Instant mood lifter: thank someone for a job well done

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I am sitting in the Phoenix airport about to take off for the first leg of my book tour in Silicon Valley, CA  and Portland, Oregon.

I arrived at 4:30am since my husband dropped me off before work.  My flight takes off at 6:15am. The entrance to the departure curb was blocked off for maintenance, and by the time we realized it, I had to crawl over some barriers with my suitcase and drag my book-laden suitcases far down the sidewalk.

The police officer stationed at the blocked off entrance gave me an annoyed look. “Someone left you stranded, huh?” he said, as if I had been walking for three miles after my husband threw me out of the car.

I learned after passing through security that the Starbucks doesn’t open until 5:45am. I got three hours of sleep last night so I was more than grumpy to learn caffeine would not cross my lips for a full hour.

Since I had time to write a blog post, I was grasping for topics, but all I could think of were things like:

  • Why mean people suck
  • Why try to influence what you can’t change?
  • Coffee revolutions around the world: withhold caffeine no more
  • Sleep:  the working mother’s lust

Not exactly fodder to help you want to escape your cube or kick your business into high gear, is it?

Then, as if on command from Dora the Formerly Disgruntled Angel (she must exist, right?), I get this tweet from Daniel S. (@darosi on Twitter):


I felt a physical shift in my heart.  Love flooded in. My eyes got teary.  My mood totally changed.

For some reason, Daniel S. decided to share a kind thought right when I needed it.

His Twitter profile says:

I thrive on innovation and I’m committed to making this world a better place. Carpe Diem.

Thank you Daniel, you rock. You just made my world a better place today.

Now I will look for opportunities throughout my trip to show the same kindness as Daniel, by doing things like:

  • Saying thank you often and sincerely
  • Complimenting someone on a job well done
  • Encouraging to my clients and students

Kindness is not a little thing.  It is not fluffy, unicorn and rainbow coachy stuff.

Kindness heals.

I highly recommend it.

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28 Responses to “Instant mood lifter: thank someone for a job well done”

  1. Re: “Kindness is not a little thing. It is not fluffy, unicorn and rainbow coachy stuff. Kindness heals.”

    It so totally does! There’s something about it that just makes everything else fade away and brings a big bright smile to your face… 🙂
    .-= Ricardo Bueno´s last blog ..Get Your Entries In for the Social Media Blog Carnival! =-.

  2. Imee says:

    Great advice! In a workplace, it’s often hard to be in a good mood unless it’s not too stressing or if the people around you are awesome. We really can’t avoid being stressed, but we can have some picker-uppers like what you’ve mentioned.

  3. I gotta say, I’ve been in your shoes. What to talk about? How to inspire the masses, especially when you’re not feeling very inspired. I think its really awesome that someone did one thing, and that one thing affected your emotional state. You didn’t even have any control over what he did, but at that moment, it just made you feel better.

    I pride myself on the idea that people can’t control your emotions if you don’t let them. This is usually when people are mean, and you think about what they say so much that it affects how you think about yourself. Allowing kindness to affect us positively can be a source of strength, and I think your story is a fine example of that. Thanks for the inspiration, as my wife and I are fighting hard to leave cubicle nation behind and be independent. Keep on keepin’ on!
    .-= Jim Valeri, LMHC´s last blog ..The Wizard or The Listener =-.

  4. Jeremy says:

    There really is something to be said for “killing them with kindness.” It’s my mission in life, really, to let the greatest number of people I come in contact with know that I appreciate their contributions to my life. The grumpy guy working the deli counter, cranky coworkers, difficult bosses, all deserve a thank you for what they do.
    Because I recognize that, I’ve garnered reciprocal appreciation and respect, and a greater satisfaction with my own life.

  5. Eric says:

    Totally agree! Called a company in Nashville today simply to thank them for being helpful and sending pictures I just got framed. The lady on the other end was shocked to hear someone calling just to say “thank you” for a second before she recovered, laughed and said, “You’re welcome!” And I’ve been in a great mood ever since!
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Networking: In which you get others to do what you could do for yourself =-.

  6. Moneymonk says:

    I read your book and I think it’s awesome!!
    .-= Moneymonk´s last blog ..Investments grow based on DEMAND =-.

  7. Pam,
    Great to be in your presence here in sunny Portland, Oregon. You exude that exact kindness of which you speak in your latest blog post. Thanks for the (always liberating!) pragmatic scaffold and precious graciousness you bring to this planet!
    Maura Conlon-McIvor
    Author and Life Coach 🙂

  8. Joy says:

    I came here via Chris Guillebeau’s tweet. So happy to find your blog. I left the cubicle nation 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I’ll be checking out your book. You know what’s weird? It looks like I’ve already downloaded your sample chapter a few weeks back and now, now is a good reminder to read it. Perfect timing.

