High School Basketball Teaches Humanity

Talk about a “game changer”.  What a remarkable civilization we would have if this was in fact the way all “games in life” were played.  As a starter, the next time we encounter a person with a challenge or find ourselves  in a competitive situation, think about how Coach Peter Morales or #22 Jonathan Montanez would have handled it.

You can watch the short and inspiring video here.

All my best,
Walter Green

Something Extra Special for Valentine’s Day

It’s only four more days until Valentine’s Day and many people are still looking for that thoughtful gift that will show that special someone just how much they care.

You want it to be something more than the usual flowers, chocolate or Hallmark cards. Or perhaps you want to give something in addition to those traditional gifts.  Time is short and finances are even tighter.

Sound familiar?  You are not alone.

Here’s my suggestion, and one that will be one of the most inexpensive and yet most memorable of all.

But first, consider the answer to this question.

In what ways has this person really made a difference in your life?

For the moment, make short bullet point responses to this question.

Next, take out a sheet of paper and start writing a letter to that person expressing your heartfelt gratitude for these specific contributions to your life.  It matters not whether your letter is one, two or more pages.  Writing it out is what matters most.

Others have told me that it rarely takes an hour to write.  And even today only 46 cents if you have to mail.

So for anyone struggling with finding that one, extra special Valentine’s Day gift – don’t look in the stores, or online.  It’s all inside and just waiting for you to tap into it.

Not only will the recipient be touched to receive it but you will never have any regrets in the future for things you might have left said.

I always love to hear about your experiences expressing profound gratitude so please share them here on my website or share a comment on my Facebook page.

Thank you, Ray Romano

The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual event that was created to provide national recognition to individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contribution to American culture through the performing arts.  My wife and I have watched this event on television for many years and consider it the most outstanding event of its kind.   We had the pleasure of attending this year’s event in person.

Kennedy Center Honors usually select five extraordinary people.  Tribute is paid to each of the recipients by individuals whose lives have been touched or in some way been significantly influenced by these people.

Ray Romano paid tribute to one of this year’s honorees, David Letterman.  He thanked him for the gigantic break that Letterman gave him early in his career when Letterman’s production company built a show around Ray Romano, Everybody Loves Raymond. I was thinking, what an extraordinary way to express profound gratitude to someone.

But here is the rest of the story.  Ray Romano became emotional during his tribute and his voice quivered when he acknowledged regretfully, “My father passed away, I never told him I loved him….I love you, David Letterman”.

Ray, in that one sentence, poignantly shared both the pain that one experiences from regrets for things we wish we had said to people who have profoundly influenced our lives as well as the joyfulness from acknowledging those people when they are alive.  Clearly demonstrating once again, “This Is the Moment”.

Thank you, Ray Romano.

A Thanksgiving Perspective

My wife and I just returned from an extended trip to Asia where we celebrated our 50 years of marriage.  Yes, to the same person.   I can almost imagine your initial responses if you are American.  That’s great, immediately followed by “wow, they are old.”    When we think of old people in our culture, we think of social security, medical issues and senior discounts.

When we shared this significant life event with people on our travels in Asia, they were universally happy for us but more importantly, it elevated their esteem and respect for us.  It was as if we were being honored by them.  In their culture, older citizens are people who have had many important life experiences and the wisdom and strength that comes with it.

Same couple….different culture, different perspectives.  Both are valid observations.  The first view tends to distance people.  The latter connects people and adds richness to the experience and to the relationship.

So at this time of Thanksgiving, for younger people in particular, think of those who lived a generation or two longer than you as a source of wisdom and life experience.   Learn from them.  Equally important, if they are your parents or grandparents, or their contemporaries, and have had an important impact on your life in any way, express your gratitude to them.  You will be the better for it and it will enhance your relationship not to mention the joy that the person would feel knowing they have made a difference in your life.  This Is the Moment!

You’re Never Too Young for Expressing Gratitude

One is never too young, or is it ever too soon, when it comes to expressing deep gratitude.

I have had the pleasure to speak with several thousand people since my book, This Is the Moment, was released.

