365 Thank Yous: A Year of Daily Gratitude

We are reviewing the fifth book in our CCRC LifeCast Book Club — 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

Why is John Kralik’s book about writing 365 thank yous included in our book club focused on successful aging?  Successful aging is a benefit of successful senior living communities. Understanding what makes for successful aging is a focus in our retirement community rankings and reviews.  What elements encourage joy-filled individuals and communities?   One element is a heart of gratitude.

Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.  ~Alan Cohen

365 Thank Yous and Gratitude Studies

An article in Harvard University’s HEALTHBEAT journal reviews gratitude studies. One study asked a group of individuals to share gratitudes through daily writings.  After 10-weeks, these individuals were “more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”  

This article goes on to suggest writing thank-you notes as a way to create a grateful attitude.  

Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.   ~Jack Canfield

The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life

John Kralik’s book about writing 365 thank yous begins around Thanksgiving time. John is at a scary, low point in his life. After a New Year’s day spent alone, John begins writing thank-you notes. Slowly, John finds his life begins to turn around. The book is a fast read about how to create a thank you writing habit and a heart of gratitude.

Pleasant Surprise

We didn’t expect a lot from the title of this little book, but 365 Thank Yous was a pleasant surprise. It combines a compelling personal story and a well-supported conclusion. Expressing gratitude is good for you in measurable ways. This is old wisdom, easily dating back to the Roman stoic philosophers. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters,” wrote Epictetus in the 1st Century Anno Dominum. Modern empirical research and personal experience only proves the sages insight.  Gratitude, not whining, is the more successful choice.

This book (365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life), may not ensure a happy life but it will encourage you to write more thank you cards.  It could be the start of your own journey toward a happier, gratitude-focused life.  Who doesn’t want that!