To this day, I am still friends with my childhood buddies.
I’m talking the guys that grew up playing basketball and street hockey with. We all lived on the same street and still see each other after over 25 years.
One of my friends Bill has left a mark on me. He has done one thing ever year since we were kids that has left a lasting impression on me.
Bill sends me handwritten cards in the mail.
No, his wife does not do it for him. It’s been his thing since we were kids. Sometimes he puts pictures in them. Sometimes it’s just a goofy message.
But, that is Bill’s thing. That is Bill’s way to show that he cares.
And I love him for it. I always think about it.
Sending cards never have been my thing, but I always anticipate getting his cards. It makes me feel good inside.
You’ve heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
It’s true, I believe relationships will get you further in life than education.
Being connected as we are online, I also think it leaves us more disconnected than ever.
The easier access we have to people through social media, the more we will “get to connecting later”.
Most people end up choosing width over depth in relationships.
And what good does that do us? Would these people let you sleep over at their house if you came to town?
I’m not going to refer business to a guy am friends with on Facebook, but never met or spoken with.
So, how do we build and strengthen relationships in the digital world?
There are so many ways. You could send cards, gifts, emails, personal videos, etc.
But, I am going to give you one thing that you can maybe adopt as your “thing” like Bill and his holiday cards.
Usually around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I take some time off to reflect. I think about the people who have been an impact on my life and why I am grateful for them.
I’ll write them an individual text telling them few reasons why I appreciate their friendship, what I love about them, and what kind of impact they’ve had on my life.
I’m not looking for a response (but, usually I will get a reciprocated heartfelt one). Just taking a moment out of my day to let them know they matter, and that I care about them.
If you are feeling adventurous, Facebook has a fabulous feature in the Facebook Messenger app. You can click the button and instantly record a voice message for them up to 60 seconds in length.
Voice messages I prefer over a text so that the recipient can feel the emotion in my voice. Also, I can do this while walking or driving to see my parents and it doesn’t require much thinking.
Just speak from the heart and the message automatically sends when you let go of the button. There is no going back and editing. It’s quick, real, and raw. One take.
I’ll say something like “Hey I was thinking about you and just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your friendship. You have been such a positive influence in my life, and I just love how much you care about others.”
Obviously you would want to be a little more specific with your message, but I think you get the point. Customize it to make it your own.
These kinds of things go a long way and maybe you can adopt it as your “thing”. I’d like to offer you a challenge to pay it forward your gratitude.
Tomorrow (or within 24 hours of reading this), send texts or Facebook voice messages to three people who have made an impact on your life.
Tell them why you are grateful for them in a short message.
Vulnerability is required for this to make an impact, so speak from your heart. What would you say if it were your last message to that person.
You might just inspire them to adopt their own “thing”.
Reach out to me if you have any cool stories that come from this.