Success Stories By Dick Kazan - Valuable lessons on how to succeed in business and in life
Entertaining and compelling real-life stories with valuable
lessons on how to succeed in business and in life.
The author is successful business, real estate, and media entrepreneur Dick Kazan.
Published on August 08, 2006

Today we have a tip that could change your life.

Yet it is a tip so simple, you’ll ask yourself why more people don’t do it.

The tip is this: Each day, thank someone who has done something nice for you. By that, I mean a sincere expression of gratitude, not empty flattery.

What makes this tip life changing? If you do it, you’ll develop a greater appreciation for many of the wonderful things in your life you may have taken for granted.

But you’ll also become far more popular as people learn you’re grateful for what they do for you. Why?

William James, the late Harvard professor and father of modern psychology said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

Notice professor James didn’t say people like appreciation. He said, “craving” which means to hunger for. Those who can satisfy that hunger can build quite a following.

Jack Welch, the former chairman/CEO of General Electric was legendary for his “thank you” and “congratulations” notes and voice mails. They played a key role in his rising to the top of the firm and in his retaining widespread support once he got there.

Welch helped others to feel appreciated. That what they did mattered.

Did a co-worker do something nice for you today? How about a “thank you” in return and a kind word to that person’s supervisor. Soon other co-workers will want to do nice things for you.

Was your newspaper waiting on your doorstep when you awoke, as it does 365 days a year, rain or shine, holiday or weekend? Jot a short note to say, “Thank you.”

Last Christmas, I sent a well-earned thank you note to my newspaper carrier, Lucia Diaz. A short time later, I got a note back from her which read, “Thank you so much for taking in consideration my work. God Bless your home.”

Here is a note I sent (5/30/06) to Ariel Feir, an Orange County (CA) real estate agent who mails a free entertaining monthly newsletter to help her readers save time and money (

“Dear Ariel, I know you invest considerable time and effort creating ‘Ariel’s AbodeNews:’ June’s issue is your best written and most informative issue yet. Thank you for sending it to me.”

This note expressed my sincere feeling for her newsletter, which I enjoy and recommend. How do you think she felt when she got it? How many other notes like this do you think she received?

If you want a simple way to use this life changing tip, I suggest that in your desk, you keep blank cards, envelopes and postage stamps so it’s easy to jot notes to express your feelings.

But even if your note is received as voice mail or email, it would still be very much appreciated.

Success Tip of the Week:If you have trouble putting your thoughts into words, your note doesn’t have to be perfect, just a sincere expression of your feelings. It will still have great impact.

Editor's Note: The William James quote is from Dale Carnegie’s classic “How To Win Friends & Influence People.” The underline of “craving” is mine.

In the next KazanToday: A valuable lesson in self-control.

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Many of these short stories are about people from all walks of life who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve remarkable results. These stories contain practical advice and a recipe for success for each of these renowned individuals. Some of their stories may help you to avoid some of the costly and time consuming mistakes that many of us make in life and at work. Learn from some of history's greatest winners on how to become a winner yourself, no matter what the obstacle, and no matter how daunting the task before you may seem. Good luck!