In early January I got a very thoughtful letter from one of my favorite young bucks in Austin, Wes Fang, who recently decided to make 2016 a year focused on thanksgiving and vulnerability in his life. His expression of gratitude not only humbled me, but it also got me thinking about the power of expressing gratitude to others.

How often do you express gratitude in your life?

You probably do it more than I do but my guess is that we could both be much more intentional about it.

I have no idea why I don’t do a better job of sharing my gratitude with others. Seriously, every time I do it I feel better because I am able to acknowledge the impact they made on my life and I’m pretty confident they feel better knowing how much I appreciate them (I know the letter from Wes made a huge impact on me).

One of my favorite authors and clients, Ann Voskamp, was the first to really encourage me to take a look at the power of gratitude in my life. Her debut book, One Thousand Gifts, was a poignant, life-changing punch in the those nose to people like me who far too often don’t live a life of gratitude amidst deadlines and daily duties.

Since reading her book I have been better at getting into a mindset of gratitude (not nearly as good as I should be) but I don’t do a very good job of expressing that gratitude to others, which is something I’m working on thanks to Wes.

I believe there is an important jump for many of us to make between having a mindset of gratitude and actually expressing it to others. You see, when we have a mindset of gratitude, it helps us personally, but when we express our gratitude to others, it helps them as well and can set off a ripple effect that can impact many more lives.

In the spirit of making that jump, I’m going to be more intentional this year at expressing my gratitude to others, as I have so much to be thankful for each day.

As a brief example, here are a few people who I owe a debt of gratitude to just for their contributions to the first half of my day today.

  • I’m grateful for a wonderful breakfast meeting with my co-author, strategic partner and friend Barbara Cave Henricks to plan out our gameplan for our very first interview about our new book.
  • I’m grateful to Shelby Janner, Sara Pence & Megan Grajeda for working together to secure interviews like this for the book launch.
  • I’m grateful to Dr. Mindy Hall for interviewing us this morning and Greg Gephart for all of the prep work that went into the interview.
  • I’m grateful to Robbie Vorhaus for lending a hand on a very important client.
  • I’m grateful to Tiffany Ballard for her quiet confidence and leadership on a tough project.
  • I’m grateful to Shelby Sledge for her willingness to step up (as usual) and manage a very important out-of-town meeting this afternoon in my place because Paige is so close to the due date.
  • I’m grateful to Paige Velasquez for long hours and lots of hard work to set up a very good launch day today for one of our biggest clients.
  • I’m grateful to our Web team, led by Vanessa Navarro, for launching two huge new websites today.
  • I’m grateful to Melanie Cloth for showing me how to size the image correctly for this blog post.
  • I’m grateful to Brandon Procell for keeping a positive attitude and redirecting a client to a better approach.
  • I’m grateful to Patti Conrad for keeping me on track.
  • I’m grateful to Heather Adams for initially referring Ann Voskamp before we were really on the map and, in doing so, getting me onto a track of gratitude in my life.
  • I’m grateful to Nick Alter for lots of time spent today prepping for the relaunch of Catch Engine.
  • I’m grateful to Paige for juggling a sick child at home 10 days before her due date without needing me to shift plans.
  • I’m grateful to my Mom for setting such a good example of how to love a friend in thoughtfully planning for her upcoming birthday.
  • I’m grateful to Lisa Tener, Amy Beilharz & Kristen Frantz for sharing news about our new book on Facebook.

I could keep going and going – I really could – and I’m sure I’m forgetting many others who have contributed to this Tuesday but this quick example is pretty eye-opening for me in how many people deserve my gratitude in just the first half of February 2, 2016.

I need to find more significant ways to express gratitude than this but you get the idea.

How about you?

Would making the jump from feeling gratitude to expressing it make a positive impact on those around you?

I bet it would and I know Wes will be proud of the ripple effect he has inspired.

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  • Cathy Turney

    Rusty, I’m grateful to you for getting me over my Twitter phobia!

    • Me, too! Rusty, you are so encouraging and always give practical steps to take to go along with the encouragement.

    • Rusty Shelton

      Thanks, guys – Cathy – always enjoy reading your content!

  • Humbled. Gratitude is both the greatest of currencies and the most contagious of gifts. Thanks for the post.

    Also, “young buck” eh? I thought we were the same age?

    • Wes, I think you captured it beautifully with how gratitude when expressed is contagious.

    • Rusty Shelton

      Clearly we’re both young bucks then!