Archive for the ‘Share Your Story’ Category

Ripples of Gratitude

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

In the short time since I completed my personal victory lap, I’ve started hearing about how it’s also serving others who weren’t part of my journey, and even people that I’ve never met. I hope you find the following story as fascinating as I do.

48 Hours

One driven businessman in his 40s, who heard about my journey from a mutual friend, said that it was life-changing for him. It enabled him to renew his relationship with his grandmother, who’d done everything for him when he was younger except give birth to him.

This man hadn’t visited his grandmother in some time because he had no patience for spending time with an 88-year-old who, like many elderly people, tended to repeat stories and was hard of hearing. But now he was inspired to call her on a Friday night, and he simply listened to her for an hour. “She so appreciated my time,” he said.

The experience made him feel so good that he called her again the next day, talked for another 45 minutes, and then invited her to Sunday brunch. She was so excited that she said she was going to visit the beauty parlor in anticipation of the outing.

When the man and his grandmother saw each other, they cried, realizing how much they valued and missed each other. “There won’t be another 48 hours of my life that goes by without my calling her,” he vowed.

Have you been putting off expressing gratitude to someone significant in your life?  Or have you shared your gratitude and enriched a relationship?  I would love to hear your story and share it with our community.  Please use the Comments section below or send me a private message by using the Share Your Story form on this website.

The preceding is an excerpt from This is the Moment!:  How One Man’s Yearlong Journey Captured the Power of Extraordinary Gratitude (Hay House, October, 2010)

Introducing a Very Special Person…

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

This past weekend I had the pleasure to speak to members of the Chief Executive Organization and their spouses at a conference in Las Vegas.  In the audience was a CEO of a major financial firm who was to introduce the speaker following my presentation.

As the CEO finished describing the speaker’s impressive achievements in developing Las Vegas into the entertainment, gambling and convention center mecca that it is today, he took a few minutes to add an impromptu expression of profound gratitude.  He addressed the audience with, “I want to add a few more remarks that were inspired by Walter’s earlier presentation.”  He proceeded to describe his heartfelt gratitude for all this man had done for him and the impact he had on him over more than two decades.  It was obviously done spontaneously and he became very emotional.

It was a remarkable moment on several counts.  First, it was clearly a tribute that the person was so very pleased to be able to give.  Second, the recipient of his praise was also moved.  Last but not least, it was a remarkable demonstration for the whole audience in not only the power of expressing gratitude but also the logic of doing it now.  It was clear that the message of This Is the Moment resonated with the audience but it was doubly gratifying for me to hear it beautifully modeled within moments following my presentation.

If you had an opportunity to introduce someone who made a significant impact in your life, what would you share with the audience?  What memories would come to mind?  It only takes a few moments to make an impromptu and heartfelt expression of gratitude.

Reach out to someone today and make them center stage.  I’d love to hear your dedication.   Please share them with our gratitude community in the comments section below or share your story confidentially by clicking here .

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Winners of February’s Gratitude Contest Share Their Stories – Part 1

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Last month I invited people to share their stories of expressing profound gratitude to people who made a significant impact on their lives and I am so pleased to announce the two winners of February’s Gratitude Contest.

Joan Valley of New Franken, WI

Andy Monfried of Norwood, NJ

Both of our winners have graciously offered to share their stories with us here.  Today I would like to include Joan’s message to a generous colleague.  Andy’s letter to his grandmother will be posted in a follow-up blog, to be published this Thursday, March 10th.

My hope in writing This Is the Moment was that it would ignite sparks of gratitude and in time, who knows, maybe create a wildfire.  I loved Joan’s expression of gratitude to her colleague, Ron, who had made such a difference in her life.  Joan also reached out and found 45 people who also wanted to share their gratitude to Ron, which made this recognition even more special.

Joan Shares Her Story:

“My story on gratitude is centered on someone that I used to teach with.   After I had my first son 13 years ago I was working full-time as a high school teacher.  I have always loved teaching, but I really struggled having to leave my son while I was teaching. Anytime someone would check in and ask how I was doing I would break down and cry.  One day I went to my mailbox at work and there was a cassette program by Brian Tracy in there.  I thought someone put it in my mailbox on accident so I had our secretary post a note in our newsletter asking the staff if this was a mistake to come and see me.  No one responded.  So I listened to these tapes in my car during all my daily travels every single day.  The message that I was hearing in these tapes literally saved me.  This is where Ron comes in.  I suspected he may have done this as an act of kindness knowing how much I was struggling.  He would not admit it, however he smiled in a way that made me know it was him.  He did this knowing I needed it, but did not want credit for it.

