Start Small (Thank EVERYONE)

We meet a lot of people along the way as we take our small steps to achieve our big dreams. I've been thinking this week about these people and how this ecosystem matters along the way. Whatever we're building, others are involved whether we recognize their contribution or not. But what if we noticed? What if we noticed to the point of thankfulness? How might it change the landscape of what we're creating? 

A few months back I had a vision for my workspace. I thought a tall, open-design bookcase was required to house my office items and might also create the right aesthetic for the room itself. So when my sister-friend was in town on a visit, we headed out to find a few key items for my space, including the bookcase. Happily, I found one that I loved. When the man at the store offered to help us carry the piece from point A to point B, I was caught up in gratitude for him.

"Sir," said I. "Do you know that you are helping me to create a space where I'll be able to work so much more productively to finish a book I'm writing and build my companies from?"

Proper English aside on my part, he looked up from the place where he was maneuvering the furniture and smiled a little. I don't know that he knew what to say to me, honestly. I'm sure it was a little strange and of course, I continued...

"Seriously, you are playing a part in helping me to do what I'm supposed to do in the world. Thank you so much!" 

Were these my exact words? Probably close, but my memory of the moment gives you the gist. It's true, though. I was so overcome by the reality that his role in this singular offer of help was making it possible for me to better accomplish my purpose. He literally lightened my load, making it easier for me to have what I needed. It was so beautiful to me. Still is.

And just a week or two ago, I opened my door as I saw the UPS man arrive outside. A loud burst came out of me as I greeted him, "Hello there! I'm SO happy you're here!..."

He handed me a large box and I smiled. "Do you know that the thing in this box is going to help me organize all of my things so my companies can move forward??" (I'm very descriptive about the things, you know? I've got some work to do...)

He smiled a little, much like the other man, not sure what to say or do.

"I'm so grateful for you! You're helping me to accomplish all of that..." I exclaimed.

We wished one another well and then he was on his way. (And who knows what he thought when he left... I still smile thinking about the possibilities, though). 

But seriously, HOW FUN is that? There are people in our lives each and every day who are contributing to our forward movement and to our successes. But, what does it matter?

The longer I spend working with people and organizations, the more I see the value of gratitude. When we can appreciate the contribution of others, we actually position ourselves to move our objectives forward. I don't know about you, but when others notice how I've helped them or when they offer a specific thank you for work I've done, I'm ready to help more and work harder. This said, if our motive is to thank because we get something out of it, people will see right through it. I think that's important to note here. But, if we're genuine (because we've practiced along the way), we create a culture that is not only productive but healthy. Practicing this "noticing" in our everyday encounters will translate into a lifestyle of the same.

And who doesn't want to relate to or work with a boss, friend, family member, colleague, or human who shows respect and honor through gratitude? Let's notice our ecosystem! Some contributions may seem small, but we know better. What other people offer to us matters. Let's shower them with gratitude.


  • Who has served you today?
  • How did their service help you to move forward?
  • What might you say to express your gratitude?

I'd love to hear YOUR stories of ecosystem gratitude... Feel free to send a note my way!