A couple of days ago, my brother Wade – who now works with me, walked into my office with a non-descript box that had just arrived from my publisher. Inside, five copies of a hot pink paperback book with foreign symbols I couldn’t make out. “What’s this?” I asked as I squinted carefully, as though staring more intently would somehow make the words make sense. The only symbol on the cover to offer a clue was the number “9.” “Ohhh … I know what this is! It’s one of the new foreign editions of “Successful Women Think Differently: 9 habits to make you happier, healthier and more resilient .” Recently, I received word that the book will be translated into several foreign languages, including Spanish, French, Russian, and Portuguese. This new arrival was the Russian edition.
Sitting in my office, staring at the cover, I thought of who might read it. What is that woman’s daily life like halfway around the world? And how amazing that my words have a chance to reach and encourage her. A wave of gratitude rushed over me as I thought of the series of events and people required to make something like this happen – and one of those thoughts settled on you. Yes, you! You see, I can write to my heart’s content and hope that my words will resonate with readers, inspiring them to live more fulfilling, purposeful lives. But until those readers buy the books and start talking about them to their friends, spreading the word of mouth, the words don’t have the opportunity to make an impact. So as we head into Thanksgiving week, I want to tell you THANK YOU. It is because of your enthusiasm about this book that it is now garnering interest around the world!
Success doesn’t occur in a vacuum. We can’t “go it alone.” Without you forwarding my newsletters, buying my books for you or your friends, or hosting book club and small group discussions, this opportunity would not have happened. I wrote my first book 15 years ago and self-published it using my nearly maxed-out credit card with a plan of breaking even the first month. It came off the presses the day before Thanksgiving in 1999. Reaching out to everyone I knew, I broke even by selling 400 books in the first three weeks – most of them purchased as Christmas gifts I personally signed. Back then, I filled every book order myself, packaged them and made constant runs to the Post Office, sometimes selling books to the postal clerks who were curious about what I was up to – and the customers in line around me. I kept copies in the trunk of my car “just in case”, and called up local television stations for interviews. Some pretty wonderful people help me with those things today, but I’m grateful I was once the author, the editor, the publicist, the accountant, the order-taker, the salesperson and the marketing director – because it makes me appreciate where I am on my journey so much more.
Every once and a while, you need to stop and remember when – when you used to dream of being where you are now. Whether you’ve made it into a new career or finally found the love of your life or become a mom or climbed your way out of debt, you might not be exactly where you want to be, but thank God you are further along that you used to be! Researchers point out that gratitude counteracts our tendency towards “hedonic adaptation,” the process of adjusting to continually improving circumstances. As you succeed, you can raise your expectations and become discontented more easily. But looking back at how far you’ve come gives you perspective on your life and makes you more grateful for your journey.
My challenge to you this week:
Notice how far you’ve come!
In what area(s) of your life have you come a long way? Spend a moment remembering what life was like before your circumstances improved or progress was made. Then write down what you are most grateful for and to whom you are grateful. Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you!