Two Words to Change the World

Can we change the world with two simple words? I think so.

The other night as I was sitting up in my bed, I had a thought enter my mind that hit me like a ton of bricks:

“Damn, I’ve asked you guys to do some really tough things here at The Positivity Solution, haven’t I?”

Just in 2015 alone (and we’re only 2 months in!), I’ve asked you to:

But this week, it’s time to put our feet up on the table, take the week off from the heavy lifting, and do something that is super easy.

Don’t miss the message, though.

As usual, even if it’s easy, if it’s on this blog, then it’s an important skill to get us closer to living a more positive life. Even more important, this skill has the power to completely change the world.

Best of all, it only involves saying two words consistently.

Ready?

The Power of Two Simple Words

In my opinion, I have always believed that two of the most powerful words in the world are these two simple words:

Thank you.

Think about it, how do you feel when someone sincerely takes the time to appreciate you?

If you’re anything like me, you feel energized, you feel like your efforts mattered to someone, most importantly, you feel important.

On the flip side, how do you feel when you are underappreciated or unappreciated?

Yeah, exactly.

The power of a sincere “thank you” cannot be understated.

That’s why it’s one of the first things we teach our children as soon as they’re old enough to speak. When it comes to pure positivity, the positive power of those two words is tough to match.

Then why don’t we say it more often?

I know people who have quit their jobs, ended their marriages, harbored deep bitterness toward their parents, and walked away from life-long friendships just because they didn’t hear those two words often enough.

There is no doubt that we are an appreciation-starved society.

I used to work with a senior executive who proudly said that he doesn’t say “thank you” to his employees because that would make them soft and less willing to work hard for him.

Seriously???

If he really wanted his people to work hard for him, all it would take is for him to look into his employees’ eyes and sincerely thank them for their efforts. Instead, he thinks that he’ll get more from his staff by emotionally destroying them and withholding praise on a daily basis.

Yes, emotionally-unintelligent cavemen like guy, truly exist. Let’s refuse to be like him.

If we really want to make the world a more positive place, let’s commit to giving sincere and meaningful appreciation to others on a consistent basis.

The Easiest Way to Make Someone’s Day

You want to positively rock someone’s world in the easiest way imaginable?

  • Randomly hug your spouse and thank him/her for everything that he/she does for your family.
  • Give your coworker a handwritten note to thank her for how she specifically helped you with a recent project.
  • Look the grocery store bagger in the eyes and sincerely thank him for taking care of your groceries.
  • Call your mom out of the blue and thank her for helping to raise you into the man/woman you are today.
  • Send a bottle of wine over to your best friend’s house as a “thank you” for always being there for you.
  • Give an enthusiastic “thank you” to your kids for cleaning up their room, eating all of their veggies or doing their chores.
  • Sincerely thank a stranger for offering you a smile and brightening up your day.

Believe me, these things matter a lot.

If you did just one of the things listed above–just one–you would completely brighten someone’s day in a way that you might not even believe.

In some cases, the positive effect of your appreciation could stick with that person for weeks, months, or even longer.

And it is so easy to do too.

You can literally make the world a more positive place by refusing to withhold praise and by choosing to sincerely and meaningfully thank others.

Do you want to change the world?

Thank someone today.

Showing Gratitude For What We Have

In our busy lives, we don’t always stop to appreciate the good things in our lives.

The fact that you have a computer, smart phone, tablet, or any other device that is allowing you to read these words, is an amazing thing. There are literally millions of people all over the world who will never be as fortunate in their lifetimes.

Taking it a step further, the fact that we’re able to read at all is something that’s worth being very thankful for.

I cannot say this enough. Being thankful, and I mean really thankful, is a state that we should consciously enjoy every single day of our lives. And sadly, it is so easy to forget this because sometimes we think that we’re too busy to be thankful.

If so, here’s a simple way to put an end to that today.

Let me ask you this: you’re never too busy to brush your teeth each day, right? (I hope)

If so, and if you’re short on time, why not use that time to focus on what you’re thankful for?

I have one of those fancy-schmansy Oral-B electric toothbrushes that times my tooth brushing for two minutes. During that time, I spend it focused on what I’m thankful for.

Since I brush my teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night, I’m able to start and end my day focused on what I’m truly thankful for.

I honestly believe this tiny act (I wish that I could take credit for it, but I learned it from one of my close friends) has helped enormously to make me a happier person.

Seriously, try it. You’ll thank me (see what I did there?) later for this tip, I promise.

If you’re not currently spending time being thankful each day, how much happier could you be if you focused twice a day, morning and night, on being thankful?

