Sometimes I spontaneously recall things from the past; sometimes, from the very distant past. Like this past weekend, my memory chose to flush out encounters I had with my late grandfather many years ago. In particular, I remembered his ‘weird’ ways of administering life skills to us. For instance, if he gave you say a mango and you left quietly, he would quickly call you back and say something like, “give me back that one so that I give you a bigger one.” Of course you would find yourself giving the mango back in order to be given a bigger one. Once he gets it back he would chase you away and decline to give you what you thought you would be given. Reason? You forgot to say, ‘thank you!’ What a way to teach! Going forward, you would not miss to thank anyone for anything done in your favor.
Looking at it in retrospect, I realize how wise the old man was. He used to insist on the importance of the three simple and less utilized yet very powerful words – please, sorry and thanks. These words have capacity to soften the hardest of hearts and they carry bountiful favors and blessings. People who have mastered the usage of these words often get themselves endeared to people. However, it is a concern that powerful as these words are, most people do not use them constantly as and when they fall due for use. Most people believe that it amounts to belittling for one to use any of these three words and no one wants to feel inferior. Belittling? Nothing can be far from the truth. What these three words do is that they demonstrate your humility which is a powerful ingredient in the achievement of sustained growth in whichever sphere of your life. In this Focus Talk, I choose to single out one of them – thanks.
I may not explain why my mind remembered the bit about ‘thank you’ from my grandfather but I know it’s a subject whose discussion is long overdue. Most people will be very aggressive while asking or begging or praying for something. Some will even go on their knees until they get that which they want. The situation then takes a dramatic turn once they receive that which they were in need of; they simply pick it, mute off and walk away! I can bet that forgetting to be thankful does not go down well with whoever the giver is. ‘Thanks’ is a simple way of acknowledging the trouble that the giver has gone through to make you comfortable. Sometimes, you may not know or may even ignore the trouble encountered in preparing and availing to you what you required; it does not kill to be thankful even where you know it is an entitlement. At least the guy has facilitated your receipt of the entitlement.
Even when our good Lord Jesus Christ healed the ten lepers, only one turned to thank Him. People always have lists of wishes and prayer items that they are constantly praying for. The only shortcoming is that people forget to check against answered prayers and only keep their focus on the ever growing list of prayer items. If only we became honest with ourselves and chose to check against answered prayers and unsolicited necessary favors, then we realize how thankful we need to be. There is a lot we take for granted.
Today for instance, you are alive and healthy yet life is not of your making; be thankful. Your children have all grown, they play on their own, go to school and come back safe and sound; be thankful. You have kept your job even when organizations retrenched; be thankful. Your business has survived the economic storms and your employees have delivered on your business targets; be thankful even though you may argue that you pay your employees to do just that. I am dearly grateful to God for enabling me to deliver the promise of writing 52 weekly articles in 2016 and my Focus Talk fans for fanning in me the undying spirit of serving on this front. Thank you all.
You will always have something to be grateful for. I challenge you in this Focus Talk to begin nurturing the habit of appreciating people and God for all the things that have happened in your life. Do not wait for your wish list to be entirely granted to you for you to be thankful; that is not going to happen because that list keeps ballooning every other day. Do not miss the chance to say, ‘thank you.’ Year 2016 may not have been your best of years, but you still have a long list of things to be thankful for. Put your mind on the things that you were able to achieve and they will fuel you to enter 2017 in an inspired way. With thankfulness YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Motivational Speaker and Author.