The Importance of ‘Thank You’

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

While the holidays are exciting and very special occasions, they can make for a stressful and overwhelming time of year. We become consumed with finding the perfect gifts for our loved ones; decorating our homes; traveling here and there to see friends and family; meeting those end-of-the-year quotas; and preparing for the soon-to-come new year.

Even though the resulting stress is sometimes unavoidable, I have learned that it is important to stop and count our blessings, and say thank you to those in our personal and business lives. I think taking the time to thank people as well as appreciate everything you have in life, are two of the most essential responsibilities (and privileges) we have.

At this time of year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my vendors, clients, tradesmen, and the Ami Austin Interior Design team for their good efforts, quality work and long-standing dedication. I could not run my business without all of you, and your loyalty does not go unnoticed.

I would also like to express to my beloved friends and family how very much I appreciate each and every one of you! Your enduring love and support throughout 2016 have been none other than wonderful! Friends and family mean the world to me, and I hope I make it known every single day. As actor Michael J. Fox once said, “Family is not an important thing. It is everything.”

Giving thanks for all that is great in life is not something to be done only on Thanksgiving. If we extend the season of thanks throughout Christmas, Hanukkiah and New Years- well, and every other day of the year, what ‘A Wonderful Life’ it would be. Although this may sound a little idealistic, I believe it is certainly worth it.

Arthur C. Brooks said in an article in the New York Times, “Evidence suggests that we can actively choose to practice gratitude, and that doing so raises our happiness.” Brooks was referring to a study done by Dr. Robert Emmons in 2003, where one group of people kept a weekly list of things for which they were grateful, and a second group maintained a list of negative or neutral events. After 10 weeks, “…the first group enjoyed significantly greater life satisfaction than the others.” There have been many other studies conducted similarly to this one, and they all result in the same conclusion: Gratitude makes us happier.

With this in mind, I would like to share with all of my clients, colleagues, staff, friends, and family, one of my favorite poems about thankfulness and gratitude. The author is unknown, but the title says it all.

Be Thankful

Be thankful you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
~Author Unknown


As 2016 comes to an end, it is the perfect time for us to stop, take a breath, look around, and realize just how lucky, fortunate and blessed we are to be alive.

For most of us, yes, gratitude, true gratitude, can be challenging in a busy world, because life is challenging. But even on our worst days when nothing seems to be going right, there is always something for which we can be grateful.

I recommend everyone try Dr. Emmon’s approach, and keep a weekly journal of everything you are appreciative of for one month, and just see how you feel. Sometimes we don’t even realize how many things really matter to us until we see them listed in front of us. I believe ending the year on a positive and thankful note is the perfect way to begin a prosperous and happy new year!

For information about interior design and my businesses, for which I am so very grateful, please visit my websites: and

~ Ami Austin

Daniel Hicks