I spent the last month writing hundreds of thank you notes.
My son asked why I didn’t have them printed, since the message is the same in each card.
It’s the time and the action and the intention.
Printing is easy.
One message. Push print. You’re done.
Writing by hand requires focus and time and purpose.
Same with gratitude. Focus. Time. Purpose.
Did you see Tiffany Haddish’s explanation of “Joyful Greens” a few months back? She was on Ellen Degeneres’ show, talking about a dinner she had with Taylor Swift, and how she smiled when she picked the collard greens in her garden and then continued smiling through every step of cooking them, hence the name “Joyful Greens” and the creation of a delicious meal.
Her description made me laugh, but it also reminded me of writing thank you notes.
Does smiling while cooking make the meal any better?
Does writing hundreds of cards instead of printing them make them any better?
If you have gratitude in your life it does.
As I wrote the cards, I thought about each word.
If my mind wandered, a mistake would follow. Same thing if the kids turned on the TV or stereo in the background. Like Tiffany Haddish smiling, I focused on saying thank you and eliminated background noise.
Thinking of Thank You for so many hours was calming.
The constant chatter in my head disappeared, as did Worry and Stress. Both took off, dragging Drama with them.
I left my office and worked at my kitchen table.
The afternoon sun was warm.
I could see the birds and the leaves and the squirrels.
It was calming.
It reminded me of all I have to be thankful for in my own life.
If you’re in the United States reading this, you likely had Thanksgiving yesterday, and then the pressure to shop Black Friday sales is on today.
As I write this, I know that I’ll do some online shopping myself. I’d be lying to say otherwise. But the rest of the day? With my family. Not working. Not on my phone or computer. Thinking about being grateful for everything I have in my life.
Do the work is a key message on this site, but just as important as doing the work is doing gratitude—and gratitude takes a clear mind. Takes Rest. Takes Reflection. Takes Calm.
I hope today finds you sitting in a sunny spot, whether in your kitchen window or office. I hope you have time for quiet. I hope the head voices stop chattering. I hope thanks are given and received.
Thank you to all of you for supporting us year after year.
A 1-Day Event With Steven Pressfield
Join an exclusive gathering for writers who are in the ring.