July 8, 2011: Chris Althoff

July 8, 2011: Chris Althoff

My alarm went off at 6:45 this morning, and in what has become my normal routine, I hit the snooze bar to catch another 9 minutes. That got me to 6:54, juuuuuuust about when I was almost asleep again, and then my alarm reminded me for a second time that it still wasn’t Saturday.

After I rolled over, got out of bed and thought, “God I need to change that factory setting,” I turned to my next morning habit – connecting to the world via iPhone.

This is an enjoyable time for me. It’s quiet and I don’t usually have early meetings, so I don’t feel rushed. I catch up on any latent business from the previous night, click through social media updates and digest the daily health care stories. This morning was no different, but today there was an email that stood out. The subject line simply read, “Thank You.”

The message was from a colleague whom we had thrown a baby shower for the day prior.  His wife came by toward the end of the day and we celebrated with a small gift exchange. It was their fourth shower and I’m sure they were rolling their eyes, having received their tenth baby rattle and obligatory bib set, but you wouldn’t have known it. They were all smiles. And thus I began my day, with a similar grin.

That gesture became the lens through which I saw the entire rest of the day. My mood was up, I greeted people in the hallway, opened doors for strangers and the chores of the day flew by. I even started to notice other acts of kindness. I know you know what I mean. We’ve all had that “Liberty Mutual” experience where we start noticing acts of kindness and feel the need to pass it on.

And so that is what I leave you with today. Make some time this weekend to take that extra step and say thank you or pass on a kind word. A comment which may seem trivial in the moment may be all it takes to change someone’s entire day…and in our world now, we need all the trivial moments we can get.

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About the author: Chris Althoff (@chrisalthoff) is a passionate entrepreneur and partner in a Chicago-based healthcare consulting firm. He loves his family, technology, travel and being a lifelong learner.

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