Have you ever received a hand-written card and been so touched that you kept that note for a long time? Maybe you tacked it up to a bulletin board or put it on the fridge. Each time you saw it, you were reminded that someone cared enough to send you that note. This happens to me all the time! I walk into someone’s office or home, and I see one of my thank you cards displayed. And it’s not just me! I hear from lots of people who also Spread Thanks daily — and it happens to them too. This blog is about one of those examples, and it illustrates the unforgettable nature of gratitude and how it improves your life.
Experiencing a Breakdown
A friend of mine has been sending cards each day for over a year and getting such awesome feedback. I love this particular story she told me last week. It was a bad day actually. She got a call from her niece who was in a panic about her car that had just broken down on the way to work. The hood was smoking, some ominous dark liquid was oozing on the ground, and her niece was freaking out. My friend sped over to help her and it was indeed pretty serious.
Clearly it needed a tow truck and a good garage, but the younger woman had no idea whom to call or what to do. Not a problem. My friend knew a good mechanic and she called him right away. He could not have been more helpful. Despite it being 8:30 a.m. at his shop and having a full line-up of customers scrambling to drop off their cars for maintenance and clamoring for a lift to their workplaces, the mechanic jumped on her request right away.
He sent his tow truck guy to pick up the vehicle and assured my friend and her niece he’d take a look at it right away, once it arrived. That was really great because the younger girl did not have an account with him and he didn’t really know her car at all. He said he’d arrange for the towing cost to be included in the bill to fix it, which took the stress off the roadside chaos they were feeling.
Sure enough, he followed through and the car was fixed by 3 p.m. in the afternoon, radiator replaced, hoses fixed, and he even replaced a windshield wiper with her permission that was past its prime. My friend, her niece and the girl’s parents were so happy — it worked out perfectly and at a very fair price, all in.
My friend knew how busy this man was at his shop and for him to make time for a new person he didn’t know — that was a miracle! So she decided to drop by his shop at the end of the day with her niece to pick up the car and thank him personally. As they collected her keys, settled the bill and were ready to leave the shop, the mechanic whispered to my friend, “Oh I meant to thank you for the thank you card you sent. That was so great.” What? she thought. What card?
Then she remembered that about 9 months ago, he had done a big favor for her own car, just before Christmas. The team at the shop got her back on the road in time to head out of town for the holidays. The shop was swamped that day, too, but he took care of it all with such confidence and right away. Before she left town for her trip that evening, she wrote out her daily thank you note to him and dropped it in the mail. My friend was really grateful for the service his shop gave her on that snowy day.
Fast-forward to August, and he had not forgotten that note. It had arrived to the shop between Christmas and New Years and apparently everyone loved reading it. She had personalized it to the mechanic and the team at his shop and apparently, it was still on the wall months later. It reminded them that people do appreciate the work they do on the vehicles that come in — and that their work is important, and it improves people’s lives. I think we can all use more positive reinforcement and in this case (as in most cases) the little thank-you-note spoke volumes.
When he mentioned the thank you note from almost a year earlier, my friend realized why she got such immediate and excellent service for her niece that day! She had created a lasting impression with his shop by taking a few minutes and sending that little note. It was an aha moment and she realized the unforgettable nature of gratitude! It pays itself forward every day.
It’s all part and parcel of the miracles that come out of daily gratitude and sending a note a day. If you want to get more goodness flowing like this in your own life, then please check out my thank you shop or book for ideas or resources. Thank you for sharing your ideas below, and thanks for spreading thanks each and every day.