In case you need a reminder, there are a lot of things in this world to be thankful for:

  • Our kids.
  • Our significant others.
  • Our health.
  • Our homes.
  • Our inner strength.
  • Our positive attitude.
  • Our jobs.
  • Our car.
  • Our compassion.
  • Our friends.
  • Our freedom.
  • Our unique skills.
  • Our ability to positively change our lives whenever we’re ready.

If nothing else, we can all be thankful that we’re currently above ground and breathing.

Seriously, I’m challenging you to try it. Sure, it’s easy to find something for us to complain about, but enough of that tired crap.

Let’s focus on what we’re truly thankful for instead.

To start, all that you have to do is focus on what you’re thankful for while you’re brushing your teeth each day. That’s easy, right?

Do you want to change the world?

Remember each day what you’re thankful for and say a sincere “thank you” to the world that you’re fortunate enough to enjoy those things.

My “Thank You” to You

I believe that life is simpler than we might normally think.

It is entirely possible to positively change the world in a huge way by sincerely thanking others and being thankful for what we have consistently.

Simply put, I believe in the power of “thank you” with every fiber of my being.

Speaking of “thank you,” I’m also very aware that without you reading these words there would be no chance that my dream of making the world a more positive place could ever become a reality.

To everyone reading this who has ever believed in me, to everyone who chooses kindness over being an asshat, to everyone believes in the power of positivity, and to everyone who is dealing with enormous challenges in their lives and finds the courage to say, Just today, I will stand up and fight for my best life,” I want to say something directly to you.

You consistently inspire me in ways that you may never know.

You are the reason why I continue to fight for my dream of “making positivity the new reality” for as many people as humanly possible.

Most importantly, you are actively making the world a more positive place for all of us.

And for that, I cannot thank you enough.

Your Turn

How do you express gratitude in your life? Is expressing your gratitude something that you do consistently, or is it something that you could do more frequently? Either way, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. Now this is something I am really good at. I am a huge fan of thanking people and also complimenting people. I think it makes a really big difference. Not only to the person being thanked/complimented but to the person doing the thanking/complimenting as well. Being grateful and complimentary is a great example of treating people the way you want to be treated and also of showing dignity and respect in dealing with others. My little sister is really good at this too. She’s is always so genuinely grateful that you can’t help but want to do things for her. One thing I can add to your list is something I like to do, and that is this: I send e-mails to the head quarters of businesses that I frequent and make sure they know how awesome their employees are. I know that doesn’t thank those people personally ( do that while in the store), but I believe it helps those employees in one way or another… Have a great week Shola, and THANK-YOU for being here and writing this amazing blog and also for interacting with us every week. I imagine that can get time consuming and I truly appreciate that you do it anyway. 🙂

    • Spring, I absolutely love the idea of emailing the corporate headquarters of businesses to let them know how awesome their employees are. Too often, people only contact the corporate headquarters to complain, and it’s such a nice shift to do the opposite. Also, thank you for your kind words! Believe me, it’s a joy to communicate with you every week and I will happily do it for as long as I’m able to do so :). THANK YOU, for being one of the early adopters and sticking with me from the very beginning!

  2. OH I LOVE THIS!! So last week, I came across a blog on the Huffington Post that was about how to change your life. It was all about saying thank you! Here is the link:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-m-wyatt-md/change-your-life-with-the-30-day-thank-you-challenge_b_6748062.html

    Anyway, so this challenged me to write a thank you note to someone in my life every day for 30 days. I decided I would do that for the month of March! Yesterday I bought some really fun note cards and started with my first one. And today I stopped by the post office to get stamps, so now I have no excuse but to tell people in my world, “Thank you!”

    Awesome blog, Shola. And thank YOU for your message of positivity. It has made a huge impact on me personally and professionally. Just think how much more positive things will be with each day because of you!

    I hope you have a lovely week!!!

    kathy

    • What a great idea, Kathy! Gratitude has such a powerful effect and there is no doubt that getting a surprise thank you card in the mail would have an incredible impact on someone’s day. That’s definitely an idea that I might have to borrow :). And thank you for your thank you (if that makes sense!) It’s an honor and a privilege to share this space with people as awesome as you. Thanks for actively making this world a better place!

  3. Gratitude is SO important. A close friend of mine was going through a rough patch and she asked me how do I bounce back from my trials so easily. I told her “sweetie it was not easy, I’m glad it looks that way lol…I choose to focus on and be truly thankful for what I have and not focus too much on what I don’t have.” When you focus on your blessings and are thankful you don’t have time to worry about what you don’t have….It’s life changing! I say thank you alot, I don’t think you can say it too much 🙂 Thanks Shola!

