🥳 The BEST birthday tradition ever

and why I look forward to it every year

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And with that, enjoy today’s Habit Example!


⚡️ Estimated read time: 1 minute 53 seconds.


Tomorrow marks my 28th trip around the Sun.

And of all the birthday traditions I’ve ever experienced, one stands out above all the rest.

Not the cake.

Not the singing.

Not the presents.

Sure, those parts are fun.

But what feels better than anything else…

What I remember years later…

…are the comments made around the dinner table.

It wasn’t always a tradition.

And it’s a little different every time.

Sometimes we go oldest to youngest.

Other times we just pick someone and then go clockwise around the table.

But one by one, we each share what we love about the person who’s birthday we’re celebrating.

It felt a little odd the first time we did it.

And sometimes it still requires someone to really be the instigator and go first with sharing what they love about him or her.

But once it starts… man.

There’s something about the feeling that fills the room.






No matter how many times that person drove us nuts this year, or maybe even that day, in this moment… it’s just pure love.

And no matter what that person has been struggling with in life… this moment heals.

It reminds them they’re not alone.

That despite failing in some (or many!) aspects of life, these are they things they are appreciated, remembered, and honored for.

Depending on the situation, we’ve done it in person, on the phone, or video call.

Sometimes it’s audio recorded and sent to the person.

Sometimes we take a video.

Sometimes we just enjoy the moment.

Every time, it’s one of the highlights of my year.

But don’t wait around for someone to do this for you — no.

You be the one to go first, and tell someone else why they’re so amazing today.

You never know how long it’s been since they’ve heard something nice about themself.

And even if they don’t remember what you said 1, 5, 10, or 50 years in the future…

They will never forget how you made them feel.


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Try it

Know someone celebrating their birthday?

Go beyond the cliches.

Tell them what you love about them. (Or at least what you like about them!)

Share how they’ve inspired you or what you admire.

Be as specific as possible about which of their habits, talents, skills, behaviors, personality traits, memories, attributes, or tendencies you appreciate and why.

Already do this tradition with your family?

Get outside your comfort zone and express the same type of specific compliments to friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc.

Too afraid to say it to their face?

Write a note, letter or text message.

Or record an audio or video to send them!

Whatever you say will probably be the most genuine compliment they’ve heard all week.

Maybe all year!

What birthday traditions do you love? Hit reply and let me know!



📖 Life-changing FREE resource: The Storytelling Habit. Learn to tell irresistible stories that make more friends, close deals, get you dates, or advance your career. (Free app + course)*

🪖Life lessons from the little green army men in Toy Story. (5 min read)

🫣 Wealth isn’t about how much you make. It’s about ____. (LinkedIn)

📈 Beautiful chart visualizing how your opinion of others changes in relation to how well you know them. (Tweet)

⌚️ Is it worth your time? 5 questions to determine the answer. (3 min read)

🌊 What do astronomical tidal bores have to do with building better habits? (Habit Example from one year ago)



My wife: You have 8 minutes!

My 5-year-old: That’s a long time… that’s longer than 10 minutes!



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- Kody


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