Impacting others with gratitude and generosity
I'm that person who walks around all day grateful for the things I have: a loving husband, two amazing adult sons, money in the bank, and my health. During a meeting with an advisor I trust, it was strongly suggested to me that I need to do something completely out of character for me in order to build full trust in my gratitude and appreciation for the blessings in my life. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy This person told me I will need to go up to complete strangers and give them an envelope containing a personal note and cash. The note will contain a personal message of gratitude — I will express appreciation for my life, my gifts, and a wish for the recipient — and will be signed with just my first name. This is not about promotion, evangelizing, or anything other than me being authentic, vulnerable, and sharing my gratitude in a very rea way with a stranger. It was important that the delivery of the note/cash was face to face. As she’s sharing this assignment with me, I realized how far this is going to push me outside my comfort zone — even though I speak for a living! I have no trouble addressing an audience of several hundred strangers, speaking on live television, or even making small talk with strangers anywhere. I'm NOT shy! Why, then, am I trembling at the thought of being vulnerable with a stranger over something that is so important to me (gratitude)? Why am I afraid of rejection and intimacy in this way? A whole new set of feelings are emerging for me, yet I know in my heart I must go through this. (read what happened on those seven days) I’ve decided to share this project with you, because this project taught me more about trust and gratitude than I could have anticipated even after eight years since I embarked on this journey. I hope you can find some inspiration in this experience. Here are some other ways you can express gratitude too: 1. Mentor someone. Is there someone in your network who is struggling to learn the skills you have? Maybe they don’t have access to colleagues who can help them develop their professional talents? Mentoring others teaches you about your own capabilities, allows you to help someone else grow, and can create a lifelong professional friend. 2. Give to a charity. This time of year, non-profit organizations try to capture as much last-minute fundraising as they can. Shoring up for next year means the pressure is on to get funds in the bank. Consider financially supporting a charity you are passionate about. Love dogs? There are shelters that desperately need money to keep serving, particularly no-kill missions. Have a family member battling cancer? Why not make a donation to advance research in this area? Giving money to charities you feel connected to is a great way to share what you have with those in need. 3. Give time or resources. If you are a good writer, consider helping others write their resumes. Know a lot about social media? Why not help someone with their LinkedIn profile. 4. Say thanks. When we get busy, sometimes we forget to thank those around us who help us. Whether by a handwritten note, email, in person, or by phone, give a heartfelt thanks to those people in your life without whom you wouldn’t be able to do what you do. Personalize the message to be as specific as you can. This will be appreciated. 5. Reflect. Admittedly, this is often the hardest one for me. Life is busy, and I move fast in my world! But this time of year I force myself to find time to be quiet and reflect on what I am grateful for, what lessons I learned, and what opportunities I earned the right to pursue. Make a list, pray, start a journal, reflect; however you can, focus on what you have (not what you don’t have) to continue to attract abundance in your life. Gratitude is about embracing all that comes to you, not just the material gifts. Learning from failure, celebrating success, sharing your gifts with others, and taking time to thank those around you are key steps in building a personal brand centered around gratitude. Thank you for letting me share. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
"Control The Narrative" is the 2021 NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite Winner!!