    • Yes, PhillyL! Focusing on what I’m grateful for does make things so much easier. The pain in our lives usually comes by focusing on the stuff that we don’t have. And you’re right, making that shift is life-changing!

  4. Happy Monday Shola. I really like this post! I first want to thank you personally, for the time, effort, and love you put into this blog. I am grateful for your commitment to these weekly posts, and I especially appreciate the awesome talent you have for translating the concept of “positive thinking” into demonstrable positive action, that will move us all closer to that more positive, kinder world. I do thank people, at work, at home, in stores, everywhere. The best compliment to give is a very specific one. For instance, instead of just saying “Thank you for helping” (which is still a good thing to say), it’s even better to say, “Thank you for helping me move those boxes. It would have taken me all day by myself. Thank you so much!” I think when you’re really specific, the person who has received your gratitude knows you’re not just saying “thanks” to be polite. If you are specific about what they did and why you appreciate it, they will know you are speaking from the heart. So thank you again Shola, for sharing your thoughts and energy with us. And thank you to this entire community, for consistently reading, responding, and demonstrating that WE CAN DO THIS.

    • Aww…thanks Donna! That compliment really means a lot to me, because it is a soul-nourishing feeling to know that my efforts are being appreciated and (hopefully) acted upon. The specific part of gratitude is soooooo important, and I’m very glad that you mentioned it in your comment. It is literally the difference between something that has a long-lasting positive effect vs. something that is dismissed minutes after it happens. Personally speaking, your showing of gratitude in your comment is something that will definitely stick with me for a long time due to how specific and meaningful it was, so THANK YOU for living by example. I saw what you did there 🙂

  5. This is beautifully said and written! People do forget to be thankful and I admit I do too. I tend to be cynical at times, reflecting on negative things a lot and letting them bring me back down. I know if there’s one thing I’m thankful for is learning from big mistakes I made in the past. I made them but they helped me to try harder. I’m thankful for having experienced romance and even more thankful that I’m crossing the threshold from romance, to Passionate friendship. I’m thankful for existence, even though there is pain, there is also joy, and existence is amazing. When you Shola, stated that we can change the world by saying thank you, that reminded me of a wise person that once said “a simple smile can change the course of history, as in, make the world a better place.” I am thankful for those kinds of people, the spiritual people like you Shola, I am thankful there are still people out there who want to actually bring peace to the world especially by being kind and understanding, and not just ignore the prison like state of the world. 🙂

    • Cianna, it took me a while to be thankful for my many mistakes too, but I am now. Everything in life is an opportunity to grow and learn, and that helps me to stay in a state of gratitude, even when it isn’t easy to do so. And the wise person who you mentioned in your comment is absolutely right: A simple smile can change the world! Thank you so much for your kind words and for being a part of this community, I really appreciate it 🙂

  6. Kristen Quinn says:

    Yep.. I knew before I scrolled down that it would be ‘thank you’. The cool part? Is if you thank someone for something they have done.. even the little things, it makes them feel positive and good inside. Gosh.. something just hit me! I have finally been at a place to feel forgiveness for the horrible wrongdoings/bullying I received from my coworkers that led me to this site to learn, let go, FORGIVE and move on! I am finally there! YEAH! I SO want to tell them each that I forgive their bullying, snide comments, horrible displays of nastiness etc. But, I was told my my boss I could no longer discuss it or bring it up, once our ‘healthy work place’ policy was put in our hand book.. YEAH Kristen, as I pushed for this for quite some time in order to stop others, after I land my new job position (still seeking, BTW) but nevertheless, future employees will not have to endure what I did! So, I have felt totally ready to tell them I forgive them.. but cannot do so at work. Hmm.. I do compliment but I think sincere ‘thank yous’ to each and every one of them.. even the tiny little things, will get the message across! Yeppers.. that is what this gal is gonna do!

  7. Garima Agrawal says:

    Hi Shola,

    Today one of my friend shared your “Being your own hero” blog with me and then i also read “two words to change the world” and “what you allow”. I loved all the articles. They were indeed a wake up call for me. However, i have a few questions. I treat people with respect and kindness, but sometimes people take that as my weakness and try to dominate me. How do i balance being appreciative and not allow disrespectful? Secondly, when this world does not owe me anything, why do i owe a thank you to this world? I have at times seen that people who are little arrogant (not too much off course!) are treated with more respect.
    I am at that stage of my life where i am trying to find my ground but in the journey i have become little alone. People who have seen my submissive are not able to digest more assertive me. This leaves me anxious sometimes.

    I guess i have asked too many questions at a time. I will be very thankful if you could answer a few!

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