Thursday, November 15, 2012
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am sharing a piece of one of my favorite articles by Laura Berman Fortgang. May it inspire you, as it has me, to openly express gratitude and appreciation to those people and things you are grateful for.
25 Ways To Say Thanks by Laura Berman Fortgang
1. Say Thank-You with your eyes – Make more eye contact with people. Really connect with the gratitude for being alive by connecting with another human through their eyes.
2. Write a Thank-You note – Write a note that thanks someone for being in your life without them having done anything or given you anything recently.
3. Tell people what they mean to you – Do not let an opportunity go by to tell someone what they mean to you personally and/or professionally. Let people know how they make a difference in your life.
4. Perform a Random-Act-of-Kindness – Anonymously do something outrageously kind or generous for someone else. Never tell.
5. Create a daily ritual that expresses gratitude – List five things a day you are grateful for, light a candle, say a prayer, tell someone you love them, send out a daily email to your closest buds. Come up with something that will daily put you in contact with gratitude.
6. Volunteer – Hold a hand or lend a hand. Just help someone who needs help more than you do. It will give you amazing perspective on your life.
7. Pick up a treasure – When you see something that reminds you of someone you care about, pick it up for them and give it to them ‘just because’.
8. Make a Donation (even if you think you can’t afford to) – Sharing your money, expecting nothing in return, is a powerful way to show you are grateful for what you have.
9. Write or create something and donate the proceeds – Create something that can be sold to support a cause.
10. Give of yourself – The gift of your time and attention makes a great statement about how much someone means to you.
11. Make a kid’s day – Giving a child a special day that will forever be a happy memory will be a win-win you won’t soon forget.
12. Write a letter to the editor – If someone in your town (a teacher, a neighbor, a service provider) did something really great, write to the editor of your town newspaper to give that person a little extra acknowledgement. Tell people how this person went out of their way to help. You’ll warm some hearts and maybe cause of positive ripple effect for the person you thanked publicly.
13. Bring a friend along for the ride – If you get an opportunity of a lifetime or get ushered up your career ladder by a helping hand, bring someone you know with you. Do what you can to bring them along. Be that helping hand to the next person.
14. Share a meal – ‘Breaking bread’ with somebody or a group a people is a great way to express your thanks for them. Serve them as if they were kings.
15. Park yourself in an awesome spot in nature – A majestic view helps to humble your ego and help you appreciate the richness of your world.
16. Finger paint – Get dirty finger-painting and feel the energy going through your fingers as you press through the paint on to the paper. Feel the privilege of having a body that works.
17. Plant a tree or some flowers (depending on region!) – There is sanctity to putting living things in the earth to encourage their growth. You don’t have to be a ‘tree hugger’ to appreciate what the earth has given you by giving something back to it.
18. Dedicate something to someone significant to you – Say thank you by honoring someone with a dedication. Whether it’s something you have written or a performance or a book, or maybe even a project, dedicate it as an acknowledgment.
19. List the people that make your life easier – Write down a list of people that are in your life that do things with you or for you that make your life a little easier. Imagine if they were not there and how much would be on your plate.
20. Give away all you no longer need – Taking stock of your stuff and seeing it go on to people that can use it, gives you an appreciation for all you have.
21. Make someone something – Engage your creativity, suspend judgment and express your thanks for someone by making them a gift. Whether you have a particular craft or talent is not necessary. Share your creation and tell the receiver what you did to create it.
22. Help someone feel important – Sing Happy Birthday at your own birthday party to someone whose birthday closely follows yours. Acknowledge someone else publicly while you hold the floor. Include someone at the ‘head table’ of an event who would not expect to be there. Do something for someone else’s self-esteem.
23. Document someone else’s life – Dust off your camcorder and record an oral history by a family member, friend or interesting acquaintance. You can even forget the camera and just get someone to talk about the stories of their life. Just when you think you’ve been through it all or you’ve hear it all, you’ll fill with the appreciation for the journey we are all on.
24. Kidnap a friend or loved one for a day devoted to them – Show up unexpectedly and steal someone away for a day of activities handpicked for your friend’s enjoyment. Take them to eat their favorite kind of food, take them to a movie they would love to see, take them to their favorite sporting event or shopping place. Plan a day that has nothing to do with you. Devote it to them.
25. Say Thank You and Mean It – ‘Thank you’ can sometimes take on the same worn familiarity as your most comfy slippers and lose its true value. Pay more attention as you say it and really mean it. ¨Giddy, ecstatic, humbled, moved, awed—grateful. However, the emotion registers for you, each of these actions can likely get you there. It is that intense feeling of being alive that we crave. Despite any troubles we may be dealing with, remember the feeling these 25 ways give you and recreate it every day.
That is living. That is worth Thanksgiving.