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A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life
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A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,743 Ratings  ·  631 Reviews
One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low: his small law firm was failing; he was struggling through a painful second divorce; he had grown distant from his two older children and was afraid he might lose contact with his young daughter; he was living in a tiny apartment where he froze in the winter and baked in the summer; h ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Hyperion (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ciara
Mar 24, 2011 Ciara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
what a goofy little book. i put this on hold at my local library after reading a favorable review in "book page," so i had not actually seen the book in person before i picked it up. i was surprised to find that it is very tiny. i mean, it's an average length of pages for a hardcover book (about 250), but the dimensions of the book are wee, which made me feel like i was reading one of those embarrassing gift books you get from, like, your uncle, who picked it up from the remainder bin at the air ...more
Laura Thomas
I have a strange personal connection with this book. Living in LA and having worked in law for over 25 years, I just so happened to know one of the author's friends who passed away. So it was quite weird to read this book, having somewhat randomly bought it for my kindle, and then to read about Paul, an attorney I worked for who had such grace and courage in the face of cancer. I was working for him when he was first diagnosed and we had a few long and deep talks while he took the journey so man ...more
Nancy
I stumbled across this book at the library. I am a writer of thank you notes but my practice is not consistent. I thought this book would be interesting. What I found, was a very uplifting book that I couldn't put down. I read it in a single day even while making mental notes of thank-yous I should write and the many blessings in my life that often go unnoticed.

Kralik's project was a simple one, write 365 thank-you notes over the course of a year. He conceived this project at a particularly low
...more
Grinelda Markowitz
Jul 14, 2013 Grinelda Markowitz rated it it was amazing
A great read! Pay-it-forward takes on a whole new meaning here. One man's quest to turn a series of misfortunes around starts with a little inspiration from a voice in his head. The power of saying, "thank you," has lost it's value in today's society. The author, John Kralik, finds new meaning in life and to life as well as contentment he'd not experienced prior to embarking on this task he'd set for himself.
Sue
Jun 03, 2013 Sue rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, spirituality
Ah, Goodreads, I don't understand you. The cover picture above matches the cover of the book I hold in my hands (or, rather, have sitting by my laptop) but the edition listed says you are an ebook. Sigh. (And I did try to change editions, but it was a cyber fail. Sigh, again.) But, on to the review. . . .

I bought this book at the airport terminal because a) I forgot to bring something to read on the plane and b) it was the smallest, and therefore, the lightest, book on the rack (not an inconsequ
...more
Girls Gone Reading
365 Thank Yous has one major thing going for it: it makes you want to be nicer to the people you love. Gratitude is, of course, always good and so are thank you notes. I appreciated John Kralik’s effort to turn his life around, and his effort to spread kindness is honorable.

