I was reading a blog today by a woman named Tracey, who posted a list of people who had influenced her in one way or another throughout her life.
It made me think about an activity I teach regularly in which I ask participants to come up with a list similar to Tracey’s, after which I always ask this question:
“Have these people been adequately thanked for their influence in your life?”
Imagine with me for a moment what it would feel like to receive a thankful phone call, email or letter from someone you’d impacted. Would you feel proud? Privileged? Honored? Successful?
We have it in our power to give those feelings to people who have invested in us.
I sent an email to my 4th grade teacher about a month ago. In it, I thanked her for seeing my potential, for instilling in me a love of learning that I have carried into adulthood, and for giving me affirmation that I needed very much at that point in my life.
She replied only a few days later to thank me for the note, saying that it affirmed for her that she was able to make a difference during her teaching career, which she had sometimes doubted.
It seems to me that we all want to know we’ve made a difference, and that we all come to doubt whether or not we have.
We have it in our power to erase that doubt for those who have made a difference to us.
So who deserves your thanks? I’d love to hear your stories about who has impacted you, and how you have thanked them.