Posts Tagged ‘expressions of profound gratitude’

One Single Resolution that Enriches Your Entire Life

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Did you make your list yet?  Have you written them down or are they just percolating in your mind a bit?  How many do you have?  Are they the same ones as last year?

Ahh…. New Year’s Resolutions.

It seems like an annual ritual to think and act upon the ongoing challenges to eat healthier, exercise more, sleep more and take our business or career to the next level.  With each New Year we continue to be hopeful that we will make them all happen.

Would you be willing to make ONE resolution that could enrich many areas of your life?

All you need to do is make one resolution to enrich your relationships.  By expressing profound gratitude to one person –  a member of your family, a friend, a colleague, a client and anyone who has really helped you in your life  can not only elevate your relationship but also provide peace of mind.

Your resolution could be stated as easily as…

I will express explicit gratitude to someone who has made a real difference in my life.

Unlike so many resolutions, this is very doable. Think of a person who has been important to you not just this past year, but over the years.  Your deep gratitude can be expressed in less than an hour and the benefits can last a lifetime.  I believe you will find that after experiencing the positive benefits from doing it to just one person you will decide to do more.  When was the last time you exceeded a New Year’s resolution?

By expressing profound gratitude you will not only enrich your life but the lives of the “receivers” and the people to whom they pay it forward.  Imagine the wonderful year you can create not only for yourself but for others.  The process is easy, it is comfortable and it will make a significant difference in your life.

Do you have any regrets from years gone by?  Most do.  Has someone passed away or drifted out of your life that you wished you could have told him/her what they meant to you?

Make this year different.  Actively give yourself the peace of mind that nothing has gone unsaid to someone, or more, who have been important to you.  Eliminate future regret and have a conversation, send a letter, make a video, record a song or poem…. do it any way that feels right to you.

If you want help in executing this resolution, you can go to the bottom of this page and sign up for your FREE guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Conversations.

This experience will be a life enhancer of significant value.  In my recently released book, This Is the Moment I provide you with all the tools you need to make this resolution one that you will achieve this coming year and be life changing in the process.

The Most Personal Holiday Gift that You Hope Gets Re-Gifted

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

What do you buy for those special people in your life?

We struggle for that just-right gift that will show them how much they mean to us, how much we care about them, and we want to give a gift that is from the heart and is personal.

In economic times like these, money is understandably limited for gifts.  There is nothing more special than a personal gift and nothing more personal than an expression of profound gratitude to those who had a major impact on our lives.

This is a gift for all people of any age, all backgrounds and all economic circumstances.  This uncommon approach to gratitude is a way to enrich our lives, enhance our important relationships and achieve peace of mind that can only come from not having regrets for things left unsaid.

In addition, there are several ways to give this “uncommon gift” that will cost a lot less than most people normally spend and the likely impact on the giver and the recipient are far greater than you can imagine.

I encourage you to reach out to the significant people in your life and have a one-on-one connection – in person, on the phone, in a letter – in whichever medium works best for both of you.  Do it your way. If you need assistance with what and how to communicate your profound gratitude, take a look at the last section of my book, This is the Moment or download the Free Guide offered at the bottom of this page by entering your email address.

Expressing extraordinary gratitude to those people who have impacted your life may be your perfect gift this year. The best thing that could happen is that it is re-gifted to someone else – that the receiver shares this wonderful experience with their significant relationships and then they share it, and so on….

Be the first to start the momentum of what will be one of the most rewarding and joyous gifts you have ever given.

Nephew Shares Blessing of Gratitude on WPIX-TV in New York

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Most people know that you like and love them, but very seldom (if at all) do they know how they’ve specifically impacted your life.  In this brief segment on WPIX-TV in New York I touch on the four key elements of an extraordinary expression of gratitude.

My nephew, Eric Herrenkohl was one of the 44 people on my yearlong journey to express profound gratitude.

You can also see what our gratitude conversation meant to him during this television segment and the action he took immediately following our time together.

 

For your own peace of mind so that you don’t have any regrets, have your gratitude conversation with those significant people in your life today. If you are not sure how to start, sign in at the bottom of this page and download your FREE guide. It will show you the simple steps to creating your own gratitude conversation.

Once you start your journey I would love for you to share your experience with our community. Please go to the Share Your Story page on the website and ignite sparks of gratitude.

