Today I get to meet a NY Times bestselling author. I wouldn’t say I’m star struck about meeting a famous author; I’m more excited to meet a fellow writer and one who wrote a book that truly resonated with me. I feel like all writers have a connection. We are all vulnerable to the page and expose who we are through our words.
To me, it’s similar to gamers, Star Wars fans, Crossfit fanatics, runners, mountain climbers, fashion designers, musicians and so on. When you meet another person of your tribe, there’s already a bond and an appreciation. So today, I’m thrilled to meet a member of my tribe and one that I highly respect.
The author is John Kralik, and he wrote the book A Simple Act of Gratitude. Prior to the transformation he describes in the book, he was a tired, broke, anguished lawyer, twice-divorced and estranged from his sons. His two bright spots were his girlfriend and his young daughter. Then when his girlfriend ended the relationship, he truly felt hopeless. He was on the brink of ultimate despair.
Soon thereafter, during a solitary hike in the woods, Kralik hears a voice say, “Until you learn to be grateful for the things you have, you will not receive the things you want.” He also remembers his grandfather emphasizing the importance of and the rewards that come from writing thank you notes. From these experiences, he derives the idea to write 365 thank you notes over the span of the year. The note writing and the subsequent human interactions transform his entire life. The book tells the story of this incredible journey. It’s honestly and beautifully written.
As part of research for an article I wrote about him in our local paper, he and I have emailed a number of times. He is as humble and gracious as he is talented and successful. I wish he and I could sit down for coffee today and talk, but then again, I wish I could sit down with all of my favorite writers and enjoy a cup of coffee and a great conversation.
Yesterday he was in nearby Asheville serving as the keynote and he agreed to visit our church this morning after our pastor reached out to him. I will be meeting him briefly before or after he speaks, and I’m really looking forward to it. And if you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it. One of the central themes is gratitude, so it would be perfect to read during the month of November.
And spend some time soaking up chapter 6, especially if you are a parent. It’s raw and real and was absolutely my favorite section of the book.
Here’s to great writers. Writers who are willing to share their honest stories to inspire and encourage others.