    Kindness is something we can never have enough of. You never know whose lives you will touch, just by being open to the possibility of kindness. 🙂

  9. Jared says:

    Great post Pam. Believe it or not, I’m doing a year long study on what the smallest thing is that makes the biggest difference in your life. You know what most people voted (over a raise)? A “compliment” AND a “smile.”

    Go figure? I go VERY LITTLE of either (working in a cubicle).

    You can see the results or vote here:

    I wish your book would be next to all the magazines in ALL the waiting room of major offices around the world as people wait to be interviewed.

  10. Liz Jenkins says:

    Pam – you are so right – and people’s reaction is interesting when you do compliment them in business. I’ve gone out of my way to contact a manager or owner if something was really good but you can just tell that they are expecting bad news. For example, I ended up with child care issue with my 6 year old last summer and she ended up coming to a NAWBO luncheon (at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Nashville, TN) with me. She was very well behaved, so it wasn’t an issue, but the wait staff went so far out of their way to bring her a special lunch and dessert, and practically fell over themselves to make sure she was taken care of. Later that day I called the manager, and he answered with that “oh crap” tone in his voice as if I was going to ruin his day. When I complimented him on his staff, you could just hear that I had actually just made his day. I just wanted him to know how much what his staff had done meant to me, and how much better it made my experience. It made his day, and it made mine to know that that 2 minute phone call could make such a difference.
    Excellent post as usual – I always enjoy your thoughts.

  11. I totally agree with “Kindness is not a little thing.” Honestly, I sometimes think it might be the only truly important thing. Beautiful post, Pam.

  12. Dan Erwin says:

    Pam: Yep, travel can be tiring, especially when the rest of the family is a thousand miles away. But it looks like you’re really navigating it in superb fashion.

  13. Aaron says:

    Pam, good luck with the book tour!

    Kindness does heal, this is so true! But sometimes it is not there when we need it. To cover myself when I need to hear encouraging words, I look to my “Feedback Notebook”, a Fieldnotes notebook I have dedicated to client feedback. This not only gives me something to look at when I need a lift, but is a great reminder to keep up the good work (because it is appreciated)!

  14. What on Earth were you doing with 3 hour’s sleep?!!

  15. fas says:

    Be there done that. Its an instant booster and motivates a lot.

  16. Marla says:

    ….good luck with your book tour. You’re an inspiration!

  17. Marla says:

    Enjoyed this post, Pam – esp. “sleep – the working mother’s lust.” I agree, a classic line

  18. Melanie says:

    Isn’t it amazing how one little act of kindness can produce threefold rewards? Your post reminds me of something I heard years ago and have never, ever forgotten …

    “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

    No matter how you stack it up, we all need strokes, compliments, and little acts of kindness every now and again … especially when Starbuck’s doesn’t open until 5:45! 🙂
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Creating A Personalized Space For Breastfeeding =-.

  19. Angela Duffy says:

    Thanks for the timely reminder, Pam. The first full week of temps over 105 make a lot of people grumpy around the Phoenix area – or at least in the areas of town that are on my usual rounds. Sharing a little thankfulness can go a long way!

  20. I send real greeting cards for thnaking people. I find this really means something in these days of e-cards and email. I don’t expect anything in return, but have been surprised at how people are to receive them.

  21. Nice post Pam. Yes at times even a remark – though as small as 140 character but timely can bring in a good amount of paradigm shift. Feels great when you pass it on to others too.. 🙂
    .-= Chanda |´s last blog ..7 lessons that even ‘a one year old baby’ can teach you about product development. =-.

  22. Leah says:

    Great post. I’ve had that experience myself and it’s a great reminder how easy it can be to spread the love and make someones day.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Sounds to Soothe You =-.

  23. Karen says:

    I love when you get something to shift your perspective… just at the time you need it. Great post. I just found you from someone else on Twitter… and look forward to getting a copy of your book! 🙂

  24. You gotta love when things like that just happen and make your day better. It really puts things back into perspective.

  25. brian Papa says:

    Pamela, this is one of my favorite posts of yours from all time:

    Perhaps because I have an 8 month year old daughter and got laid off, it really touched me. I had an important decision to make. Fear or LOVE? I’ll choose love every time. Two weeks later, I launched my site, and I’ve never been happier.

    Your high quality content and genuine concern to help others keeps me a very happy reader. As Hugh Macleod would say, Rock on!

  26. Srinivas Rao says:

    Great post Pam. I definitely can relate to how good this feels. Somebody wrote a guest blog post for me today and I was definitely very grateful, which shifted my mood.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..The futility of instant gratification =-.

  27. Mike Hayes says:

    “Sleep: the working mother’s lust” – instant classic. (Note – child induced sleep deprivation is gender agnostic)