At the beginning of each new-year, I start a ‘top ten list’.
Throughout the year, I observe people from the perspective of:
“What does this person know that I don’t?”
“What could l learn from this person?”
“What nuggets does this person have locked inside of them, that they don’t even realize?”
“How is this person making life better for those around them and they aren’t even aware of it?”
“What can I learn from this person?”
Every person that I have an interaction with, I keep a list of their names, with a little note about what I learned from them or how they impacted my life in some way. I find this makes me curious and observant.
Over the years it’s helped me observe without judgment. It’s helped me see beyond the person or the action to understand the reason why. It’s helped me understand that my outside world is a mere reflection of my inside world. It’s helped me have a deeper respect and love for each individual and their uniqueness.
At the end of the year, I go through my list of names and choose “My Top Ten”. The ten people who have made the biggest difference for me that year. I have a personal rule that I never pick the same person twice, that way I have to keep watching and learning.
I write and send these 10 people a thank you card.
We have all heard, `Gratitude and thankfulness are key elements in productive lives’. Yet we so often overlook how we can use these elements to improve life for ourselves and for others, this is one way I find extremely useful.
We talk about conscious language, conscious thinking, and conscious living. This exercise has helped me to implement the concept.
This is an exercise I find very helpful to amplify positive energy in and around my life. I decided to share it with my team and my coaching clients in 2009.
Here is how to start:
1.) Begin to keep a list of people you meet and interact with. Write a note by their name of your interaction with them, reflect on it and see what you learn about yourself because of it.
2.) At the end of the year, review your list. Take some time to think about each person and what you recorded. Maybe it was at work, maybe it was during play, maybe in the market place, maybe in your own home, maybe one of your students/classmates…there are many options.
3.) Briefly review how they inspired – helped – motivated – encouraged – gave you confidence – caused you to grow – caused you to stretch – reach out – helped in difficult times – stood by – see things from a new perspective – gave you opportunities you would never have had otherwise – been a role model – encouraged you to look deep inside yourself to find resources you never knew existed… etc.
4.) Mention how this is impacting your life now.
5.) Outline specific actions you’ve implemented because of what you learned.
6.) Exemplify your gratitude with a simple handwritten acknowledgment.
The acknowledgment must be handwritten, it cannot be an email, or a computer-generated card or message of any kind. And it needs to be mailed, not hand-delivered. It needs to come via the mail, use FedEx or Express Post if you like, just as long as it is delivered by an unattached source.
Please note: If you choose to use a card, it must be a blank card. The letter is not to be an eloquently written masterpiece of words; rather, it is to be an echo of heartfelt gratitude and appreciation – an expression from the heart.
I hope you have fun with this!
Carol Howden is an internationally known speaker and healing arts facilitator. She loves to coach others who are interested in taking personal responsibility in every quadrant of their life. She is a dedicated wife, mother of 3 and grandmother of 9. You can see more about Carol here: http://www.yloilers.net