That one act was not the only impact Ron made in my life.  We were both teaching the same class so I was fortunate to be able to meet with him every week.  He was so generous with his time.  He would run off all the copies for an upcoming unit for all of the teachers teaching this class and go through everything with us.  More than that, he was always upbeat, positive, optimistic, and happy; I could go on and on.  He would use quotes from Wayne Dyer and other spiritual teachers daily in his classroom.  It was the “quote of the day” on the board and students had to journal about the quote. He was known by staff as Mr. Positive.

After hearing your interview on Hay House with Diane Ray I was motivated while listening to write Ron a letter and let him know how much of a positive influence he had on my life and how much I appreciated him. Ron’s wife of 50 years passed away a few weeks ago so I thought this might lift his spirits a bit.  In addition to my letter I emailed the staff at my school asking for the first word that came to their mind when they thought of Ron.  Ron retired several years ago, but even so I received over 45 emails with a total of 70 words…people had a hard time just using one.  I put them in Wordle and created this word cloud for Ron.  I sent all of this to him just this past December.

Thank you for your work Walter.  I am grateful to have heard your interview.  I can’t describe how I felt during the process of writing the letter, collecting the words and so on.  I addition Ron sent me a very thoughtful thank you letter that really meant a lot to me.”

Thank you, Joan.  I am grateful for your story and hope that it may ignite sparks of gratitude in others.

Don’t forget to check in on Thursday, March 10th to read Andy’s letter to his grandmother.  You will be truly inspired.

Mark your calendars – we will be running another contest in May for expressions for gratitude for mothers and grandmothers.  The winners will receive an autographed copy of This is the Moment! and with their permission, be featured in a blog. You have two months to enrich your relationships in a way you never imagined – have a conversation, write a letter, create a video, etc.

Entering the House of Gratitude Through Many Doors

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

When we think of expressing profound gratitude towards others our thoughts often focus on those people who are the most prominent figures in our lives – children, parents, spouse, and friends.  They have most likely been in our lives the longest and have shared wonderful memories and supported us during difficult times.  To many, this is an obvious choice because they represent the strongest place in our hearts.    When we express our appreciation for them it is as though we are walking through the front door of the “house of gratitude.”

After reading this recent article, I was reminded and encouraged to see that we have more than one door available.  These school students were asked to write letters of appreciation to veteran’s for Valentine’s Day.  As a result of the assignment, one teenage girl, Madelaine took the opportunity to spend time with her father and learn all about his military service.  Their conversation created new memories she will always have of her father, as he died within days of their precious time together.

To me, the young people in this article had the opportunity to express their profound gratitude to someone they didn’t know for what they had given to them by serving our country.  You might say they came in the back door to the “house of gratitude.”  That gesture in and of itself would be very rewarding to the student and the beneficiary.

While they are expressing gratitude to a stranger, they can incorporate a tribute to someone in their own family who is no longer alive but had also served our country in the military.  Although it would have been more meaningful to express this gratitude when the family member was alive it is still a wonderful way to feel and share their appreciation.

Now for the side door.

Sometimes there is hesitancy about how to begin the conversation.  If you can start with a particular subject, like Madelaine did with her father about his military service, the conversation can grow from there.  Once you have entered the “house of gratitude” take the time to mention the many other influences this person had in your life.  It will enrich your expression of gratitude and your relationship.

No matter how you approach it or which door you take, living in the “house of gratitude” is a comfort everyone should experience.  Who can you start a conversation with today?

Free Book Promotion: If you share your story of expressing profound gratitude here on my website during the month of February, you will be eligible to win a free autographed copy of This is the Moment!

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To read the entire article of the school-aged children writing letters to veterans, click here.

Titans Head Coach – Not too Tough to Express Gratitude

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

You don’t have to be a football fan to appreciate this gesture.  Former Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans, Jeff Fisher took out a full page ad to thank Nashville and his staff for their support and the memories they made together during the past 17 years.

