Posts Tagged ‘Sharing Your Story’

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.

Book Giveaway in February for Sharing Your Story

Monday, January 31st, 2011

So far, many of you have already reached out and shared your stories of how wonderful it has been to express extraordinary gratitude to someone signification in your life.  They have been both heartfelt and inspiring and some of them have been featured on this site.

In honor of those significant relationships, I am sponsoring a free book giveaway in the month of February.    I will be giving away two autographed copies of This is the Moment! to the two best submissions to my website. In addition, with your permission only, your story will be featured in a blog and it could inspire others to have extraordinary expressions of gratitude.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is submit your story of a real, heartfelt conversation, video, poem, letter, song, etc. that you communicated to someone who has made a significant impact on your life.

Submissions will be accepted for the entire month of February, so if you haven’t expressed gratitude yet, you have time before it is too late. (All stories are kept confidential unless you provide permission to publish.)

Do this for YOU!

I am confident you can help ignite sparks that can transform the way people express deep gratitude thereby enriching their lives and the lives of others.

Click here and submit your story to win a free autographed copy of This is the Moment! It makes a great gift.

With appreciation,

Walter Green,

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How much have we learned from others….and do they know it?

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

It is said that experience is the best teacher and there is no question that we can learn a lot from real world encounters.  We also learn a lot from being inquisitive and having a thirst for knowledge.

I believe the most successful people learn a lot from others throughout their lives and it begins with our teachers.  After our formal education, there are so many other people who offer us valuable insights, new ideas, better ways of doing things and so much more.

If learning is essential in our lives, let’s reflect on those who have taught us over the years.  Teachers, advisors, colleagues, consultants, therapists, friends, family, fitness trainers, and the list goes on.

It is likely that their contribution to our lives has been significant and maybe even profound.  Have we ever expressed our gratitude for some of the greatest gifts in life that we have received from them?

In many of my previous blog posts I have spoken about expressing profound gratitude and in some cases have provided specific ways to do so.

Let me share with you someone who taught me a great deal and some of what I said to him

I was fortunate to have someone who taught me about a thinking process that promoted both clarity as well as a process for achieving extraordinary results in both my personal and professional lives.  Some 35 years ago, Fred Jervis, the founder of The Center for Constructive Change taught me this creative way of thinking

During my yearlong journey of gratitude I visited with Fred to tell him all the ways it has influenced not only my life but the lives of so many that I have coached over the years.  Here is just a little of what I told him:

“I know you’ve influenced a lot of people, but just from my perspective, I want you to understand that not a day goes by that I don’t marvel in some way at the process of thinking that you brought to my life.  I came to tell you from the deepest places in my heart and my head and my soul how fortunate I’ve felt to have met you.  Im so indebted to you for what you’ve done for me and I want to let you know that when I am helping others, it’s paying forward what I’ve learned from you over these many years.”

I encourage everyone to start with just one person and someone who has taught you something very meaningful would be a wonderful place to start.  It could be a teacher, a parent, a colleague, or anyone else that comes to mind. It could be they taught you to love of a subject, to learn an avocation, how to live a more joyous and fulfilled life or how to maximize your talents in your work life.

Now that you have identified the person, take out a piece of paper and make bullet points of the impact this person has had on your life (you may find it helpful to get started by going to the bottom of this page and downloading a free guide to facilitate the process).

You have not captured the full power of expressing extraordinary gratitude until you actually deliver your thoughts to the person.  Whether you do it in a letter, an email, a phone call or in person is up to you.  If you have a talent for writing a poem or a song that would be very extraordinary.

After you deliver your message you will likely feel that you have enhanced your relationship, enriched your life, and achieved a peace of mind knowing that you will never have any regret in the future for things that could have been said but were not.

And for the rest of the story….your recipient will receive one of life’s most special gifts; the knowledge that he or she has made an important difference in the life of someone.

For more examples of how to create and deliver these expressions of gratitude and for tools on how to do it your way, read my book, This is the Moment.