Most often the audiences were comprised of men and women of middle age or older and usually very successful in their professional and personal lives.

My desired outcome of these presentations was to inspire the audience to act on my message of expressing gratitude while everyone was alive and well.  Not only will future regrets be eliminated but the experience will be very gratifying for both the giver and the recipients.  Thousands of people to date confirm exactly that.

The idea then occurred to me.  If it is such a good idea to develop this capacity when one is older, wouldn’t it be even more valuable if one learned this practice earlier in one’s life?

So when the opportunity was given me to speak to teenage students who attended The Elementary Institute of Science in San Diego, I was pleased to do so.

During my presentation, I challenged the students to reach out and express gratitude to just one person who has been really important to them and, if they did, I would love to hear what the experience was like.

Here is some of what they wrote to me after acting on my challenge.

“I could not have survived without my mother.  My mother inspires me to be the best I can be.”

Another said to her grandmother, “I can’t tell you how much you mean to me and what it has meant to me to have you take care of me since I was one year old”.

Another said, “As soon as I expressed to my mother how much she meant to me and my gratitude for her clothing and nurturing me since I was born, I immediately began to think of other people I wanted to express gratitude to.  I felt if I could say those things to my mom, I could say those things to other people”

And one more.  This teenager expressed gratitude for her really good friend who helped her through a really rough time in her life.  The friend was surprised and touched and it strengthened their friendship.

After receiving these letters, I reaffirmed my deep belief that the benefits of expressing gratitude to those who have been really important to us are relevant no matter what our age or demographic.   One is indeed never too young and it is never too soon!!

If you’ve been on the giving or receiving end of an expression of profound gratitude, I’d love to hear your story.  Please share it privately at Share Your Story or publicly in the Comments section below.

Don’t Just Feel It, Express It

I recently read an article titled “Old Friends and Mentors” by Wally Amos.  You likely remember Wally Amos for his “Famous Amos Cookies” and more recently Uncle Wally’s Muffin Company.

The theme of his column was to remember those who have mentored and influenced us.

He shared the importance of the role and impact of his first mentor and another of a boss early in his career who became a surrogate father to him.  He talks about his surrogate father and how he died before he had a chance to express his gratitude toward him.  It was necessary for him to visit his surrogate’s widow so Wally could get closure by seeing the bed from which he had sent his last letter to Amos.

How bittersweet.  He was grateful for the memories of the power and influence of these people, but likely felt regret for all that was left unsaid to these road-changers.

In my book, This Is The Moment, I share the joy and gratification that I experienced when I took my own personal journey to express my deep gratitude to those who have had an important influence in my life.  I also provide a road map for the reader to both experience this joy as well as eliminate any future regrets for things that might have been left unsaid.

Wally, thanks for those great cookies and for reminding us to acknowledge those who were great influencers in our lives.   Respectfully, when it comes to gratitude, let us all remember that it is not “perfectly baked” until we express to these people our deep and explicit appreciation for all that they have done for us.

Grateful Wife Makes Exceptional Ambassador for Expression of Gratitude

I had the real pleasure to receive a very special message of gratitude through the Share Your Story page of this website and with permission of the author I am excited to share it with all of you.

Barb Kryke wrote a wonderful letter to her husband, Ron. As you will see by the reprinted version of her message below, expressing profound love and deep gratitude was definitely “within her reach.”  I was touched by her capacity to acknowledge and express the impact her husband has had on her life.

My dearest husband,

I know that first and foremost in all my thoughts, is my gratitude that you have entered my life. You have the greatest soul, modest nature, and the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known.  I am, and will always be in awe that this meeting of hearts and minds and souls is not coincidental, but a purposeful life brought together by God.

I thank you for showing me how hard I am capable of working, far beyond my wildest dreams. Your encouragement and unending faith in me has now and forever, shaped me as the whole person I dreamed of becoming.  My love, my reverence, my admiration for you, is not measurable by human means and far outreach my ability to express, in words, how incredibly grateful I am that your love for me is perfect.


My warmth,
Your loving wife



When I reached out to Barb to find out more about her experience, she was kind enough to indulge me by answering a couple of questions.

