EPISODE 399: The Power of ‘Thank You’

My piano lessons were a dark, 45-minute drive from home. Mom and I left at 6:30 am on Tuesday mornings to get there before school. “Luke is really good at this,” Ms. McGill said after my third lesson. I was eight, and that simple comment, deliberately made within earshot, gave me confidence with music that I carry even to this day (despite my obvious lack of skill as an adult).

I never said thank you to Ms. McGill. I should have.

My sophomore year in high school, Mrs. Johnston tortured every paper I gave her with red ink. It was a bloodbath. I suffered. But at the end of the semester, she gave me an A-. It was one of the more meaningful grades I ever received, and her red ink comments continue to help me write better to this day.

Mrs. Johnston smoked and was 50-years older than me. I’m sure she’s passed away by now, but is it too late to say thank you?

On this week’s podcast, we’ll discuss the simple and powerful practice of writing thank you letters: to people, to family members, to cities, to the diseased, and even to people whom you’ll never see again.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to leverage positive recall biased
  • Why gratitude rooted in real-life experiences anchors positivity
  • How to write letters and then decide later if you send or don’t send them

Links & Resources:


Nancy Davis Kho is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, US Magazine, The Rumpus, and The Toast. Her new book is, The Thank You Project: Cultivating Happiness One Letter of Gratitude at a Time.

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