Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Don’t Just Feel It, Express It

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

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.

What Does Gratitude and A Bucket List Have in Common?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Do you have a bucket list?  Do you think you’re too young to have your dream experiences written down or too old to still make them happen?  You are never too young to make a list of all the wonderful things you wish to do and see.  You are also never too old to still capture some of your special unfilled dreams.

I recently had the thrill of accomplishing a feat that has been on my list of important achievements I would like to do before I die.  For years when I listen to music in my home or car, I added to my enjoyment by simulating the experience of conducting the musicians.   I believed being an orchestra conductor could combine my desire to create beautiful music with the enjoyment of bringing out the most in people (in this case musicians) and my pleasure to influence and control 70 to 100 musicians through the movement of my arms, eyes, and body.

When the conductor of the Desert Symphony Orchestra said he was going to auction off the opportunity to conduct this fine orchestra to an audience of more than 1,000 people at the McCallum Theatre, I was all in.  I was ultimately the highest bidder and was blessed to conduct John Phillip Souza’s “The Washington Post” to open the concert.

So how does completing an item on a bucket list compare to expressing profound gratitude to those who have been important in my life as was the main focus of my yearlong journey of gratitude (my “victory lap”)?

As I reflected on this question, I concluded that in some ways it was the same but in some aspects it was different.

Bucket lists are intended to be done before we die which was the case with my yearlong journey of gratitude captured in my book, This is the Moment.  This journey was intended to not only reach out and visit people who have been important to me while they are alive and well but to encourage others to “do it now”.

Just like the cost of completing items on one’s bucket list could be minor, so is the act of expressing profound gratitude.  Doing it in an extraordinary way does not have to cost any significant expenditures of money.  A good example of this is the “44 cents” story I share in the book about a friend who was able to communicate how important a lifelong friend was to him with the use of two pieces of paper, an envelope and a 44-cent stamp.

Bucket lists and expressions of extraordinary gratitude also share a build-up of excitement, anticipation, anxiety and ultimately a feeling of sheer joy when it’s completed.

A bucket list could include reaching out and reconnecting with people but more often than not it refers to travel adventures and unique experiences.

Items on a bucket list could be the same activity for you as they could be for your friends and loved ones (bungee jumping, Alaskan cruise, etc.), but an expression of extraordinary gratitude is unique to each and every expression.  Each expression is different, which is what makes adding it to your bucket list so special.

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight that the most important aspect that one’s bucket list and expressing extraordinary gratitude is that these are life opportunities that should not be missed.

It is never too early to add expressions of gratitude to your bucket list, but it can be too late.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.  Connect with your significant relationships today.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

What does Gratitude and a Bucket List Have in Common?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Do you have a bucket list?  Do you think you’re too young to have your dream experiences written down or too old to still make them happen?  You are never too young to make a list of all the wonderful things you wish to do and see.  You are also never too old to still capture some of your special unfilled dreams.

I recently had the thrill of accomplishing a feat that has been on my list of important achievements I would like to do before I die.  For years when I listen to music in my home or car, I added to my enjoyment by simulating the experience of conducting the musicians.   I believed being an orchestra conductor could combine my desire to create beautiful music with the enjoyment of bringing out the most in people (in this case musicians) and my pleasure to influence and control 70 to 100 musicians through the movement of my arms, eyes, and body.

Three weeks ago, when the conductor of the Desert Symphony Orchestra said he was going to auction off the opportunity to conduct this fine orchestra to an audience of more than 1,000 people at the McCallum Theatre, I was all in.  I was ultimately the highest bidder and was blessed to conduct John Phillip Souza’s “The Washington Post” to open the concert last week.

So how does completing an item on a bucket list compare to expressing profound gratitude to those who have been important in my life as was the main focus of my yearlong journey of gratitude (my “victory lap”)?

As I reflected on this question, I concluded that in some ways it was the same but in some aspects it was different.

Bucket lists are intended to be done before we die which was the case with my yearlong journey of gratitude captured in my book, This is the Moment.  This journey was intended to not only reach out and visit people who have been important to me while they are alive and well but to encourage others to “do it now”.

Just like the cost of completing items on one’s bucket list could be minor, so is the act of expressing profound gratitude.  Doing it in an extraordinary way does not have to cost any significant expenditures of money.  A good example of this is the “44 cents” story I share in the book about a friend who was able to communicate how important a lifelong friend was to him with the use of two pieces of paper, an envelope and a 44-cent stamp.

Bucket lists and expressions of extraordinary gratitude also share a build-up of excitement, anticipation, anxiety and ultimately a feeling of sheer joy when it’s completed.

A bucket list could include reaching out and reconnecting with people but more often than not it refers to travel adventures and unique experiences.

Items on a bucket list could be the same activity for you as they could be for your friends and loved ones (bungee jumping, Alaskan cruise, etc.), but an expression of extraordinary gratitude is unique to each and every expression.  Each expression is different, which is what makes adding it to your bucket list so special.

I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight that the most important aspect that one’s bucket list and expressing extraordinary gratitude is that these are life opportunities that should not be missed.

It is never too early to add expressions of gratitude to your bucket list, but it can be too late.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.  Connect with your significant relationships today.

Please join me on Facebook and Twitter!

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.