I don’t claim to be a wise man. Heck, I don’t even claim to be that smart, but there are some things I’ve learned over the last 36 years and 9 months on this earth, so I thought I’d share some of those with you this morning.

Learn to say Thank You

Thank you is an immediate show of a appreciation for something that someone has done for you – big or small.  It costs you nothing, and means more than you might think. I’ve never grasped why some people find it so hard to say thank you, because it’s so easy to do and can mean so much.

I know that when I do something for someone, I don’t expect to hear thank you, but it’s nice when it happens. I also know that when I do things for someone and that person continues to show no appreciation, I start to have questions. Are they indifferent to what I’ve done? Do they feel entitled to what I did for them? Why did I even bother doing it if they don’t appreciate it?

I try to say thank you when  a waiter refills my glass. I say thank you when someone holds a door, and I say thank you when someone does something special for me or helps me out in some way. Try it today. It’s not hard, and watch how the people you say it to react.

Learn to say I’m Sorry

I’m sorry goes a long way to making amends for something you have done, but it has to be sincere.  A sincere apology has no buts or ifs. A sincere apology has two parts: an apology for what you have done, and an offer to do what you can to make up for it.

When I hear an insincere apology, I’d rather the apology was never delivered in the first place, because it’s patronizing and meaningless.  Here’s a couple of examples of what I call non-apology apologies:

I’m sorry, but I had to [do whatever].  – This one is excuse-making, not an apology.

I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.  – This doesn’t even acknowledge that you did something that you would need to apologize for. In fact, it shows that you don’t believe that you did anything wrong.

And here’s the way a sincere apology sounds:

I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. What can I do to make it right?

Don’t be ashamed to be excited about what you’ve accomplished

Some people call it bragging, but I don’t think that’s right. It’s a good thing to celebrate and share your accomplishments with the people you know and love. It’s part of working hard for something and achieving it.

Of course, if you share and celebrate your accomplishments, you have to be willing to share and celebrate the accomplishments of others. You are your best cheerleader. You just have to remember the rest of the squad.

Live with the Glass Half Full

Be positive and think positive. If you are always worried about the worst, you will never find the best. If you don’t expect good results, you’ll never get them, because your negativity is contagious. It will spread to those who surround you and the things you do.  It will creative a barrier that will stop good things from happening to you and for you.