52 Intentional Affirmations:

#3. “I look for opportunities to thank people! This week I will intentionally thank someone who rarely gets thanked.”

Each week I’m reporting here on my personal experience in implementing my 52 Intentional Affirmations. These are designed to help us be more intentionally mindful of the impact our intentions have on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. (Click Here to start work on your own 52 Intentional Affirmations).

Over the past week I’ve been applying Intentional Affirmation #3 – “I look for opportunities to thank people! This week I will intentionally thank someone who rarely gets thanked.”

This follows on quite nicely from my last post on gratefulness and thanking people.

As I thought about who I would intentionally thank this week, my immediate attention turned first to my family. I called up my Dad (he turns 80 this year), and just toward the end of our usual catch up on the phone, I simply said “Hey Dad… just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for me before I left home – you gave me a great foundation and I just wanted to say thanks.”

Now, my Dad’s a pretty practical and blokey bloke, and I know he struggles with this kind of stuff, but I also know how much he appreciated it (I also know, for a whole bunch of reasons that I don’t need to go into here, he doesn’t get thanked much for anything any more).

It was also easy to find opportunities to thank Liz and my two sons during the week, but that wasn’t really practicing the affirmation, because it’s part of our family DNA to find reasons to say thanks to each other.

So what I decided to do was to intentionally thank as many customer service people as I could during my normal shopping week. And there is a difference I noticed. When I’m mindfully aware of my intention that I’m about to thank someone, I look for something they’ve done (or are doing) that would typically go unnoticed – otherwise, I reckon it could all come across as fake and potentially patronising.

Here are just a couple of not so astonishing examples that I know made a difference to the shop assistants because of their smile and reactions.

  • Steve at JayCar (Electronics store) who took the time to look something up on the internet for me;
  • Lenora who was an expert at packing the ‘green bags’ at Coles checkout;
  • Alex who really did take extra skill with the leaf design on my cappuccino.

And here’s the real lesson

What I learned or relearned this week was that this affirmation – to look for opportunities to thank people who rarely get thanked – is so easy to do, and there’s no down side to it. And while I like to think (with some humble arrogance I suppose) that I practice this simple example of intentional practical altruism quite often, it’s again, the focus and mindful attention to why I’m doing it that’s most important. Mindful awareness of our intention is what Intentionomics is all about – the impact of our intentions on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life… and the impact is on ourselves and so often (if not always) on others with whom we come into contact throughout our daily lives.

Who will you thank today that rarely gets thanked?

Oh… and by the way – Thanks for reading, and I would of course enjoy hearing from you… so join the Intentionomics conversation with some feedback or comment or question.