An Attitude of Gratitude


noun: acknowledgement
  1. 1.
    acceptance of the truth or existence of something.
    “there was no acknowledgment of the family’s trauma”
  2. 2.
    the action of expressing or displaying gratitude or appreciation for something.
    “he received an award in acknowledgment of his work”
    • the action of showing that one has noticed someone or something.
      “he touched his hat in acknowledgment of the salute”
    • a letter confirming receipt of something.
      “I received an acknowledgment of my application”

Acknowledgement can go a very long way.  It is such a simple gesture, yet all too often we fail to take the few seconds that it takes to actually give it.

And, I don’t mean the everyday, repetitive acknowledgments that we give, like, “Good job,” or “Way to go.”  While those are nice…They go into the same category as the everyday, “Hey, how are you” line we give everyone on the streets and in the stores.

I’m talking about genuine, thoughtful, and personal acknowledgment.

When a client finally breaks parallel in their front squat after months and months of mobility and consistency, we need to take the 5 seconds to say, “Oh my gosh, John, I’m so proud of you!  You broke parallel finally, and it’s all because of the months of hard work you put in!”

When your son puts his dirty socks into the laundry hamper, instead of saying, “It’s about time,” take the 5 seconds to say, “Thank you for putting your dirty socks into the hamper.  That is very helpful every time you do that.”

When a stranger holds the door open for you, instead of giving a quick hand gesture and walking right by him, take the 5 seconds to look at his eyes and say, “Thank you for holding the door for me. That was very kind of you!”

When a janitor keeps the bathroom spotless and running, rather than taking it for granted and saying it’s his job, take the 5 seconds one day out of the blue to shake his hand and say, “Thanks for always keeping the bathroom so nice.  It really makes a difference here and everyone notices and appreciates it, including me.”

When a friend gives your kids a ride home from school for the millionth time, take 5 seconds to give her a hug next time she drops them off and say, “I really appreciate you always picking up my kids after school and bringing them home for me.  I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do without your help, so I hope you know what a difference you make in our lives.”

Next time you’re walking the dog, pick some flowers from the field and give them to your wife, and take the 5 seconds to say, “I love you and thought of you when I saw these flowers.  You’re a great mom to our kids, and I appreciate how hard you work for us.”

Acknowledgement takes 5 seconds.

But, it can last days, months, years, and even a lifetime for someone.  It really is that powerful.

We live in a world of don’ts, can’ts, won’ts, shouldn’ts, and haters.  Lots of criticism and opinions to be given.  It’s easy to nit-pick others, say that we could do it better, and how it “should” be done.  But, most of us are doing the best we can with what we have at that moment.

So, here’s a challenge for you…

Every day, take 5 seconds to genuinely acknowledge someone.

And then see the magic happen…