low: his small law firm was failing; he had grown distant from his two older children and was afraid he might lose contact with his young daughter; he was living in a tiny apartment where he froze in the winter and baked in the summer; he was 40 pounds overweight; his girlfriend had just broken up with him; and overall, his dearest life dreams seemed to have slipped beyond his reach.

Then, during a desperate hike on New Year's Day, John was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn't have, he could find some way to be grateful for what did.

Inspired by a beautiful, simple note his ex-girlfriend had sent to thank him for his Christmas gift, John imagined that he might find a way to feel grateful by writing thank you notes. He set the goal - come what may - of writing 365 thank you notes in the coming year.

One by one, day after day, he began to handwrite thank yous for gifts or kindnesses he'd received from loved ones and coworkers, from past business associates and current foes, from college friends and doctors and store clerks and handymen and neighbors, and anyone, really, absolutely anyone, who'd done him a good turn, however large or small. Immediately after he'd sent his very first notes, significant and surprising benefits began to come John's way - financial gain, true friendship, weight loss, and inner peace. While John wrote his notes, the economy collapsed, the bank across the street from his office failed, but thank you note by thank you note, John's whole life turned around.

This book is well written by John, himself, and takes you along on his incredible journey. For me, it shows the power of gratitude, and that if we look for things to be thankful for - as John did - we will see a multitude of blessings in our life.

I think if everyone knew that the pile of things to be grateful for grows exponentially when we actually see and appreciate them, more people would look.

Even in the midst of suffering, there are things to be grateful for, and if we focus on them, they help lead us out of our pain. I know it's certainly been true for me these past two years since my mother's death. Even in my darkest moments, I forced myself to look around for the silver linings in my clouds, and they were always there. Some small, some so big they pierced the sky.

365 Thank Yous may be John Kralik's story, but I believe everyone who tried this would have their own truly incredible tale if they followed his example. Even just one month of thank yous, instead of one year, would profoundly change lives.

So, what do you say, friends? You can snag John's book at the link below. Please note that, on Amazon, the publisher has tweaked it a bit, with a new cover and title, but it's the same book. When you finish it, and you're feeling all inspired, go grab a pen and some paper, and start your own gratitude journey.

And don't forget to come back, comment below and share it with us!

***I'm offering a copy of this book for FREE in a contest giveaway for my subscribers! Look for it in my April 9th newsletter! If you're not a subscriber, you're missing out on free printables, coupons, and chances to win cool stuff like this book, so subscribe today!