Unfortunately one aspect of 365 left me wanting. Truthfully, it is the same problem that I have with most books of this kind. How do you write a self-help memoir without making yourself sound pompous and like a know-it-all??
...more
Giovanni Gelati
Dec 14, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life ever kick you in the head? Wonder why the neighbor’s seemingly have it better than you? Down on your luck and just can’t find the right focus? Welcome to John Kralik’s life and times and enjoy the simple solutions and viewpoint he came to adopt to change his life around. I loved this book, I like the time of year it is released( release date is 12/28/2010), and I totally grooved on his newfound perspective. Check out the synopsis:
“One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life a
...more
Julia
Dec 28, 2013 Julia rated it liked it
a lovely thought provoking book. So many people have seen me read this on the bus and stopped to ask about it. my world is richer because I read it. Thanks Mom for passing this on.
Ambra
May 12, 2012 Ambra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. John Kralik’s easy-going writing style grabs the reader’s attention from page one and holds it as he describes his Thank You Note Project in an extremely honest and engaging way. John doesn’t write thank you notes to people without finding real heartfelt reasons to be grateful, and yet he manages to almost keep a pace of one thank you note per day. The very act of taking time to hand-write the thank you notes, along with the gratitude that fi ...more
Joanna
You can tell that author John Kralik honed his writing skills by completing his 365 thank yous project. His writing is as delightful, as sincere, and as brief as a good thank you note should be. He does not delve deeply into the human psyche, he does not preach a gospel of gratitude as a means to self help - he simply tells the story of how being more mindful of the things he should be grateful for, and the act of writing thank you notes for every day kindnesses that would otherwise have gone un ...more
Janette
Mar 10, 2013 Janette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The idea is great- writing thank you notes to express gratitude. I became pretty sick of the book by about page 80 or so because it felt like the message was: "write note= great things happened in my life, therefore everyone else should do this and good things will happen in their life too." Thankfully a little later in the book it did say that bad things still happened in his life but by being grateful for what he had in his life and the people who loved and supported him, he was able to handle ...more
Kristen
John Kralik decides to write 365 thank you notes after having one of the worst years of his life, and he learns how to turn his life around. No, his life doesn't magically get better, but because he starts thanking people for even the simplest of things (the Starbucks barista for remembering his name, his daughter for bringing joy to his life, etc.), his outlook on life changes, too. I had recently been considering a gratitude journal of some type, but I think that after reading this book, I may ...more
Anastasia
Jul 15, 2013 Anastasia rated it it was amazing
Every once in awhile, a little book comes along that has the potential to be a life-changing book. This is such a book. It should be required reading for everyone, especially lawyers. The art of the handwritten thank you note is a lost one. Cursive is not really even emphasized in most schools anymore. More important than the note itself, is the feeling that accompanied the note writing and how that changed John's perspective and circumstances. This is a gem of a book that I will remember for a ...more
Karin
Feb 06, 2011 Karin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked it (hey, Mikey...!) I heard NPR's interview with John Kralik, was intrigued, and purchased the book for my kindle. There were several take-aways and I will attempt to share them below.

1. Isn't it wonderful where life takes us when we are open? In the back of his mind, he always wanted to write a book. Judging from where he was in his life, I think it is safe to say he never would have set out to write a book about gratitude or the power that lies within. But, he did and his live is diffe
...more
Gee-Gee
Jul 18, 2012 Gee-Gee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one day. That is extremely rare for me since I am a relatively slow reader. I was pulled in from the first page and and enjoyed it to the end.
In the late 80's I went through a similar though less dramatic transformation when I learned to thank God in all circumstances.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-19
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit

I had filled my head and
...more
Nancy Kennedy
Feb 03, 2012 Nancy Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming book and a perfect read for the week of Thanksgiving. In his mid-50s, John Kralik is feeling low. His legal firm is failing, he's broke, twice divorced, living in a grungy apartment, estranged from his sons, overweight, plagued by annoying health problems, and his girlfriend has dumped him.

But one day he receives a thank-you note. It's an epiphany for Mr. Kralik. He realizes how few times in his life he's ever thanked anyone and how little a role gratitude has played in his li
...more
loretta
Mar 27, 2012 loretta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to loretta by: read a review
I just finished 'A Simple Act of Gratitude'. What a treasure this little 236 page book is! For the past 2 years I have focused with greater intent on living a life of thankfulness and gratitude, so this book joins a few other of my favorites on this topic.

John Kralik was not in a thankful state of mind when, while on a walk in the woods a voice spoke to him and said, "until you learn to be grateful for the thinks you have, you will not receive the things you want." In his own words,his life was
...more
VeNicia
May 28, 2013 VeNicia rated it it was amazing
I believe that every human being is a child of God. I believe He loves us and knows us individually. I believe He has things He'd like to tell us--each one of us--to help us and our families through the challenges of this life. I believe that when we make an effort to show Him we are listening, to calm our thoughts, to seek Him and/or a good direction, He will not leave us hanging. At those moments we feel Him near us...because He IS near us. He always has been, only now we're listening and we c ...more
Cathie
A thoughtful book from an ungrateful man who learned gratitude through the act of writing Thank You notes.

