Every adult knows how great it feels to be on the receiving end of a heart felt ‘thank you’ and yet this simple expression of appreciation can all too easily be underplayed, over-looked or even forgotten.

2014 has been a tough year for me, full of many personal challenges. It started off well enough but it seemed to become progressively harder as it went on. Even the simplest of tasks and transactions demanded more energy than expected.     It is logical, to think that this must solely be something to do with me but the more people I speak with, especially those in business, the more I am witnessing how tired they seem to be too, and how tough this seemingly never ending economic uncertainty really is.

Sure there are millions far worse off than us but, comparatively, running a business today is harder than I can ever remember.  The only way I know of that we can be sure of getting through it all, is if we are prepared to help others and be helped in return.

So this week I want to focus on the word ‘Thank you’ (and yes it is a word, because according to my 2007 version of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary it can be written ‘thank-you’ or even ‘thankyou’).   ‘Thank you’ can be interpreted as “if it wasn’t for you; for what you did or said, life would somehow have been tougher and for that I am truly grateful”.  Whoever it is from a simple ‘thank you’ can lift the spirit and give our lives a sense of purpose and meaning.

I believe that ‘Thankyous’ should not only be earned for those actions where a person goes out of their way to help someone with something that has no direct benefit to them, but also for the simple things like the opening of a door when ones arms are full.

‘Thank you’ needs to be much more than politeness – it should be a genuine appreciation of the existence and actions of another.    A memorable moment for me this year was the receptionist of an hotel who, when I arrived very late at night, tired and feeling a little down, seemed to sense my mood and, without asking, helped me carry my bags to my room and a few moments later came back with a nice cup of tea and biscuit.

So to all of you who did me even the slightest service of kindness this year, here is my big ‘thank you!’ ‘Thank you for helping to make my life easier, more fun and more meaningful. I sincerely hope that one day I will be in the position to repay the favours because they were all very much appreciated.

Have a good Christmas week, wherever you are