Fisher has a bright future ahead of him and his ability to express this extraordinary public gesture of gratitude speaks a lot for the man.  Our society would normally expect such personal and heartfelt expressions to come from women, not men and for sure not a football guy.  He shows true class with an open heart.

Here’s some both startling and encouraging news. When I spent a year of my life traveling about the United States and even abroad to visit the 44 people who had made an important difference in my life so I could express my deep gratitude – 80% of them were men.

During these extended conversations, not one of these men was uncomfortable receiving my heartfelt expressions of appreciation for their contributions to my life.  Just the opposite – they were touched and honored by this gift of gratitude.

Do you have men in your life (spouse, colleague, family member, etc.) who express gratitude beyond the common “thank you”?   If so it would be great to acknowledge them, to appreciate them and to encourage them to continue setting a great example for all the generations of men (and women)   In the meantime, I “tip my hat” to Jeff Fisher for his performance both on and off the field.

To see a snapshot and more on Jeff Fisher’s full-page ad, click here

Free Book Promotion: If you share your story of expressing profound gratitude here on my website during the month of February, you will be eligible to win a free autographed copy of This is the Moment!

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter !

Book Giveaway in February for Sharing Your Story

Monday, January 31st, 2011

So far, many of you have already reached out and shared your stories of how wonderful it has been to express extraordinary gratitude to someone signification in your life.  They have been both heartfelt and inspiring and some of them have been featured on this site.

In honor of those significant relationships, I am sponsoring a free book giveaway in the month of February.    I will be giving away two autographed copies of This is the Moment! to the two best submissions to my website. In addition, with your permission only, your story will be featured in a blog and it could inspire others to have extraordinary expressions of gratitude.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is submit your story of a real, heartfelt conversation, video, poem, letter, song, etc. that you communicated to someone who has made a significant impact on your life.

Submissions will be accepted for the entire month of February, so if you haven’t expressed gratitude yet, you have time before it is too late. (All stories are kept confidential unless you provide permission to publish.)

Do this for YOU!

I am confident you can help ignite sparks that can transform the way people express deep gratitude thereby enriching their lives and the lives of others.

Click here and submit your story to win a free autographed copy of This is the Moment! It makes a great gift.

With appreciation,

Walter Green,

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Inspirational Story of How We Get By Giving

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I find it tremendously gratifying and inspiring to hear from people that were touched by my gratitude journey and my book, This is the Moment.  I recently received an incredible story from a reader and with his permission I am sharing excerpts with you.

I thought Raymond’s your love story for his wife, Doris was both remarkable and refreshing and I am so grateful that he shared it with me.

If compassion, love and generosity in marriage were the basis of a distinguished honor, Raymond would clearly be a frontrunner for a lifetime achievement award.  He not only “walks the walks” but he is so articulate and expressive.  It is a brilliant example of how “we get by giving”

“Often marriages are put to the test when couples are confronted with financial problems or if a spouse is stricken with chronic illnesses.  All marriage will go through good and bad times.  But if couples stick to one another during those rough times, the relationship will improve steadily as time goes by.

I am a caregiver to my wife, Doris Lau who was stricken with schizophrenia at the tender age of 17.  Schizophrenia is the most distressing of all mental disorders.  It is an illness that is often camouflaged and many people who are inexperienced in managing this illness may at first believe that the sufferer showing irritable, moody and suspicious behavior has a bad personality or is ill behaved.

Coping with the symptoms of schizophrenia can be extremely difficult for family members who remember how active a person was before he/she became ill.  This illness is terrifying because it is unpredictable.  It requires 24-hour, minute-to-minute care.  After caring for Doris for more than thirty-three years, I am now more alert to the warning signs of schizophrenia.

Many people find it very hard to believe that I married Doris despite her mental illness.   So why did I marry Doris?  Unlike the many girls that I dated, Doris was very down-to-earth.  I found her to be sincere and caring.  This was the woman that would change my life – dramatically.

And having witnessed how my mother suffered at the hands of my abusive father, I swore that if I ever got married, I would never walk my father’s path.  I told myself that the woman I marry, whoever she is, I will love forever.  Though it is an arduous and painful journey for me to manage my wife’s dreaded schizophrenia for more than three decades, I often draw my strength and compassion from Jesus.  Can you imagine what will happen to Doris if she had married the wrong man?

