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The No-Excuses Guide to Gratitude

7 roadblocks to saying thank you—and how to get around them

En español | Appreciation, like wisdom, often takes years to acquire. That's why as we age, we are uniquely situated for giving our friends and family a true gift: a clear and genuine expression of our gratitude for things they've done for us and the role they've played in our life.

But sadly, many of us save our expressions of gratitude for eulogies. Mostly because of inexperience, we're not exactly comfortable revealing our true feelings in a one-one-one situation. And so we avoid it — to the detriment of ourselves and others.

Hands Clasping

I believe that it's essential to thank people for the things they have done for us, and the time to do it is now, before it's too late. Here are some other perceived roadblocks on the journey to expressing gratitude — and some suggestions on how to overcome them:

It Doesn't Really Matter: Most people don't give themselves enough credit for who they are and what they mean to others. Your words and your actions do mean a lot to many. See what happens when you take the time to express how much someone means to you. After doing so, it's unlikely you'll still feel it wasn't important.

Everyone Already Knows How I Feel: For the most part, our words and actions over the years probably do convey how we feel about other people. That's a great first step, but it still leaves a lot unsaid, and we all know the unfortunate consequences of leaving things unsaid. Many people aren't aware of the depth and full dimension of your gratitude toward them. In fact, before taking the time to reflect on these contributions, you may not be fully aware yourself.

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