Posts Tagged ‘peace of mind’

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.

Why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Mother Was Speechless

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

A few nights ago I heard Oprah interviewing NJ Governor Chris Christie. When the topic of the profound influence his mother had on him was brought up he shared a story from when she had just two days to live. On that Friday morning that he sat with her she asked him why he was not at work. In her mind it was 9:30 am on a workday, where else should he have been?

His loving response to her was that he was where he wanted to be. To that his mother simply replied, “There is nothing left unsaid between us. You should be at work.” Governor Christie was fortunate in at least two respects. Firstly, he knew that his mother had a short time to live and was able to spend it with her. Secondly, everything that was to be said had been said.

Since the vast majority of us will not know when people who have been important to us will die, wouldn’t it serve us, and them, to make sure nothing is unsaid? How much better it feel to know that we shared all of our love, respect, admiration and gratitude before it was too late?

Many of us know all too well about the regret of words unsaid. Fortunately I also know how enriching it is to take the time to express profound gratitude to significant relations when there is no impending separation. I was blessed to have the opportunity to take a yearlong journey to express my gratitude for the people who made the most significant influences on my life.

I encourage you to feel what it is like to have “nothing left unsaid between us.” Reach out and create an opportunity you might otherwise regret missing. If you are not sure how to get started, download your Free Guide to Creating Your Own Gratitude Expressions at the bottom of this page.

What Regis Philbin’s Memoir, How I Got This Way Teaches Us About Regret

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

If you have watched any talk shows or you’ve even skimmed the New York Times book release lists lately, you have probably seen Regis Philbin or his name mentioned frequently. The former talk show host of Live with Regis and Kelly! just released his memoir entitled, How I Got This Way. In it he shares stories about his many years in showbiz, and takes the opportunity to thank all of the “unexpected teachers” he had in his life. Many of these people are still around to benefit from the praise he bestows on them within the pages of his book. Some, unfortunately, will never see his expressions of gratitude in print. It is my hope that Regis had the opportunity to share his feelings with people such as legendary Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy before his passing in the early 1970s. (You certainly didn’t need to follow Regis’ daily show to know how much he respected the former coaches of his alma mater.)

Memoirs can be bitter sweet to many authors. There is a deep sense of love for the process of sharing the successes and lessons of your life with others. On the other hand, there can be sadness and regret about words left unsaid.

So why are memoirs not a great way to express gratitude to the significant people in your life? I know too well how involved the process of writing a book can be and I would certainly not recommend it as an easy way to express gratitude. In addition, by the time many of us would have the available time and breath of stories to share in a memoir, some, or even many of our life’s influencers may no longer be around to enjoy it.

You don’t have to be a celebrity, or an aspiring author to express profound gratitude and enrich your significant relationships. You only need to find a way that best suits you and your influencers; it could be in the form of a song, a poem, a letter, an in-person event, a video, and much more.

Have you expressed gratitude towards someone who has made an impact on your life lately? How did you do it? What benefits did you both get from the experience? I would love to hear your story and with your permission, share it here on this site.

How One Journey of Gratitude Changed My Reaction to Life Threatening Moments

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

After I completed my yearlong journey of gratitude described in This is the Moment,  my wife, Lola and I decided to go on a Caribbean cruise. Halfway into the trip, I felt chest pains and saw the ship’s doctor. He discovered that I had an abnormal EKG, and my blood pressure was 50 percent higher than it usually was. Given my father’s early death from a heart attack, I was afraid that I might be following in his footsteps.

Since the next port after the one we were on was a remote island with no hospital or airport, I had to make an immediate decision about what to do. I chose to leave the ship and fly home so that I could consult my own doctors. As it turned out, it was a muscular problem in the chest area, and I’m fine.

This was not the first time I’d had to cut a cruise short. Just two years earlier, Lola and I had embarked upon one in the Mediterranean. A few days into the cruise, I began experiencing what was initially diagnosed as indigestion but which turned out to be a life-threatening strangulated hernia. I had to leave the ship immediately, and I found myself on the island of Corsica, where I knew no one and had no resources. Frankly, I was panicked on top of being seriously ill.

I was overwhelmed by the fear of losing my life, but I had another source of anxiety as well. I knew in my heart and soul that I hadn’t said everything I really wanted to say to those who have mattered in my life.

That experience and my subsequent one in the Caribbean were like before-and-after emotional x-rays. I had two similar circumstances with two very different reactions. On the cruise we took after my year of gratitude, I was no longer overwhelmed by those emotions when faced with a life-or-death situation. I felt peaceful knowing that those significant people unequivocally knew how important they were in my life. Plus, there was an audio recording of our conversation that they could listen to if something happened to me. In turn, I knew how everyone felt about me, and it was as if I’d already been to my own funeral and heard the eulogies.

This sense of completeness was never a part of my intentions for my gratitude journey, but it turned out to be a profound by-product of it. If that peace of mind had been the only outcome, then my journey was worth taking. I came to this epiphany in that moment when I thought my life might possibly end prematurely.

How would you feel about your relationships if you, or someone significant in your life, became seriously ill?  Would you have regret for what was unsaid?  Or would you feel at peace knowing you communicated to those who are important to you how grateful you are for their contributions to your life.

Don’t wait to connect with those people who have impacted your life.  Make a brief list of how one, just one, person made a difference in your life, and reach out to him/her today.  If you aren’t sure how to start or you need help verbalizing your thoughts, download the free guide available at the bottom of this page by simply typing in your email address.

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.

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?

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 Today.msnbc.com 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   http://thisisthemoment.com/

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 http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/39463137/ns/today-today_people

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