It was almost a year ago when Patricia and my two daughters led me into the TV room. “Sit down,” my wife said. I looked at my watch and protested, “we’ve got dinner reservations in 20 minutes.”
Michelle turned the TV on and played a surprise video that she had produced for my 80th birthday.
It was a series of recorded birthday wishes from a cross-section of important people from my past, family, friends, neighbors, associates, colleagues, and even former clients. Since we moved away from our home in Oregon to the warmer Southern Arizona climate, I hadn’t seen most of them in several years.
The impact of that experience, seeing and hearing from them brought up memories and feelings of happiness, joy, laughter, some sadness and nostalgia.
It reminded me that I am, today, a product of all those people and the thousands more, some of whom have passed on.
The interactions with all those people have shaped me into the person I am today. I know this is true for you as well.
We can mentally go back through the hallways of time, revisit those relationships and thank those people for their contributions to our lives.
We know that we are not the same people we would have been without their influence. We also know we will be the same people we are now in five years except for the new people with whom we meet and associate.
This insight affords us the opportunity to take two positive actions that will measurably and dramatically enrich our lives.
One: Contact those people, as I intend on doing, tell them how much they have meant to you and thank them for the contribution they’ve made to your life. Be as specific as possible. Give them an example. Do it with a handwritten note if possible or at least give them a call. I guess an e mail would be better than nothing. (I don’t think I’d tweet even if I knew how to do it.)
Number two: Review the people in your life right now and ask yourself what kind of impact are you having in their lives as you did in the lives of people from your past.
As you and I take these two positive actions, not only will they feel better, we will as well.