Recognise This! – The root of gratitude is noticing and appreciating how others help us achieve that for which we are grateful.

(Editor’s Note: In the spirit of recognition and gratitude, especially at this time of year, I wanted to “give the floor” to someone who shows us all – by example – what being truly thankful is all about. Bravo to you, Don MacPherson, President of Modern Survey. You set the bar high!)

If you’re reading this, you are successful. Very few unsuccessful people spend their time reading blogs about recognition, employee engagement, and performance. If you are like me, you might be a little surprised by your success. When I was younger, I knew I would have a good life, but I had no idea it would be as good, as interesting, as fulfilling as it is.

When I first began my career, I thought I would never be judged a success unless I was self-made. After a few years struggling, I realised that to become successful I would need the help of others. Since then, there have been many, many supporters.

You might be in a similar situation. There are a lot of people who have helped you along and guided you toward your success. It is how the world works unless you are incredibly talented and gifted.

This month Americans will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. It is my favorite day of the year. For most Americans, there will be football games on TV, conversations with family, and plenty of food.

I celebrate a bit differently. Thanksgiving is also my favorite day of the year to work. During the last 10 years, I’ve been spending Thanksgiving the same way. I wake before the sun and head directly for the gym. After the workout, I shower and leave for the office.

By 8:00 am, I start making phone calls. I call every single person I can think of who has helped me get to where I am today. I call all Modern Survey’s employees. I call the clients I have worked with during the last year. Modern Survey’s supporters and advocates get calls. My closest friends hear from me.

Then, I call my family. If history repeats itself, when I get Mom on the phone to thank her for being a wonderful, caring parent and for the sacrifices my parents made to make my childhood a safe and healthy time, she will cry just as much as I do.

It’s a humbling day. It’s an emotional day. It’s a day I look forward to. My success is predicated on the help and support of other people. I want to honor those people through the “Thanksgiving routine” I’ve established.

If you’re one of the very important people to get a call from me this Thanksgiving, thank you in advance. I hope you enjoy the message I leave you or the brief conversation we have. I’m grateful for everything you’ve done for me.

How do you express gratitude to others during the Thanksgiving season?

Don MacPherson is an employee performance expert with more than 17 years of industry experience. As President of the human capital measurement company, Modern Survey, Don oversees the organisation’s consulting and employee measurement practices. Don’s areas of expertise include understanding employee and customer motivations, developing effective leadership, and creating processes for gathering employee feedback. Follow him on Twitter at @MacPherson_D or read his blog.