Posts Tagged ‘igniting sparks’

How Gratitude Sparks Continue to Ignite

Monday, July 18th, 2011

A friend sees a video and shares it on Facebook and you share it with your friends.

A family member reads a great book and forwards it to you and in turn you forward it on when you’re finished with it.

A colleague shows you a new way to use a software program that helps your productivity and you share it with your team.

All of these simple gestures have the potential to improve your life and create a ripple effect in the lives of others.

Expressing profound gratitude works in much the same way.  When I wrote This is the Moment my intention was to share the story of my yearlong journey of gratitude with others so they could see how easy and rewarding it can be.  What has happened is a ripple effect.

For instance, my son, Jason, gave away several copies of the book to friends and business colleagues.  He used the book both as an introduction to his own expressions of gratitude as well as to people who he felt might benefit from the story.  Jason’s gifts ignited several sparks of gratitude.

After reading the book, one of his business colleagues delivered a deep and profound expression of gratitude to his grandmother.  He was so moved by the impact of this experience that he apparently bought some 200 copies to give to his colleagues, family and friends.  One of these recipients who read the book was inspired to write to his childhood scoutmaster.  Much to his and my surprise, the scoutmaster said it was the first time in his life he had received such an acknowledgement and he treasured it.

How wonderful is it to see something so positive move from person to person, state to state and country to country.  In the age of wanting everything to go viral on the internet, it is wonderful to know we all have the ability to take something as beautiful as an expression of profound gratitude and touch the lives of many through this ripple effect.

Here’s how you can ignite your own spark…

Think of a teacher, a colleague, a family member or your scoutmaster from your childhood. We may or may not have thanked these people at the time for a specific contribution they may have made to our lives.  We assume because of their position and passion for helping other people, they are well compensated in the gratitude department.  We assume those they’ve helped have taken the time to express gratitude for the lessons they’ve learned and their influence on their lives.

That is rarely the case.

For the past year I’ve had the pleasure of hearing your stories of expressing profound gratitude to people who have impacted your life and how much it has enriched your lives and relationships.  It has been a delight to watch these sparks of gratitude ignite across generations and decades of friendships.

What continues to surprise me is how infrequently these life influencers are thanked for what they do.  They are seldom appreciated for the life-long impact they’ve made in our lives.  Who can you remember from 10 years ago, 20 years ago who taught you a lesson or made a real difference in your life?  Don’t assume they know how much they meant to you.  Start your own ripple effect and have the conversation, create the video, write the song or write the letter that will tell them what you have been thinking all of these years.

I would love for you to share your story with our gratitude community through a comment below or by writing to me here, at Share Your Story link.