As we take time to reflect on the things we are thankful for we begin to shift our awareness and find our true purpose. This pause in our daily routine and thinking about the blessings in our life and what’s gone well gives us the gift of gratitude. While embracing this gratitude is powerful, learning to express gratitude is an even more powerful gateway to happiness and success.
I wanted to share a rewarding activity developed by Dr. Martin Seligman known as the father of positive psychology. He dedicated his life’s work to the question of what causes happiness. He and others have empirically demonstrated through decades of research the proven link between expressions of gratitude and happiness. In his book, Flourish he shares the first step by asking you to “Close your eyes. Call up the face of someone still alive who years ago did something or said something that changed your life for the better. Someone who you never properly thanked; someone you could meet face-to-face next week. Got a face?”
The next steps are to write a letter of gratitude to this person that explains what they did for you and how it changed your life. To help you think about the key aspects of the letter begin by answering the following questions:
- What did the person do for you?
- How did that impact your life in a positive way?
- What are you doing now because of this?
- In what way now that you think about it is your life different because of the positive impact this person had?
- How does this make you feel?
Writing this letter will have a significant impact on your happiness and then I’d invite you to either send the letter or better yet check out this video from the Science of Happiness that illustrates this experience by visiting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg
Also, just a reminder that gratitude doesn’t have to be something you think about only on Thanksgiving. Simply keeping a daily, weekly or monthly gratitude journal can become an important part of your happiness. Lastly, if you’re not into journaling then simply thinking about 3 things that you’re grateful each day will have a similar positive impact!
Now, pick up the phone to call the person! You’ll be amazed at how rewarding this experience is not only for you, but also the other person.
P.S. As my way of saying thanks, I invite you take advantage of a free gift, so you can also recognize your own true gifts…please visit www.mybankcode.com/communicate to get a complimentary personality report.