It's that time again when many of us struggle with what to get those special people in our lives. Not surprisingly these next few days are when the highest volume of overnight shipping occurs as we panic to get that last-minute special something. Thanks to Amazon Prime the logistics of Santa circumnavigating the globe overnight have finally been solved.
However, here's a radical thought, rather than scour on and off-line shopping to find just the right gift try this instead; it will cost you nothing and I can guarantee that it will be one of the most meaningful gifts you ever give, because it lasts longer and has more value than anything else you could possibly afford--it's called gratitude.
Earlier this year I was reminded of the power gratitude has, not only for the person receiving it but also for the one giving it.
"..it will cost you nothing and I can guarantee that it will be one of the most meaningful gifts you ever give..."
Shortly after writing my Inc.com article about how grateful I was to my high school wrestling coach for instilling in me the gift of confidence and perseverance, I was contacted by Chris Palmore who had lost his mom around the same time I lost mine. Many of you have been through the loss of a parent, it's hard no matter how old you are or how prepared you think you are. It's especially tough this time of year. But before his mom passed away, in fact even before he knew she was ill, Chris wrote her a letter for her birthday about all of the ways in which he was grateful for her and all she had done for him. How many of us have done that? For Chris it was incredibly healing to know he had.
After his mom passed Chris decided to take the power of gratitude to the world by starting a blog that would allow people to express gratitude in big or small ways. When he contacted me his mission was still just an idea and pre Kickstarter, but I encouraged him to take it on (not that he needed my encouragement). At that point he had set a goal of collecting 100,000 letter of gratitude. Today www.Gratitudespace.com gets over 25,000 shares monthly for letters of gratitude posted to the site! Chris has made it his mission to collect over 1,000,000 individual letters by 2016. Why? Because gratitude, like giving back, is one of the most profound ways we express the value of our relationships, professionally and personally.
The reality is that none of us get to where we are by accident. If we achieve, grow, learn, transform, or succeed (in any sense of the word) it is because others have helped us along the way. As an entrepreneur you are especially indebted to so many people who believed in you and supported you on your journey. How many of them have you honestly thanked? Not just with a casual "thank you" but something meaningful to express all of those wonderful thoughts that you keep locked up inside--that's not where they have value. Their only value is in sharing them.
"...none of us get to where we are by accident. If we achieve, grow, learn, transform, or succeed...it is because others have helped us along the way."
So, here is my suggestion if you are still scurrying about. Take a few minutes and write a short note of gratitude to a few of the people on your list. Tell them how much their presence in your life has helped you to get to where you are, or to get you through where you've been.
Simple stuff? You bet. But gratitude isn't a complex gift, it does't come with a Starbucks or Home Depot gift card, and it requires no wrapping paper or bows.
Go ahead, try it, no overnight shipping needed.
And to the over 1,000,000 people who have viewed my Inc.com posts this year, whatever holiday you do or do not celebrate, I'm forever grateful for your taking the time to read and share my articles.