I have a friend, call him Jay. We met nearly a decade ago and just recently started doing some business together. Jay has high energy, is empathetic, entrepreneurial (yes these can go together) and inspiring. He is one of those people you can talk with for a brief time and feel super energized when the conversation ends.

In speaking with Jay a few weeks ago, he shared a goal of his with me (paraphrasing): “I start the day with a goal to earn three “thank you’s” resulting from my actions.” What? Most of us set goals around our own individual achievements (and rewards):

A couple of simple goal examples: “I will work out 5 times per week and lose 5 pounds this month.” OR “I will drink 8 glasses of water per day so I am hydrated” OR “I will spend less time on social media so my mind is clear for other things.”

Setting a target that not only involves others, but literally relies upon them, and is driven by my own virtuous behavior, now THAT is a game changer. Instead of rewarding what I interpret as an accomplishment, I throw it up against the external world for the affirmation that something I have done results in gratitude on the part of another person.

Wow Jay! Thanks for sharing this idea. Those of us who are so inspired will give this a try and make it fun.

It is worth noting that seeking appreciation through action is not the same as needing affirmation or validation through the good opinion of others. When someone says thank you, it is not their opinion, but their gratitude, that they are expressing.

“Thank You!” for listening!

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