Gratitude is a Habit

A few weeks ago, I sent a note to one of my favorite writers, Derek Sivers.

Hi Derek,

I’m James and I’m a writer and technologist based in NYC. I’ve been writing daily ( for more than three years now and your posts have inspired a number of my blogs.

When people ask me who my heroes are, you are one of the first people I mention. Your book, How to Live, is one of my Bibles that I re-read often.

Thanks so much and keep inspiring!


Less than a day after, he replies:

Hi James -

Wow! Thanks for reaching out and taking the time to write that introduction! Nice to get to know you a bit. I enjoyed reading I resonate with it in many ways. Writing on my journal and diary has made all the difference in the world for my learning, reflection, and peace of mind. Thanks fo including your URL! I really admire what you’re doing.

Double-thanks for getting two of my books in 2021. What you said about How To Live is the ultimate compliment. I really appreciate it.

I’ve written in my first email what Derek’s work means to me. After following his work for years, I thought it was time to give him my thanks. I didn’t expect a response, let alone one as detailed as this. But at this point, I guess I shouldn’t expect anything less from Derek.

Every day, I reap the rewards of someone else’s invention. Whether it’s a blog post, product, or service, taking a moment to express my gratitude feels good and I’m sure it meaningful for the other person too. Practicing gratitude is a habit that I’m continuously refining.

July 26, 2023

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