365 Thank You’s by John Kralik

John Kralik was 53 years old, owner of a struggling law firm, divorced twice, distant children, 2 mortgages (not his own), a tiny apartment, and a girlfriend that was about to become his ex-girlfriend.  Life , it was safe to say, was at an all time low.

One New Years day while taking a walk to sort out his thoughts, John struggled with what he had to be grateful about.  Shoot…. he coulomb even spell the word grateful.  Certainly…. even as he looked through his crumbling life… there had to be something.

And that is where it began.  John made a decision that day to write a thank you card every day for a year in an attempt to focus on the positive.  At first it was easy, he thanked people for the Christmas gifts that he had recently received.  Then, he had to dig a little deeper.  What came out of this project was far beyond what John could have ever imagined.  Relationships…. healed and strengthened, people responded in kind, he learned more about people he hardly knew, and John’s world… became a friendly place again….

All because he opened up to the possibility of gratitude for what he had… no matter how little it seemed.

 

Read mostly in the dining room

I love books that make me realize I was wrong.

When I agreed to review this book I really thought this was going to be a little guide on writing thank you notes.  In a small way it is just that.  In a much larger and more important way, it is about a true story of a man who changed his attitude to gratitude and in turn…. changed himself into someone he wanted to be.

This book… is right up my alley.

I love stories like Pay It Forward, where a kindness changes someone…. makes us look at the good and not focus so much on all that is and can be bad around us.  It’s easy to see where the world fails… where we fail…. it takes a little effort to find the good in things sometimes but I promise you, it is there.

I take this book a little personally because I have been in the low places in my own life and have learned that even the darkest times… have a little light.  It may not be as obvious as the dark that surrounds us, but you can find it.

I won’t get all deep on you – but I will tell you this.  This book inspired me to try to do my own 365 thank you’s.  The written thank you seems almost a thing of the past, yet I know when I receive one I am always thrilled that someone took the time to thank me or appreciate me.  I want to do the same for others.  I think a project like this is one that makes you dig a little beyond the surface…. sure there are the obvious people to thank:

  • the mailman who delivers the mail to your box rain or shine (or in my case hauls books to my front door)
  • a grandparent for sharing their past with you
  • your hairdresser who has listened to your stories for years
  • the friend that is always the first one you call when things are rough
  • your spouse who you share your life with
  • the neighbor who may or may not be a part of your life
  • the adult child who struggles but you love – no matter what
  • the child still in your home
  • A relative who you may have not connected with in a while
  • a boss from the past who really made your job worthwhile
  • the person who bags your groceries
  • parents and siblings

I am going to create a sidebar button and post who I sent the thank you’s to in order to keep track.

I think this book would be a wonderful gift for someone who is struggling to find anything to be grateful for.  I found the book to be inspirational and I am so glad I for the opportunity to read and review it.

Amazon Rating

My 2011 WHERE Are You reading Map has been updated to include 365 Thank Yous


 

I received this advanced copy of this book from Shelf Awareness

 

 

 

A few of you have expressed an interest in also doing a 365 Day Thank You Challenge

Here is a button for that challenge:


About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on January 14, 2011, in Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. I saw this on Shelf Awareness, and was intrigued. From what you wrote, this book sounds worthy of the intrigue and right up my alley. One of my New Year resolutions was to write; journaling, and letters (which included thank yous). I think your sidebar button idea is a great one.

    By the way, do you make your own buttons?

    • You are welcome to join me! 🙂 And yes I do make my own buttons. I would be happy to make one for you – I enjoy doing it. 😀

      • Yes, I do believe I would like to join you. It seems like it would fit in nicely with my plans that I already have. That is a cool button that you created. I am going to use it on my sidebar to link to a page to keep track as you are going to do.

        I need to learn how to make buttons. What program do you use? I need to come up with a header and button type image thing for my blog. I would like to make bookmarks to place in books that I pass on to others and would like my blog “logo” on them. My creative juices are not flowing for this right now. Anyway, I am curious as to which program you use.

        Oh yes, I think I need to get my hands on this book. I just placed a hold for it at my library.

  2. great review, great book, and awesome challenge. you always brighten my day with you uplifting posst!

  3. Thanks for reminding me of this book and giving it a positive review. I had passed it over thinking it sounded a bit sappy but I’m more interested now. I think I’ll get it for the library and maybe even read it myself! I’m pretty well convinced to start my OWN 365 thank-you notes just from reading your post 🙂 but may read the book anyway. I still write thank-you notes (in my homemade cards) and people do appreciate them.

    • That’s awesome Julia! I almost passed on it too….for the same reason. Then I thought -w ell it will be a quick simple read, but it was actually much deeper and better than I had initially thought.

      I am going to work on the button now – feel free to take it if you want to do the thank you’s too. 😀

  4. this sounds like a wonderful book. thank you for posting a review on it. I often write my own gratitude lists when I am feeling down and out. amazing that he got a book deal out of it. makes it one of those things to add to my list of “why didn’t I think of that?” 😛

    • Sheila it is hard to explain how the book is written – it is like a memoir and John tells his story of his life in the middle of this gratitude project.

      It really reflects how his circumstances did not always change because of this, but he certainly did and he seen things in a new light.

  5. That sounds like such an inspirational book – we forget to be grateful for the small things that really matter.

  6. That book sounds pretty deep. I have real trouble saying ‘sorry’ but I am pretty good and generous with my ‘Thank yous’.I however have forgotten to say a big thank you to one category of individuals in my life……my students. As a teacher I always expect them to lay on the ‘good manners’ act but…..they are the ones who make me-well……ME ! I just would not be who I am without their help, love and appreciation. Boy ! I can’t believe I have not thanked these angels this New Year for being part of my life and making it such a heaven of heavens.
    I am doing this ‘thank you’ right now……so see you later.

    Cool review !

  7. Great post, thanks for sharing it.
    I have a little pile of thank yous that people have sent me over the years, whenever I need a pick me up I will read one. What a difference that makes for the received.

    I will have to look for this book.

  8. That is such a great idea Sheila. Gratitude is such a life changer. Sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to your side bar and adventures in thank yous.

  9. That sounds like a great book and a great idea. However, I have a question about something else. How did you make your map of where you are reading with the links to reviews? I would like to do a map like that one this year. I might be able to work on it next weekend during Bloggiesta.

  10. Sounds interesting. I’ve been focusing on gratitude this year and have been posting things every day that I am thankful for. It’s already been eye-opening two weeks into the year. This book sounds like it would be a great one to read.

  11. I also was inspired by this book to start my own (not as ambitious) thank you circle.

  12. Thanks for the review of this book. It is so often easier to focus on everything that is going wrong. We do forget the little things that make our lives livable. The upsets grab our focus and the good things go unnoticed. John Kralik had a great idea. If not a thank you note, it will be a note of something good for that day in the journal. Thanks.

  1. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? « One Persons Journey through a world of Books

%d bloggers like this: