In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then rekindled by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Though I’m not a big fan of award shows, I have always been impressed by the spontaneous gratitude that so many winners immediately feel. An Oscar, an Emmy or a Grammy might be the pinnacle of a lifetime of hard work, but rather than pride the best often burst into an outflowing of genuine gratitude. The winner suddenly recognizes that their success has as much to do with the graciousness of others as it does with their own talent. The “thank you’s” that follow typically begin with the present and stretch all the way back to childhood, to teachers and parents who first fostered the creative spark.
It is absolutely true that there is no such thing as a truly “self-made” person. Every success we enjoy, every small achievement is the result of an interplay of grace and circumstance. Life has a synchronistic way of supporting us in our endeavors when the time is appropriate and when we have surrounded ourselves with the right people.
Every so often I get an email that says “Thank You” from a travel agent. Nothing makes my day in the same way, because I feel that we have truly lived up to our mission. If those two simple words can have so immediate an impact in our life, it makes sense to be more generous in the way we use them ourselves.
In this season that signals the end of our year, turn to your clients and say “Thank You”. Then, look over your shoulder and you will likely find a small group of family and friends who have been supporting your efforts as a travel professional without completely understanding what you do. Say “Thanks” to them for their love and patience, for all those times when you let business take precedence over more important things. Call up a few suppliers who have shown extraordinary care in the handling of your clients this year and let them know you appreciate the relationship. Thank the person who opens the next door for you, your mail carrier and the man who bags your groceries. The time is right.
So let me go on record now and say the successes TRO has experienced over the past five years have been the result of an amazing convergence of people and circumstance. Great travel agent writers have appeared with something to say. Industry leaders and mentors have given us their time and attention. A terrific group of advertisers, sponsors and supplier supporters took a chance on us and gave us a platform from which to speak. Best of all, literally thousands upon tens of thousands of travel agents gave us feedback, encouraged us, tutored us, corrected us and cheered us on.
Gratitude for even the smallest things can crowd out less positive emotion. Nothing that you or I have achieved has been without the support and cooperation of others. For this week, at least, that’s enough for all of us to contemplate.