Just a few days ago, I received a thank you that meant a lot to me.
I decided a while back, that whenever I feel a tap on my awareness to do something, I am going to follow it as best as I can. Even though there is some room for improvement on my follow through, I am getting better at it every day.
And, last week, I decided to send a few cards to people that had come into my thoughts as I was contemplating what I was grateful for. In that moment, it was actually “who” I was grateful for instead of “what”. I love the SendOutCards.com system, for 3 main reasons. First, they have a huge selection of lovely cards for just about every situation you can think of. There is a large selection of “gratitude” cards, too. Second, when I use the system, the cards actually get sent instead of how it was in the past. I just have to pick the card, the person’s name from the database, type in my thoughts, and the card gets printed, stamped and sent out that night! Perfect for me! And, third, I love that I can send a card for $1-$1.50 including postage!
So, I sent a card to one of my friends. She’s amazing and so helpful and supportive. When I send these “gratitude” cards, I make a point to share a few specific things that I find special about that person. It is always easy to come up with what to say! Each person is so unique and perfect…
One reason that I send these cards is really for me. It stretches me to stay in the attitude of gratitude. And, the more often I focus on feelings of gratitude, the better and happier I feel. And, I’ve written in the past about documented benefits of gratitude. So, this process is extremely helpful for me.
The reason I decided to write about this today is that the gifts of expressing gratitude reach far beyond even those wonderful things I just described. For example, in this case, the card I wrote landed on her desk on a day when she was feeling down and out. She emailed me a few days ago to let me know that my card had made a big difference for her that day. It helped to lift her up and refocus her attitude and day.
Now, that’s what I call making a difference.
How do you know when something you do is going to lift someone up? Well, most often, you never know if it did or not. How many times have you thanked someone who did something special or sent you a card? Sometimes, I find myself feeling lost because I send out these cards and only sometimes get a thank you. Then, I think back to my own actions and realize that I’ve hardly ever thanked anyone for a special birthday card, so it’s simply not always what we do. And, then, there are the times when it’s really made a difference and that person goes out of their way to express their appreciation. How cool is that!?
So, besides helping me stay in a space of gratitude, I helped make someone else’s day! Double bonus!
Just as an aside… If you’re like me and thinking that you don’t have the time to send that card or it takes too long, I have found it can go easily. In this particular card, I only wrote a few lines. Sometimes, I include a favorite poem or blessing on the inside cover. It is really quite fast.
Who do you think might be happy to hear from you, today? Whether it’s a card or an email or a phone call, just do it!
After reading this, I’m sure you know that I’m going to challenge you this week to take some time to take action on this. Think of just 1-3 people that you are grateful for. Then, take just a few minutes to express that to them. The delivery method is less important than actually taking action. Keep it simple, and you’re more likely to actually get it done… And, remember, that expressing gratitude is more about doing something for you. Whether or not you hear back from the person, trust that you made a difference!