What if you could help fulfill one of the deepest needs within every human being? And what if it only took ten minutes of your time?
The greatest happiness in life comes through love and connection and making a positive contribution - and sometimes all it takes to achieve that is the writing of a simple yet heartfelt letter.
Here are 10 immediate benefits. Each connect you to the peace & joy and excitement & fulfillment that come from:
- Conveying gratitude and thankfulness
- Restoring a relationship
- Spicing up a stale romance
- Deepening intimacy
- Offering positive reinforcement
- Congratulating and celebrating a loved one
- Recording a happy memory …creating a special keepsake
- Showering a loved one with praise and kindness
- Igniting a passionate romance
I first discovered this wonderful life and love-enhancer while reading Alexandra Stoddard’s book, Gift of a Letter. I was in my late 20’s and single, living alone in a small apartment. Although I had a small circle of friends and family, I was feeling isolated and disconnected.
When I began writing notes and letters, many of my relationships blossomed to new heights and new ones were established. The more I expressed written words of affection and heartfelt appreciation to the people in my life, the happier they seemed and the more fulfilled I felt.
Who can you think of who would benefit from a kind word and compliment? Imagine the joy on your friends face, the sweet spring in her step when she opens her mailbox and finds your letter. Maybe it’s the awkward boy next door that could benefit from a quick note and sincere compliment. Your significant other, a sister or brother, a favorite teacher or mentor, or perhaps a friend’s mother or father, maybe it’s your boss or co-worker?
“When you write by hand you’re more connected to your heart.” – Carrie Friedberg
Grab a pen and piece of paper and start with this:
- What I appreciate, admire, or adore about you...
- I’ll always remember when...
- It means so much to me when you...
- The greatest thing about you...
- My favorite thing about being with you…
- I’ve noticed your gift and talent for...
Besides being a significant way to make a contribution to another person, intimate letters can help us feel connected. Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist best-known for “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” believed we could not experience true happiness or reach our full potential without first satisfying one of our most basic human needs, the need for connection. We require strong bonds of love and connection not only to thrive, but to survive.
Your note or letter can connect you more deeply with others. They can be a memorable way to express your inner thoughts and feelings. Envision your loved one holding your letter next to her heart. Your letter could very likely be a much needed word and life-long treasure.
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Even more, when you write affirming notes and letters, you’re making a positive difference that ripples out and impacts countless others.
In his article, “The Power of a Note,” published in Reader’s Digest in 1991, inspirational writer Fred Bauer recalled receiving a note at the age of fifteen while working at his first job, as sports editor for the Montpelier, (Ohio,) Leader Enterprise. “The envelope bore the logo of the closest big-city paper, The Toledo Blade,” he said. “When I opened it, I read: ‘Sweet piece of writing on the Tigers. Keep up the good work.’ It was signed by Don Wolfe, the sports editor ... His words couldn’t have been more exhilarating.”
Fred kept that note in his desk drawer until it became “rag-eared.” Whenever he doubted his ability to be a writer, he would reread the note and “walk on air.” Ultimately he became a well-known writer who brought hope and inspiration to thousands.
Joy is contagious! When you make someone happy, you’ll feel instantly uplifted! Plus, there’s a great chance they’ll be more motivated to spread the love and joy and make someone else’s day and the good feelings will go forth exponentially! What a satisfying feeling to know we’ve played a pivotal part. We penned it forward!