Expressing Profound Gratitude: Are You Reaping the Rewards?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

We hear and read about how an attitude of gratitude and how it can help us through tough times. This is very true. Equally as important is how expressing profound gratitude can transform our levels of happiness on an even deeper level. It can also a bring us that often elusive peace of mind.

Robert Emmons, Ph.D. is the author of Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, which I acknowledge in my book, This Is the Moment Recently Dr. Emmons wrote an article that summarized very concisely what we can gain from expressing and feeling gratitude.

“We’ve studied more than one thousand people, from ages 8 to 80, and found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

Physical

  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological

  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness

Social

  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated

Take another look at the list that Dr. Robert Emmons shares above – if a daily supplement pill promised these results, would you take it?

The practice of expressing deep gratitude to those who have impacted our lives in important ways can yield all the above benefits and some additional ones. Further, if we fail to express this level of appreciation, to others, the outcome is usually painful regrets for all that was left unsaid. Given all the benefits of expressing deep gratitude to others, both for ourselves and the recipients, why don’t we “just do it”? Because it is not normal or customary. In one of my chapters “Hesitancy is but One Step from Action” I sleigh these perceived obstacles including I’m too Old, I’m too Young, I’m too Busy, I’d be Uncomfortable, It Doesn’t Matter, or They Know How I Feel.

After I’d completed my yearlong journey of gratitude and one of my friends asked, “What did you get from all this?” “What was it really like for you?” It was almost as if he was asking me to reveal a secret, and it prompted me to drill a little deeper for a response.

Two of several immediate responses came to mind. First, I had a much deeper appreciation of just how important these relationships were to me. It felt like I was seeing them in “high definition”. The second thought was: peace of mind. I didn’t realize I was getting it at the time I was having my conversations or even after I’d finished them. I only got in touch with how peaceful I’d become sometime later when I was faced with a crisis. Which I go into more detail in This is the Moment.

Don’t wait until you have a health crisis to express profound gratitude, do it today for all the reasons Dr. Emmons’ study reveals, and much more.

To read the entire online article by Robert Emmons, Ph.D. click here: “Why Gratitude Is Good”

To get started on your own gratitude conversation, sign in at the bottom of this page under Ignite Your Spark! and get your FREE guide.

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.

Is Your Relationship House in Order?

Friday, November 5th, 2010

We make money to feel secure and successful.

We save money to buy the house, send our children to college and retire.

When a relative gets sick is when we begin to think about trusts, wills, and executors.

As a society the primary focus has been on financial affairs.  We are urged to not only achieve financial success but to keep all these affairs organized so that in case we died there would be a roadmap that led to the details on what is owned and what is owed and the primary contacts.

We follow this traditional course in life to get our financial house in order.  Every step along this journey gives us peace of mind.  We achieve incremental goals and feel good about our accomplishments.  We strive for the brass ring and we achieve it.  Now what?

Getting your house in order and having peace of mind extends far beyond your finances.  Are there things still unsaid in your meaningful relationships?  Just as your finances need to be continuously reviewed and updated, so do your personal relationships.

It became clear to me that meaningful relationships were an important component to real peace of mind.  Exactly what does that mean?  Simply said, it means not leaving things unexpressed whether by speaking, writing or whatever with everyone that has been important to you.  It also means finding a way to save these expressions for future generations whether by letter, a digital voice recorder or even a video.

Just ask yourself these questions if you want to test your preparedness with regard to having your emotional house in order.  First question, is there anyone alive who made a profound contribution to your life that you have not adequately expressed your gratitude toward,   If so, do it.  Do not wait to be chosen to deliver a eulogy when the person is unable to hear and appreciate your gratitude.  One of the greatest benefits from my yearlong journey of gratitude was that I was able to express my deep gratitude to all, in my case 44 different people.  It was only after completing these conversations that I was able to really achieve peace of mind.

The important point is that having your financial house in order and your relationship house in order are not mutually exclusive.  They both can and need to be done to achieve the peace of mind that we ideally would like to have.

What is ironic is that our relationships are what we most value at the end of our lives.  They require far less time to nurture and maintain then one’s finances. It has to be one of life’s biggest missed opportunities that our actions are often so inconsistent with our priorities.

What will it take to put your relationship house in order?  A phone call, an afternoon together, a 44-cent stamp?

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.

Is Anyone Really Self-Made?