This is not a mushy, gushy read that will have you wiping your eyes pretending there is something caught in them. It is a straight forward story of a man who was at the end of this rope, feeling like a failure, not sure if life was worth continuing who decided to try one thing only because it couldn't hurt.

Kralik was a lawyer who is now a Supreme Court Judge. He is not prone to mushiness; qu
...more
Lisa
May 20, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very simple. A man going through a mid-life crisis decides to write thank you notes and in the process finds that he has a lot to be thankful for. He finds that he has never written a thank you note for Christmas presents, bday gifts, etc. How amazing! I didn't feel connected at all because I was taught to always write a thank you note in appreciation for the thought in the gift picking process and for the gift itself. It's nice to see he gained an appreciation for life through a s ...more
Laurie
Jan 02, 2015 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really a charming little book, quite inspirational. I'm committed to making the same effort as the author, to write 365 thank-you notes. He didn't get them all done in a year--took him 15 months--and I might not get them done in a year, either, but that's what I'm shooting for.
Wahyu Awaludin
Dec 21, 2014 Wahyu Awaludin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saat John Kralik putus asa atas segunung masalah yang menimpanya, ia mendengar suara dari gunung yang malah menyuruhnya untuk bersyukur selama setahun dari sekarang.

Suara itu berjanji bahwa jika ia melakukan hal itu, hidupnya setahun dari sekarang akan berubah.

John Kralik mengikuti suara misterius itu. Ia mulai menulis satu surat ucapan terima kasih tiap hari selama 365 hari berikutnya.

Ini adalah perjalanan 365 hari dari seorang pria paruh baya yang mencoba bersyukur atas hidupnya. Dan sebagai
...more
Michael Lee
Jan 24, 2014 Michael Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. Everything can change when your outlook on life is different. Be grateful for what you have in life and know that you have opportunities that others do not and appreciate what you have in life for you never know when everything can end.
Linda
Apr 15, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful journey of discovery! Seeing how John's life changed during the course of the year was amazing. I have always believed in the power of writing a thank you note and I do it often. It has inspired me to look deeper at what I write thank yous for. There are things I miss. Using something to keep track is a good idea. I could see keeping a thank you journal rather than a spreadsheet like John did. But it definitely would be personal preference. I found the book by chance walking thr ...more
Michelle
Nov 22, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing
I recently started taking a marketing class for solo professionals. Our first assignment was to write one handwritten note a day for the month of October. It could be about anything, business or personal, to anyone.

By the end of the month I was surprised by the results. One former client emailed to thank me and asked to set up another financial planning engagement. A colleague wrote me a note wishing me professional success that brought me to tears. A woman wrote me back and enclosed a check f
...more
Janie
May 29, 2012 Janie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this memoir. A needed reminder that we will be happier if we are grateful for the all the people, things, opportunities etc in our lives. Taking a few minutes daily to reflect on whom we can thank and then writing them a thank you note will bring peace to our hearts and uplift someone else as well. As I read this book, I realized that I could probably (and need to) write many many thank you notes of my own.
CJ
Sep 23, 2012 CJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A sweet little book that reminds us that when we look beyond ourselves we can find true joy and bring joy to others. The hand written note is something that few people take time for. It would be wonderful to see parents teach their children the value of gratitude and adults to be examples of it.
Ashley Terrano
May 06, 2012 Ashley Terrano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This is a story that reminds the reader of a simple way of life that was forgotten in the younger generation. But it is a lesson that we need to learn. I loved the message about having to make a change in life and not wait for it to happen.
Elizabeth Lang
Aug 18, 2013 Elizabeth Lang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quick and simple read, but so inspiring! Loved watching his attitude about life and his circumstances change! Definitely makes me want to be more grateful and write more thank you notes! Great book.
Becky Chafins
Great eye opener of all we should be thankful for no matter what is around us!
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“I would try to find one person to thank each day. One person to whom I would write a thank-you note. By the end of the year, I would have used up the stationery. I would have written 365 thank yous.” 0 likes
“Life is very short. You need to do what you think will make you happy.” 0 likes
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