Today, my wife has a total of five illnesses, including schizophrenia, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and incontinence.  Being the sole caregiver to my wife for more than three decades is no easy feat and I have suffered burnout so many times.

The good news is that through my love, encouragement and support, I have managed to turn Doris into an author of not one, but 5 books.  This is a remarkable achievement for someone suffering from a serious mental disorder.

Through the many talks that I have given, I have always mentioned that people with mental illness just need one person to love them and with medication, they will recover.

Doris has often asked me if I would ever marry again if she should pass on before I do.  To this I answer,

“No one will ever replace you in my heart, Doris.  I will live in your memory for the rest of my remaining life.  I will be contended to know that in heaven, you will no longer be tormented by illnesses that has torn your mind and body apart.  Please wait for me up there, for I want to be reunited with you once again, my dearest Doris. If I have to start life all over again, I will still choose you and no other.”

P.S: Raymond runs a website at:

What in inspiring and fabulous story of love, dedication and appreciation.  How wonderful that Raymond can express his love so openly to Doris and with us.

If this story moves you to have expressions of profound gratitude with someone significant in your life, I would love to hear about it.  With your permission I could also share it here on this blog with the hopes that it will ignite sparks for others to pay this message forward.  It is never too early to express gratitude, but it can be too late.

Share your story here.

How much have we learned from others….and do they know it?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

It is said that experience is the best teacher and there is no question that we can learn a lot from real world encounters.  We also learn a lot from being inquisitive and having a thirst for knowledge.

I believe the most successful people learn a lot from others throughout their lives and it begins with our teachers.  After our formal education, there are so many other people who offer us valuable insights, new ideas, better ways of doing things and so much more.

If learning is essential in our lives, let’s reflect on those who have taught us over the years.  Teachers, advisors, colleagues, consultants, therapists, friends, family, fitness trainers, and the list goes on.

It is likely that their contribution to our lives has been significant and maybe even profound.  Have we ever expressed our gratitude for some of the greatest gifts in life that we have received from them?

In many of my previous blog posts I have spoken about expressing profound gratitude and in some cases have provided specific ways to do so.

Let me share with you someone who taught me a great deal and some of what I said to him

I was fortunate to have someone who taught me about a thinking process that promoted both clarity as well as a process for achieving extraordinary results in both my personal and professional lives.  Some 35 years ago, Fred Jervis, the founder of The Center for Constructive Change taught me this creative way of thinking

During my yearlong journey of gratitude I visited with Fred to tell him all the ways it has influenced not only my life but the lives of so many that I have coached over the years.  Here is just a little of what I told him:

“I know you’ve influenced a lot of people, but just from my perspective, I want you to understand that not a day goes by that I don’t marvel in some way at the process of thinking that you brought to my life.  I came to tell you from the deepest places in my heart and my head and my soul how fortunate I’ve felt to have met you.  Im so indebted to you for what you’ve done for me and I want to let you know that when I am helping others, it’s paying forward what I’ve learned from you over these many years.”

I encourage everyone to start with just one person and someone who has taught you something very meaningful would be a wonderful place to start.  It could be a teacher, a parent, a colleague, or anyone else that comes to mind. It could be they taught you to love of a subject, to learn an avocation, how to live a more joyous and fulfilled life or how to maximize your talents in your work life.

Now that you have identified the person, take out a piece of paper and make bullet points of the impact this person has had on your life (you may find it helpful to get started by going to the bottom of this page and downloading a free guide to facilitate the process).

You have not captured the full power of expressing extraordinary gratitude until you actually deliver your thoughts to the person.  Whether you do it in a letter, an email, a phone call or in person is up to you.  If you have a talent for writing a poem or a song that would be very extraordinary.

After you deliver your message you will likely feel that you have enhanced your relationship, enriched your life, and achieved a peace of mind knowing that you will never have any regret in the future for things that could have been said but were not.

And for the rest of the story….your recipient will receive one of life’s most special gifts; the knowledge that he or she has made an important difference in the life of someone.

For more examples of how to create and deliver these expressions of gratitude and for tools on how to do it your way, read my book, This is the Moment.