Write a Meaningful Thank You Note About Someone's Impact In Your Life

Hey Friends, would you like to feel all warm and fuzzy, while helping someone else feel the same way? All while cozy in your pajamas on your couch?

Sometimes the need to share something takes over so powerfully that I have to stop what I am doing and bring the idea forth into the world...that instant.  Or at least take notes on it for later.


I know thank you notes aren't nearly as common as they were in our mother's generation, and that may make them all the more special due to rarity.  


Things that make people feel good

  1. Recognition

  2. Validation

  3. Being Heard

  4. Appreciation

  5. Knowing you had a positive impact or influence in the world

When was the last time you wrote someone a thank you note "for no reason?"  We might write them at holidays thanking people for gifts, or maybe for someone letting you stay at their house, or maybe only for big occasions like Weddings and Bat Mitzvahs.  Then, since you have a stack to do, you might only write "Thanks for the  {identify the object}   and [why you like it or what you'll use it for.]    "Dear Aunt Betty Sue, thanks for the bed sheets- boy am I glad we remained virgins before marriage so we can enjoy these with full enthusiasm and confidence in having maintained our Virtue and Integrity!"    


Today I invite you to think of someone, to make it specific, someone you haven't been in touch with or seen for 5+ years.  Someone who had a positive effect on your life.   It could be someone you saw every day like a teacher or coach.  Or someone you only saw once a year, like Long Lost Uncle Harry.  Maybe they told you how great you were every week.  Or maybe they shared a life lesson with you that one time, but the memory of it stuck with you and you've remembered it and thought of it regularly.

So write to them, tell them about how you remember that they made you feel good then, and that you still feel good from it now, and you are grateful they were in your life.   How will this make THEM feel good?

1. Recognition--You are speaking about their efforts, they are remembered


2. Validation--They have value in the world-- their efforts happened, you are noticing them for their efforts both then and now, you are remembered


3. Being Heard-- even if then it may have seemed like it went in one ear out the other, or you were more anxious to go hang out with your friends, or play video games, you DID hear them, it DID sink in, and you DO remember it!


4. Appreciation--   You are thankful, grateful, and happy due to the energy they spent


5. Knowing you had a positive impact or influence in the world-- some days we can wonder if anyone notices us, if we have made any difference in the world, if there is any point to all the work we put in.  This can let them know that they TOTALLY matter and they HAVE ALREADY made a difference 


HOW to write it:

To start, Think of 3 elements this person brought to you-  easier if you spent more time with them, one thorough one will work if it was one of those one time conversations you are referencing, but even then you could talk about 3 points of impact they had.  You can recap/describe it, tell them how you were affected then, and why you still think of it, and how you may have put that advice into practice, and maybe even shared it with others!  You can tell them even about how the WAY they are is a great example and they were a model for you of how you might want to be in life.  

For example:  

Dear Uncle Harry,

         I know we only met that one time at Cousin Sue's wedding, but I wanted to thank you for that story you shared with me and let you know what an impact it had on me.  You are the only one I know who was in the military, and I myself have been doing ROTC in college.  Not only are you a great storyteller, but you are so funny too!  I love the way you twist your mustache when talking about the good ol days.  It adds quite the dramatic effect!  I really admire the fact that even with all you've been through, you stay so positive and no one can remember you complaining.  Sometimes I find myself wanting to complain about something and I realize how silly it would be since it's usually not even anything significant.  I actually think of you in those moments, because I may have only visited with you for a few hours, but you were smiling the whole time, making others laugh, and even the little kids were drawn to you because you were so positive all the time.  You know even if I hadn't gotten to talk to you, I would have noticed that!  It was such a difference from that lady from the groom's side of the family who sat there with a scowl and raised eyebrow the whole night.  I hope she knows that's why none of the kids wanted to sit in her lap.  You really bring such a light with you and  I hope you are still smiling just as much today. 

        I just wanted to let you know how much your example really left an impression on me and how much I thank you for sharing your energy with us that evening.  I really hope I can be as positive and upbeat in my life as you have been, so that kids will want to be around me too and hopefully I'll be a decent example to them. 

        I hope you keep up the good work in the world, and thank you again for making me laugh!


So to recap:

YOU get to help someone feel good

YOU get to feel good yourself!

Do it by thinking of a time you shared, some advice they gave, something positive you noticed about them.  Review it,  describe it, talk about the impact then, now, and going forward.  Thak them  for it.  And put it in the mail!    (That's always the hardest part for me lol)






 I challenge you to think of one person per month... maybe put their name on a paper on the fridge and write a couple memories you have of them so when you go to sit down and write, you'll have ideas collected over time.