by Eileen Lemish

When the holiday season begins, we are instinctively prompted to think about all the things we are thankful for. We reach out to loved ones we haven’t seen recently, and many of us volunteer or donate money as a way of giving back. But you don’t need a holiday to say thank you. You can show your thanks everyday by taking a few minutes to show your gratitude. Those folks will feel appreciated and you’ll feel happier with yourself.


Sure, a text here and or an e-card there is a quick and easy way to say “Hey, thanks.” But to really make an impact, do it like it’s 1989 and send a HANDWRITTEN note. The gist of this shows thoughtfulness and brings a little bit of nostalgia along with it.  You may have to practice your penmanship first, however, because if you’re like me, it’s probably been a while since you’ve put down your iPhone and picked up a pen.


By now I’m sure that you’ve heard of this concept that involves repaying a good deed done to you on to someone else. For example, if someone holds the door for you, then you would hold it for the person behind you and so on. You can also do things like pay for the person behind you at the coffee shop, dry cleaners, mini-mart, car wash, etc. The hope is the person you pay for will pay for the next person, and the good deed continues on, thus “paying it forward.”


Fashion, home décor, beauty products…we all have our little vices in life. No matter what it is that you love to buy, on your next shopping spree make it a point to purchase items that give back. Companies such as TOMS shoes donate one pair of shoes to an impoverished child for every pair bought. Soapbox Soaps donates one bar of soap to a child in need for every bar sold. You can find these items, and many more, through a simple internet search.


You might have had someone who helped you achieve goals in life, and if you didn’t, maybe you know how hard it was without a guide. Being a mentor is more than a one-time deal, it’s a commitment that takes time, patience and wisdom. Whether it’s raising a family or running a business, wherever your expertise lies, you can make a big difference in someone’s life. And, by mentoring you can strengthen the lessons you’ve already learned and help another person see her true value.


A simple, heartfelt smile can really go a long way. Paying attention to the little things like a genuine handshake, a sincere pat on the back and really meaning it when you say “thank you” can turn someone’s day around within seconds. And making someone happy is the best way to show your gratitude. Try it…it might change the way you see the world.