  1. What did it feel like to express this profound gratitude to your husband?

I was moved by my own words. I am, by nature, reflective and use each morning and night to breathe in my good fortune. I am blessed to have the ability to express my gratitude for my husband, daughters, friends and 7th grade students.

  1. Do you have a sense of what it meant to him?

Ron texted me, “You brought me tears of joy with your letter of gratitude.  I adore you.” I guess that says it all.

Barb is indeed blessed on so many levels. My hope is that everyone reading this will be inspired by Barb’s story and will reach out to a significant relationship and express profound gratitude.

I would be honored if you shared your story here on this website.  Simply go to Share Your Story and send me a message.

Many Years of Fly-Fishing Brought Them to this Gratitude Moment

I received a very moving story of an expression of gratitude that I would like to share with you.  The reason I’m sharing this particular story is because it vividly demonstrates how we can spend years of meaningful time with someone important to us and never take the time to articulate to that person the magnitude of that person’s impact on our life.

Jim heard a recent presentation of mine on the importance of expressing profound gratitude.  It not only resonated with him but he acted on it.  Here is Jim’s story as he shared it with me.

In 1993 I met Bill, a fly-fishing guide, during a trip to Alaska. Life hands you opportunities for letting people come into and remain in your life, and so it was with Bill.  In the nearly 20 years since, we figure we have spent over a year fishing, ending our days together over a campfire, enjoying a cigar, a single malt, and conversation.  There is no man in the world who knows me as well as Bill does.

In our last trip, over a campfire on a cold early winter evening in the high country of Arizona, I expressed my gratitude to Bill.  He has helped me truly understand and enjoy the outdoors.  His constant patience with my less-than-ideal casting abilities, points to his roots as a teacher who has never stopped teaching.  No matter what issue or problem I might be facing, I know that I have a sympathetic ear and someone who will tell it to me “with the bark on.”

Well, we have found over the years that we have gotten more emotional.  We shed a few tears that evening, and had to resort to another dram to buck up our spirits.

Think about it for a moment.  Is there someone who has been important to you over the years that you have yet to express your profound gratitude for their impact on your life?  Likely so.  Do not miss the opportunity while everyone is alive and well.  You will be enriched by the experience not to mention you will not have to deal with the all too often regrets for things that have been left unsaid.

If you need guidance on how to express profound gratitude, download your Free Guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Expressions at the bottom of this page.

Sharing the Power of Expressing Profound Gratitude with Greg Voisen

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Greg Voisen, the Founder of Inside Personal Growth this week.  He does his homework as a thoughtful student and he asks great questions as an inspiring teacher.  This dialogue will likely enhance your understanding and appreciation of the power of expressing extraordinary gratitude.

You can access the podcast of our interview here:  Interview with Greg Voisen, Founder of Inside Personal Growth

Why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Mother Was Speechless

A few nights ago I heard Oprah interviewing NJ Governor Chris Christie. When the topic of the profound influence his mother had on him was brought up he shared a story from when she had just two days to live. On that Friday morning that he sat with her she asked him why he was not at work. In her mind it was 9:30 am on a workday, where else should he have been?

His loving response to her was that he was where he wanted to be. To that his mother simply replied, “There is nothing left unsaid between us. You should be at work.” Governor Christie was fortunate in at least two respects. Firstly, he knew that his mother had a short time to live and was able to spend it with her. Secondly, everything that was to be said had been said.

Since the vast majority of us will not know when people who have been important to us will die, wouldn’t it serve us, and them, to make sure nothing is unsaid? How much better it feel to know that we shared all of our love, respect, admiration and gratitude before it was too late?

Many of us know all too well about the regret of words unsaid. Fortunately I also know how enriching it is to take the time to express profound gratitude to significant relations when there is no impending separation. I was blessed to have the opportunity to take a yearlong journey to express my gratitude for the people who made the most significant influences on my life.

I encourage you to feel what it is like to have “nothing left unsaid between us.” Reach out and create an opportunity you might otherwise regret missing. If you are not sure how to get started, download your Free Guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Expressions at the bottom of this page.