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Have you put yourself through school?

Have you become a success without a formal education?

Have you “made it” against all odds?

Self-Made.  This is a term often used to refer to people who have started with little or nothing and ultimately became very successful.  We celebrate these rags-to-riches stories.  There is even a prestigious society that honors it with the Horatio Alger Award.  I have always been duly impressed by its recipients.

I share this quick story with you not out of a desire for self-promotion, but for the purposes of perspective.

I have often thought I was self-made.  My father died when I am 17.  My first job after college was selling rags even though they were referred to as industrial textiles.  After 14 different jobs and living in 14 different cities, I ultimately became the CEO and Chairman, and major shareholder, of the leading conference center company in the United States.  Our company had 1,400 employees and we hosted more than 6,000 business meetings a year with over 150,000 participants.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “so here is the rest of the story”.

After I had achieved this success, I thought I would take some time, actually a whole year, to travel around the United States and foreign lands to express my deep gratitude to those who had influenced my life in important ways over the years.  It was the most profound experience with regard to personal enlightenment and the deepening of my relationships in all aspects of my life.

One of the many things I learned in the process was how many people had been there for me and made a difference in my life. Family members, friends, colleagues, and advisors, just to name a few.     It was both humbling and deeply gratifying.   I felt so very blessed and it made me reflect on the question about being self-made.   I came to the conclusion that self-made was not an appropriate label or an accurate depiction of my life.  Is it yours?  Are there people in your life who made it possible for you to achieve what you did and acquire what you have?

Acknowledging those who have made an important difference does not diminish my achievements nor will it diminish yours.    By being more conscious and explicit in my recognition of others’ contribution to my life, it was life enhancing, not life diminishing.  It makes me feel proud and blessed that I was able to encounter these people along life’s journey.  In good times and challenging moments, they chose, for whatever reason, to be there for me.  This does not take away from my accomplishments.  Just the opposite.  It is another remarkable achievement.

In his book, Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Robert Emmons, PhD, writes “We can be proud of our accomplishments yet simultaneously realize they would have been impossible without help from others.  This realization is the soil that permits gratitude to germinate”.

Are you really self-made? Take a few moments and think about those who have been important to you.  Be explicit about what difference they have made in your life. Begin by thinking about just one person. This is the first important step on your journey to capturing the power of expressing extraordinary gratitude and enriching your life and others in the process.  I would love to hear your stories of those that have made a real difference in your life.

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!

Is Normal and Customary Always Good?

Monday, September 27th, 2010


In many cases, normal and customary is good.  For example, when your temperature is 98.6 that is a good sign.  To want to make the most of your life is also normal and admirable.

There are other times when normal and customary is not good.  For example, it is normal and customary for Americans to consume more calories and exercise less than is ideal.  Years ago a 300 cholesterol level was normal until the medical profession concluded it was unhealthy and adjusted the guidelines to be under 200.

It is also normal and customary to reach out to significant relationships and connect in important ways when death is imminent.  This was beautifully written about in books like Tuesdays with Morrie, The Last Lecture and Chasing Daylight It is customary and normal to feel that when one delivers a eulogy that the thoughtful words of gratitude, respect and acknowledgment will be heard by the deceased.

What I discovered on my year long journey of gratitude as I have written about in This Is the Moment is that it is far more rewarding to you and the important people in your life to express deep and explicit gratitude while everyone is alive and well.  It was my hope that my book will contribute to this practice as the new norm.

I will build on this principle in later blogs but for the moment I would like you to close your eyes and ask answer these two questions,

“Is there anyone who has made an important difference in my life who is no longer here?”

“Was there something that I would have wished I would have said to that person?”

From my experience, almost without exception, everyone answers “yes” to both of these questions.  That is normal and customary.  The pain of regret is the usual emotion and it is far from ideal.

It would be enlightening to members of our community to hear your stories of regret.  It would be a real gift if it awakens others to not let this happen to them and to help them realize that This Is the Moment.

By expressing extraordinary gratitude to the significant people in your life you will find it not only eliminates the pain of regret but it also enhances your relationships and gives you peace of mind.

In future blogs, I will give you more examples of how the process of expressing deep gratitude can enrich your life and those that are important to you.

I know you are probably thinking, “I know this makes sense but …” Don’t worry I will slay those dragons that create this hesitancy in future blogs.