Posts Tagged ‘deep gratitude’

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

Friday, April 6th, 2012

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.

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 to Craft Your Extraordinary Expressions of Gratitude

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As we are full-swing into the holiday season it is a natural time to think of the people who have made a difference in our lives. Often times we assume they know how we feel or we tell them we appreciate them, respect them or are inspired by them but we don’t elaborate.

For example, it is one thing to tell your significant other they mean a great deal to you. You can even go one step further and say something like: “you provide stability and comfort in my life.” Now imagine if you gave a specific example such as, “No matter how stressful things get at work, I always know that I’m going to come home to a serene environment and your unfailing support.”

Wouldn’t this feel wonderful to say to someone? Imagine the gift you are giving!

Now here’s how you can craft an extraordinary expressing of gratitude…

How do you think your spouse would feel if you followed up that previous expression with, “This makes me want to do the same for you, and I think I’m a better person for it.”

Not only will you have expressed your gratitude on a much deeper level, but the other person has a more profound understanding of what he/she means to you, how he/she has specifically impacted your life and how he/she can continue to do the same for others.

This is the perfect way to ignite sparks in your relationship as well as other people in both of your lives.

What about your parents, your children or your best friend? What impact would these conversations have on those relationships?

Here are a few more examples of how you can go deeper with your expressions.

Example: “Your character and solid values have been great role models for me.”

“I was impressed seeing you cope so gracefully with the disappointment of losing your job and making lifestyle changes.”

Digging Deeper: “This brought home what’s important in my life and I made some important adjustments.”

Example: “You’re a rock.”

Specifically: “It’s a relief for me to know that there’s someone I can trust with the most confidential aspects of my life.”

Digging Deeper: “You epitomize loyalty, and that gives me tremendous peace of mind. It makes me want to be there for the people who rely on me.”

This is easier than you might have first thought. It only takes a few minutes to think about the specifically how their actions have changed your life and who you have become as a result of having them in your life.

Start today. If you haven’t already done so, download the FREE guide Creating Your Own Gratitude Conversations offered at the bottom of this page under Ignite Your Spark.

Once you begin to with your extraordinary expressions of gratitude, I would love for you to share them with our gratitude community on the Share Your Story page of this site.

Capturing the Intent of Expressing Profound Gratitude on

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 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.

Do Tough Guys Know How to Say Thank You?

Friday, October 29th, 2010

While there is no absence of books on how men should learn to express their emotions, have you seen it first-hand?  Have you seen it more in younger generations then in older ones?

For both men and women it is a rare phenomenon to practice expressing deep gratitude to those that have made a real difference in our life while everyone is alive and well.

Here’s some both startling and encouraging news.  I just spent a year of my life traveling about the United States and even abroad to visit with those people who had made an important difference in my life so I could express my deep gratitude.  I visited with 44 people, 80% of whom 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.

“I felt it was a gift of self recognition” described one very big-time executive.

It was enlightening for me to learn that even very smart people aren’t aware what they’ve said or done has made such a difference.  The impact of my expression of gratitude was manifold.  Not only did it feel good for the person to know they had made a difference, they were more alert to the possibilities of helping others in a similar way in the future.

These relationships had been long and meaningful, averaging some 25 years.  My expressions of gratitude were neither superficial nor based on a singular event.  They were reflections on the variety of ways they had influenced me and how each had impacted my life.  Personal gifts are always appreciated.  These explicit expressions of deep gratitude is what made the gift even more special.

Although the primary focus of these dialogues was for me to express my gratitude to them, without exception they took the opportunity to reciprocate.  When they did, they realized the joy that comes from giving this deeply personal gift. Without exception, these men were very appreciative that I had “set the table” for this dialogue to happen and none of them missed the opportunity to take advantage of giving their gift of gratitude to me.

Almost all had acknowledged that they would have felt bad had something happened to one of us and those expressions would have remained unsaid. Several of these men have already further demonstrated their enthusiasm by setting up their own conversations of gratitude.

Almost everyone has experienced the sadness and regret from not having said what we would have liked before the person dies.  We think we have paid tribute and spoken to this person when we are given the opportunity to give a eulogy at a funeral but the reality is the person who most would appreciate the expressions of respect and gratitude is no longer here.

It is clear from my year long journey that men “get it” and they are very comfortable “giving it”. And I am not referring to just 30 or 40 year olds.  All ages, young and old alike.

My hope is that men and women alike will pay it forward and that expressing profound gratitude to those who have made a real difference in our lives will become usual and customary.  I am confident, based on my experience that men are more than up for it.

Angel of Gratitude Reaches Out

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

With Marsha’s permission, I am excited to share a message she sent me.  Marsha had recently received a newsletter from Hay House Publishing about new releases which included an excerpt from This is the Moment and it’s message was aligned with her pursuit of spending 42 days in gratitude.

Just over a year ago my husband was out of work and had been for a while. I could barely walk with the bone on bone pain from arthritis in my hip and was only weeks away from being in a wheelchair. The pain kept me awake at night even though I was taking a lot of prescribed pain medication, sleeping pills and antidepressants. With no medical insurance and no income, I was on a downward spiral into my dark night of my soul with no end in sight.

