Why does the urgent so often overshadow the important?
Is it life? We’re just that busy?
Or is it because we don’t know any better? Or is it simply out of pure selfishness?
Or do we always think that there’s going to be a tomorrow, a better occasion, a day when things aren’t going to be so stressful and life would be less complicated?
Let’s face it; we could all do better.
British philosophical writer James Allen said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks” – and I think he had it by the balls, as my hubby likes to say!
Because you have no excuse for not expressing your feelings.
You have no excuse for not saying thank you – today.
You have no excuse for not taking ten minutes to call someone who needs you, to give someone your sincere apology who deserves it.
There simply isn’t a good enough reason to postpone the important until tomorrow.
Living with the knowledge that you never told someone how grateful you are for what they’ve done for you will break your heart every day for the rest of your life.
Can you live with knowing that they’ll never hear how important they were for you?
You need to appreciate the people who help you along the way, who see when you’re vulnerable and come to help you, rather than simply look away.
So, who’s your YAAAAS QUEEN?
Your sibling? Best friend? A co-worker? An artist? A family member?
Think of at least one person who’s made your life better. How do you feel about them? About how they helped you?
Write down what you appreciate most about them.
How’d you feel if someone wrote those things about you? Pretty fucking great, right?
Yeah, so this is your opportunity to tell them—right now, while there’s time.
Writing them a thank you letter will boost your mood as much as it will yours.
Because you’ll both benefit from something happiness research calls the positive recall bias.
Thinking about good stories, happy lessons, and joyful times will boost your tendency to look for the good around you.
And the more you practice and do this, the more efficient your brain will become at getting there.
And that boost sticks around for a while too!
One study found that writers of thank you letters felt measurably happier for a full month after writing their letter.
So, send your yaaas queen some love and applause before it’s too late and you miss your chance to do it.
Write at least one thank you letter.
Or as many as you want.
Here’s how to do it:
1) Choose your recipient. Think of someone who changed your life for the better – relatives, friends, teachers, mentors, medical professionals, the barista who gets your coffee every morning, everyone’s up for grabs!
Make a list of all these people because just looking at that list, your “home team”, can boost your mood.
2) Brainstorm the specifics. How has the path of your life changed for the better because it crossed theirs? What important lessons did they teach you?
Take your time with this as revisiting those positive memories is rewiring your brain to seek positive perceptions around you.
3) Start writing! There’s no thank you letter police, so write whatever feels right to you.
If you need some inspiration to get started, consider this:
- Start with why you’re writing this letter, give them context for why they’re reading this message from you at this moment.
- If you feel like it, you can include how you two met. After all, with over 7 billion of us on the planet, it’s a bit of a chance occurrence that you two connected.
- Get into the specifics of how they helped you, shaped you or inspired you.
- Use sentences like, “I remember when you did…” and explain what made that meaningful for you. Or “You helped me when…” or “You inspire me by…”
4) Keep a copy. Make sure to make a copy of your finished letter before you send it. On days you feel low, your gratitude letters can be a powerful reminder that others have helped you overcome dark days in the past.
5) Deliver it! Snail mail, email, slide into someone’s DMs, voice message, read it to them in person, send it as smoke signals – whatever it takes, get that message to that person!
Time to spread that love!