Expressions of Gratitude on Thanksgiving

expressions of gratitudeOriginally posted on November 24, 2011

Expressing appreciation is an act that rises to top-of-mind on Thanksgiving. I am no different from most people, in that respect.

My success or failure in expressing appreciation and gratitude is a continual challenge. A challenge that creeps into my mind and soul as a reminder of what one should do.

Sometimes we give thanks, without much of thought. And other times, it’s deep-seated, meaningful essay. Yesterday, I received a short email that reminded how a few sentences, out of the blue, can brighten one’s day and bring a smile to one’s face.

I received a short email from someone I barely remember, who frequented the college nightclubs where I DJ’d, more than 35 years ago.

“Andy: You may not remember me but I know you from your D.J. days in Tucson. Danced often. Point After and End Zone. Still talk to some of my friends from those days and your name came up during recent conversations reminiscing. Looked you  up and was not surprised to see you successful in your chosen field.”

Sheri K”

It resonated with me, for a number of reasons.

  • Those were particularly good days, and it gave me a wonderful series of flashbacks.
  • It felt great that the simple ‘act of playing music’ had provided Sheri and others with fun experience, then, and great memories, now.
  • The fact that she took the time to look me up and send a note was stunningly wonderful.

I’ve connected and reconnected with people via the Internet, through various sites and common interests. But Sheri’s note reminds me that I need to block some time, every week, to put a smile on another person’s face. Whether it’s an old friend, a peer or a mentor… whether the relationship is ancient, new, casual or formal.

I don’t plan to make this a New Year’s Resolution. I simply plan to make it a commitment and develop this ritual as a new and frequently-used habit.

There is not a threshold of success or failure for this activity. No magic pass/fail number. I’m pretty sure if can follow through on this, the impact will become clear.

With every best, on your Thanksgiving…

Andy Ebon
Speaker – Writer – Problem Solver
The Wedding Marketing Blog

The Miracle of Appreciation

The Miracle of Appreciation is the title of a keynote presentation I first gave over a decade ago. It is a breakdown of some of the many meanings of appreciation.

  • Appreciating the good fortune of our circumstances. Having proper perspective.
  • Learning how to accept appreciation, gracefully… For example, not minimizing a grand compliment with response, such as: “Oh, I was just doing my job.”
  • Saying “Thanks” to those who say “Thanks”. It is all-too-rare that people take time and care to express their gratitude, that when given, it should always be acknowledged

Earlier this year, I visited the Wisconsin NACE chapter for  a half-day of seminars and a dinner presentation. It was a great trip, but what I enjoyed most was the dinner I spent with the President and Programs Chair, Emilie and Emily, the evening before the meetings.

I think it was Emilie that asked me, “What do you enjoy most about what you do?”

As I recall, my answers was along these lines… 

“Sometimes I can sense when I’ve made a breakthrough with/for a person during the course of a seminar. You see them light up… Then, months later, I’ll get an email or meet-up with that person at a conference and they’ll tell me about how I helped accelerate their success, by something learned from me.”

In a couple of weeks I’m making a return trip to the Portland, Maine area. I was there late October, just last year (for the same client). It was (and is) daylong set of four seminars.

appreciationThis morning, on my Facebook Business Page, I received the following post.

Andy, 

I attended your seminar in Portland, ME last fall hosted by the Maine Wedding Association and it turned my business around. I took your advice and changed my business name from Balloon Magic to Maine Event Design & Decor, used many of the Facebook, website and Constant Contact advice you gave.

I will more than triple my business this year from last. I appreciate your marketing skills and advice. Thanks so much! I know your coming to Brunswick, ME next month. I’d like to attend but we’re booked so I’m not sure I can make it but I wanted to send along my appreciation.

Robyn Allen
Maine Event Design & Decor

I have repeated the ‘magic question’ (and my answer) to others, about ‘what I enjoy most about what I do’, many times since my trip to Milwaukee. However, this message really touched me.

January 1, 2012, I started a project, in the form of a blog, called Appreciation Chronicles – Practicing Gratitude. While I thought I would post more often, every time I do express myself, it generates warmth.

I have a number of travel days for seminars, scheduled in the next six weeks. I am so grateful to Robyn for setting the mood for me.

Days like this are rare. Hope you are getting your share.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog