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Oct 12 2015

One Secret to Success

It only takes a little to be above average!


In reading about a very successful businessman a few years ago, I came across a statement that this man credited a lot of his success to his habit of writing a thank you note every day to someone. He did not consider his work done for the day until he had written at least one note to someone that had helped him or done a good job. By doing this, he trained himself to look out for things that others do for him, be on the lookout for efforts beyond the normal or necessary. Others would receive these notes and realize that this man appreciated their efforts and the next time they could serve him, they would put forth even more effort.


Don’t you like to be appreciated? Doesn’t a “Thank you” or a note saying that someone appreciates your work mean a lot to you? As you mature, you should realize more and more what others are doing for you.


Let’s take a look at a new born baby. When the baby is born, they don’t realize it but they have just caused their mother to be sick for 3-8 months, they have caused all sort of bodily aches and pains to their mother. They have just caused her labor pains and caused her to have the worse pain that she has ever had in her life. So, the doctor or midwife delivers the baby and the first thing the baby wants to do is nurse. That will cause further pain to the mother as the uterus contracts because nursing releases Pitocin, a drug that causes labor pains. The baby is very angry when it is born, demanding attention immediately. I have never heard of a baby turning to its mother and saying, “Thanks, Mom for going through all of that and giving me life. If you have a minute, can I have some milk? I am pretty hungry.”
As I have thought through this scenario, it occurs to me that the person to get the birthday gifts should be the Mom, not the child, what did the child ever do to deserve birthday presents on their birthday?!


Anyway, back to the issue at hand, my point is that the baby is the most selfish human being on the face of the earth. As the child grows, the parents need to teach him to be less selfish, less self-centered. He learns that he has to share, that he has to play with others, that he has to be considerate, that he can’t always get his own way…….


As we mature, we learn that other people have lives, choices, desires, and schedules that they put to one side in order to help us with our issues. We should have a profound thankfulness for this and we should voice our thankfulness to them, both in spoken word and in written notes.


When was the last time you wrote a thank you note?


I read a book once called, “It takes so little to be above average”. Good little book, we just need to do something a bit better than the “average” and we will stand out. (A saying I like is, “Out of every two people you meet, one of them is below average.”) So, if you start thanking people, sincerely, you will start to stand out. People will start to notice who you are and what you are doing. It will be natural for them to want to help you. They will start looking at you as “different” (in a good way).


So, how do you start? Well, first, just think about something good that someone did for you. (Maybe your mother, for having you?). Then, take out a note card, you can get them very cheaply at any Walmart, Staples or Target. Just write a small, few sentences about how you appreciate what they did for you. Sign it, address it, stamp it and send it off.
As long as your mother doesn’t get a heart attack at receiving a thank you note out of the blue from you, she will be very pleased. You will probably get a reward in the form of cake, pie or your favorite food, that is a pretty good ROI (Return On Investment).


Now, take it to the next step, think of something someone did for you over the last few days. Take out a card and write it to that person. As you do this more and more, you will start to see the results from this. The results will be seen in various ways. First, other people will start noticing you, you will be “above average”, second it will change you because you will start to be more grateful and thankful, noticing the little things that others do for you.


Next, try to do one every day for the next 3 weeks. Sit back and see the results!


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