Somehow, someway, the Angels were watching over me. I was accepted by Project Access, and my Angel, Dr. Richard W. Garner. Everything was donated to me, the doctor, the hospital, nursing, everything. My medications were $5 or less. I am truly blessed and will be forever grateful. Many people have made a significant impact on my life but nothing more dramatically than this. I still have some issues and I will never be young again, but I thank God every day I can get out of bed and walk!

Sharing my emotions freely, loving passionately from the heart, and always with gratitude. I am Marsha!

(To read Marsha’s entire blog entry about this remarkable experience, visit Day 27 – Angel of Gratitude. )

I was so appreciative of Marsha’s willingness to reach out and share her story.  My response follows…

Dear Marsha,

Thanks so much for sharing your remarkable story of how you were so blessed by an apparently an unknown organization and Doctor which makes it even more astonishing.

The best news is of course that you have had this dramatic turnaround and that you have recovered the most important aspect of one’s life…their health.

Your daily expressions of thanks to God for this blessing are quite understandable.

I was wondering how you chose to thank the organization, the doctor and the other people involved in this “life-saving” mission?  I am reminded of a dear friend of mine who had a life saving operation some ten years ago.  Every year on the anniversary of the operation, he writes a heartfelt email to his doctor.

Now that you can function again without the terrible pain, would there be others that you would choose to thank for what they have meant to you in your life?  What I discovered when I revisited and expressed my gratitude to those that had been important to me was that I was the real beneficiary.  Of course the recipient appreciated the expression of gratitude as well.

Thank you, Marsha, for sharing your story with me.

With gratitude,
Walter Green

Please share your stories of gratitude – I would love to hear from you!

What Would You Write on Your Hat?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The presumption that there will be a tomorrow is just that.

I am sure when 64 year old, Edward Rosenthal left on his day hike in the Joshua Tree National Park, he, his wife of 21 years and their daughter all presumed the same.  As described in a article, Edward got lost and walked 13 miles until he could walk no more in the 100 degree weather.  Miraculously he survived six days without food or water.

During the time I have taken to write this blog, others were not as lucky as Edward.  Every hour of the every day, 365 days a year, on average 5 people who presumed they would be here tomorrow were killed in a fatal car accident.  When I was 17 years old and a freshman in college, I was called home to learn that my father had a fatal heart attack that day.  It was devastating for me and my family.  Every day on average 1,360 families, 500,000 a year get a similar message – your loved one has died of a heart attack.  The expectation that there would be a tomorrow for their loved one was not to be.

There are lots of articles written about how to prevent heart attacks, drive safely and avoid other life threatening events but still thousands of people die unexpectedly.  Even heeding this advice can not prevent these devastating, unpredictable human losses.  But that is not the end of the story.

In almost all of these cases, the surviving family members are left with searing and everlasting pain that comes from the regret for all that they had left unsaid with their now departed loved ones.  From this day forward, this does not have to be.  We may not prevent the death but you can prevent the painful regret.

Remember Edward, our lost hiker?  The good news is that he survived six days without food or water.  Part of what kept him alive was his focus on writing notes on his hat (he had a pen but no paper) telling his wife and daughter how much he loved them along with heartfelt expressions of appreciation to some of his clients.  Edward was lucky on two counts.  First, he survived and secondly, he got to express his profound love and gratitude in the writings on his hat.  Excuse the pun, let’s take our “hat’s off” to Edward for both of these good fortunes. I do not know about you.  I hope I have a tomorrow but someday I will not.  Nor will your loved ones.  Nor will you.

There is a simple way to avoid regrets for all that is left unsaid if someone important to you dies in the future.  It is simple but not easy since it is not usual or customary.  In my newly released book, This Is the Moment, I chronicled my yearlong journey of gratitude where I visited and expressed my profound gratitude to all those who had made a real impact on my life.  It not only was a relationship and life enhancing experience of extraordinary magnitude, it also prevented me from having any regrets if my life influencers or I die tomorrow..  I wrote this book to help you achieve the same peace of mind that I have. What would you write on your hat?  Would you consider communicating that message today?  I have yet to hear one story of someone who prematurely expressed their deep gratitude to someone who was important to them.

To get started on your journey, please visit my website today for more tools

Whether you read my book or visit my website, I would love you to share with our community your stories of how you have taken the path less traveled, the one that is not filled with regret.

To see the full article about Edward’s hiking adventure, go to

Greetings and a very warm welcome

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Greetings and a very warm welcome,

I am so pleased that your curiosity has brought us together.

In all my years of working with people, I have always aspired to exceed their expectations and in some way to make a difference in their lives. I make the same promise to you.

I will enrich your life and those people that have been really important to you. Specifically, I will raise your level of consciousness of the power of expressing deep gratitude while you and your life influencers are alive and well. I will show you how to do it in your own way and on your own terms. Promise.

You will find it very rewarding to give this personal gift and in the process enhance your important relationships and achieve peace of mind. Promise.

Can you imagine not having any regrets and pain from what has been left unsaid?

What would I like in return? I would really appreciate it if you would share your stories with me of the joys from giving your gifts of gratitude. I would love to hear about your journey here on the website by clicking on the Share Your Story tab. My hope is that each of you can “ignite sparks” in our community and become part of this transformational movement.

Ignite your spark,

Walter Green

Author, Family Man, Friend, Entrepreneur, Mentor and Philanthropist