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Episode 199: John Kralik – The Power of Gratitude (A Simple Act of Gratitude)

Episode 199: John Kralik – The Power of Gratitude (A Simple Act of Gratitude)

John Kralik is the best-selling author of A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning To Say Thank You Changed My Life.  I was gift this book by my friend, Omaid Homayun, after I was a guest on his podcast (which we also released on The Learning Leader Show as episode #150).  It was a life changing book.  Gratitude can be a powerful force.  It made this conversation even more special.  I appreciate John’s thoughtful approach to his life… You’ll also noticed that John unabashedly tells the truth (both the highs and the lows).  It was refreshing.

During a desperate walk in the hills of Los Angeles, John was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn’t have, he could find some way to be grateful for what he had.  Inspired by a beautiful, simple note his ex-girlfriend had sent to thank him for his Christmas gift, John imagined that he might find a way to feel grateful by writing thank-you notes.  To keep himself going, he set a goal of writing 365 thank you notes in the coming year… We discuss how his life changed following this exercise.

John Kralik attended college and law school at the University of Michigan. He practiced law in Los Angeles for 30 years and was a partner in the law firms of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Miller Tokuyama, Kralik & Sur and Kralik & Jacobs. In September 2009, he was appointed a Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  (Photo from LegalNews.com)

Episode 199: John Kralik – The Power of Gratitude (A Simple Act of Gratitude)

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The Learning Leader Show

“Until you are grateful for what you have, you won’t get what you want.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Common themes of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • Being grateful for what you have will lead to continued excellence
  • How his second divorce impacted him: “The second time around, it’s your fault”
  • The power of writing thank you notes — Learned from his grandfather
  • “Until you are grateful for what you have, you won’t get what you want.”
  • Writing one thank you note per day for one year
  • “When you’re negative, you’re angry.”
  • His thank you note to his son prompted his son to take him out to lunch… What happened next? Life changing
  • “He took out an envelope and paid me back $4,000 that he owed me.” –
  • Writing all of your employees thank you notes: Why you should do this but most don’t
  • “Instead of being mad about my bad clients, I started thanking my good ones.” — The impact this had on John’s business was immense
  • “It turns out the one thing I had to be grateful for was my 8 year old daughter.” — “She loved this awful little apartment we lived in”
  • “There are so many things to be grateful for”
  • “When things don’t go well, stay positive, stay grateful… Good things WILL happen”
  • How to shift a negative mindset? — Use a pen, write it out. Write thank you notes.  Use gratitude journals.  Trying to find out the person’s address without asking them is part of the fun and the surprise.
  • John has written over 1,100 thank you notes since starting this process
  • Focus on the people supporting you everyday.  Say thank you
  • How to write a great thank you note? — John describes:
    • 4 Sentences
    • Always start with “thank you”
    • Recognize the gift (or whatever they’ve done that’s created your gratitude)
    • Write one true sentence — Why you’re grateful
    • Tell that person what they mean to you
  • Listen as John reads a thank you note he wrote to his daughter (you might cry).

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer – Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

Did you enjoy the podcast?

If you enjoyed hearing John Kralik on the show, please don’t hesitate to send me a note on Twitter or email me.

Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Rhone.  Use the code “Hawkfor 15% off.  Rhone… premium activewear engineered with principle, performance and progress for the modern man.  Rhone builds clothing around 3 main tenants: Cutting-edge Performance, Premium Comfort, and Simplistic Style.

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