Surprise & Delight

Surprise & Delight is the main ingredient in making someone’s day.

It is not a necessary thing, but it is the stuff of miracles!

(Warning: This is highly addictive.)

  • It’s an important step to see where you can spread encouragement in the world.

  • You’ll start noticing in a more purposeful way.

  • Fun side effect: You will be amazed at how good this makes you feel!


“But I don’t know how!”

Start, with “TNT!”

  • T – TUNE IN and take an extra moment to notice the details. Start with someone you are with. Do they seem happy, worried, tense, etc.? (You get the picture.) See if you are able to discover details that you never were aware of before.

  • N - NOTICE what you like about someone. Is it the way they tell stories, the way you feel when you are with them? – What is it that they do that makes you feel this way? How do they treat others? What can you learn from them?

  • T - TELL them one thing, in colorful detail, that they inspire in you. Watch their faces as you tell them. Make a note of how encouragement feels to you and to them.


Here’s this Power Tool in Action

The Story of “Say WOW!”

Ruby worked at Panera. Like so many people who work behind the counter, she was a bit invisible to many people.

One morning, I decided that for the day, I would be playful with the people I met. Ruby was my first encounter.

She was a girl with jet black hair, beautiful dark eyes and on this particular morning, she was wearing bright ruby-red lipstick (no pun intended). Instead of saying the typical “Good morning,” I looked at her and said: “Wow! I don’t ever want to see you wearing anything but that color lipstick. It looks so good on you! It’s beautiful.”

She beamed. She learned my name. She greeted me like an old friend every time I went into that Panera from then on. It was such a tiny act of encouragement and yet—it made her day. Oh, and three people behind me continued the conversation to make her day.

Ruby was no longer invisible.



Surprise and Delight are the basis of moving from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Ordinary Appreciation:

  • A verbal thank you. It lasts just a second and then is forgotten in the fast pace of living.

  • It can also include an email thank you–equally transient–deleted and/or forgotten in a flash.

Extraordinary appreciation:

• Public appreciation with others present

• A handwritten note

• A handwritten note identifying the specific ways the person is appreciated

• A card

• A card you create 

• An invitation 

• A call

• A call + an invitation

• Telling others a story about someone you appreciate and why

Moving from ordinary to extraordinary will, at first, seem like it will take too much time. The rewards, however, will quickly convince you that establishing a practice of extraordinary appreciation is worth every minute. You won’t do it with everyone and that makes it all the more special. 

Keep some notes about the reactions and the results.

Surprise & Delight Others
through our Social Media!