My Dad didn’t retire from his full-time job until he was 72. Even then, he kept his part-time CPA practice going. He really enjoyed working with his clients and even enjoyed learning the new tax laws each year.
When he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 73, he could no longer continue working in his part-time CPA practice. His health declined so rapidly that it became my job to call his clients and let them know about my Dad’s health situation. I also had to deliver the message that they would need to find a different CPA going forward.
When I talked to each of his clients, they told me how grateful they were to my father for all his work and care for their families.
Their messages were heartfelt and lovely and made a challenging task much easier to bear. It also got me thinking, why do we wait so long to express gratitude?
We might express regular gratitude to our loved ones that we see every day or to our family members. But, so many people positively touch our lives, and they don’t often hear those messages from us.
Gratitude doesn’t have a timeline
Quinta Brunson famously named ‘Abbott Elementary’ after her sixth-grade teacher to honor her. She also uses her show to honor her mom, a Kindergarten teacher, by incorporating some of her stories into the plotlines.
These are unique ways to show gratitude and appreciation. Of course, most of us don’t have that kind of outlet to show our appreciation. And that’s okay!
Gratitude doesn’t need to be a big gesture. Simply hearing about our positive impact on someone’s life is a gift with an immeasurable impact.
Don’t wait to show appreciation
Who are the people who have helped you most in your life, your career, and your leadership?
How long has it been since you were in touch with them and told them how grateful you are to them? How long has it been since you sent a message conveying the impact they have had on you?
Make it easy! Start by writing a few lines of gratitude to those individuals. From there, decide how you want to let them know.
This exercise will be a meaningful for you and those who receive your messages of gratitude.