Archive for the ‘November 2010’ Category

Capturing the Intent of Expressing Profound Gratitude on Amazon.com

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Being a first time author and life-time student, I am always appreciative of the degree to which people are willing to acknowledge new insights and create new habits.

I recently read a review of This is the Moment on Amazon.com and I wanted to publicly recognize and thank “Susan” for her newly found commitment to begin her personal journey of gratitude.

Here is “Susan’s” entry:

From the moment I noticed this book I was enamored with the title, the premise, the incredible journey the author, Walter Green traveled. I saw myself asking the same questions Mr. Green asked of himself as he contemplated the blessings in his life. As I read the poignant stories of the 44 people in Walter’s life I knew that I have so much gratitude within me that I, too, must begin to express. And thus my personal journey is underway as a result of reading THIS IS THE MOMENT. Not another moment in my life is passing without my specific expression of thanks and gratitude for what and how those in my life have contributed to the woman that I am today – albeit far from free of “challenges” – there are those who have graced my life with support, encouragement, friendship, expertise, wisdom, humor.

This is a must have book for everyone so when we are at the end of our life, we truly have no regrets for words we might have said because we HAVE said it all to everyone in our life who mattered.

It is very satisfying to read that This Is the Moment is “working.”  It is igniting the reader to reach out to those who have made a difference so that you can experience the joy of giving the gift of extraordinary gratitude and at the same time, avoid the all-too-often regrets from leaving things unsaid.

Like Susan, my life experienced lots of challenges.  As a matter of fact, not one of the 44 people on my journey was free from these difficult moments.  One of the profound insights from my yearlong journey of gratitude was that all of these relationships were solidified by surviving these life challenges together.  Of course, we had lots of joyful and happy times but the depth of the relationship was solidified by being there to support each other when times got tough.

As Susan said, it is the support, encouragement, friendship, expertise, wisdom, and humor from those who touched our lives along the way that have made all the difference.  This is the moment to let these people know the impact they have had on us. It is a gift that only we can have the pleasure of giving.

Why Your Self Portrait is Not Your Legacy

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

If you are like most people, you live your life trying to exemplify the values that you want to present to the world and be remembered for when you are gone.  This is a noble act.

We all have a perception of ourselves, and everything we do we try to be consistent with that vision—our integrity, our energy, our performance, our giving to others. This leads us to keep an internal scorecard and wonder how we’re doing. Am I doing the right things? Am I doing enough?

Your own answers to these questions are your self portrait.  Would it surprise you to realize that this picture of yourself dissolves when you pass away?  What lives on is the portrait of you that remains in the hearts and minds of those people who are important to you.  This is your legacy.

Here is the challenge.  Many, if not most of us, wait until the people who have been important to us are gone.  Our snapshot of them is developed through conversations and eulogies about them spoken to others.  However, the person who deserves to hear it the most is no longer around.

Stories told, laughter shared, and challenges overcome all make up the mosaic of the people in our lives.  What better way to cherish this masterpiece than to share it with them while you are both alive and well.

By taking the opportunity to tell the most significant people in your life how they have impacted you, you give them the gift of knowing what their legacy will be in your eyes.

What’s the benefit of this act?  (Priceless!)  Not only do you have the peace of mind in knowing that there is nothing left unsaid, but you are also deepening the existing relationship.  What you will learn by having these conversations is that your impact on people is not about what it costs you in time, effort and thought, but it is really about the experience from their point of view. Furthermore, by learning about yourself you can increase your contribution to others going forward.

In Too Soon to Say Goodbye, Art Buchwald ended his book by explaining how he had planned his own memorial service down to the detail of asking eight friends to be his pallbearers.  He then wrote:

“Then I remembered if I died I couldn’t hear myself being eulogized, so I got the idea to print their eulogies at the end of my book.  Instead of being memorialized after my death, I get to read what they were going to say now.  It’s very rare that someone has the chance to hear his own eulogy.”

In a similar way, my long-term friends provided a mirror that helped me see who I was when I was a young adult and how I had formed as a person. Listening to the audio recordings of my gratitude conversations with them later on was like hearing an oral history of the highlights of my life so far. This was far more than an exercise in self-absorption.  Their pieces of input allowed me a unique opportunity to answer the question: Who am I? What an empowering gift! I never set out with an agenda of learning about myself; doing so was parenthetical and incidental, but not inconsequential.

Are you interested in helping your most cherish relationships see the mosaic of their lives through your eyes?  You have the distinctive opportunity to provide them with their legacy which will survive long after their self portrait.

How to Set the Emotional Table for Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Your flights have been paid for and now all that’s left to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday is gearing up to spend time with your relatives.

For many people this is an exciting time, and for many more it is an anxious and stressful one.  With families come emotional buttons that have been embedded for years and are visible only to a select few.  This can affect the depth and tone of how we communicate with those who have impacted our lives the most.  Add to this the expectations of having the perfect family holiday and it is no wonder Thanksgiving is often disappointing.

The essence of Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our many blessings, not the least of which are the important relationships in our lives. So could you proactively set the table for a loving and grateful holiday?  What if this may be the last Thanksgiving some of you spend together?  Regardless of your motivation, you can increase the prospects of having a most enjoyable holiday with your family by doing only one thing in advance.  Express profound gratitude.

Here are the very simple steps that will could an enormous impact on how much more relaxed you feel with loved ones.

  1. Make a list of the people you will be seeing who have made a real difference in your life.
  2. Write down bullet points of the contributions each of them have made and how it has impacted you.
  3. Express these sentiments to them – in a letter, email, call, poem, conversation, etc.

To help you in this 3-step process, download the Free Guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Conversations by signing in at the bottom of the  website.

What better way to set the table for a relaxing and appreciative holiday than telling people how much they mean to you.  There is no need to bring up past grievances, just share what you love about them, to them and for them.  It is not who they are that matters the most, it is how they have impacted you that is the premise of these conversations.  You will be amazed at how great you feel and how easier family gatherings can be when people are in a state of gratitude.

An alternative to communicating in advance would be to plan to a one-on-one conversation with your life influencers.  If you choose this approach, make sure you have this discussion in a quiet place so that you both can get and give your full attention to each other.  You may want to record the conversation so that you can save it and savor it for the future.  Have someone take a picture of the two of you together and capture the memory of this moment.

I would love to hear how your conversations went or how expressing profound gratitude changed the tone of your Thanksgiving holiday.  Please share them either below in the Comments section or  privately by submitting them on the Share Your Story page of this website.

For more information about how to have these powerful gratitude conversations, check out my book, This is the Moment.  Consider writing a personal inscription inside the cover and presenting it as a special gift or hostess gift.