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A Gift That Wows!

Photo by Cindy Loughridge

Do you remember the last time you were deeply touched by someone? Sometimes, it is the little gestures that touch us most.

Here’s to Old Friends

It was my dear friend Tania’s birthday over the weekend. Tania was my college roommate of 4 years, someone who I’ve always admired for her grace and kindness. When we graduated, we both moved to Seattle. As we continued into new chapters of our lives as adults, we saw less and less of one another. Over the years, we’ve settled into a comfortable routine of seeing each other twice a year: on my birthday and her birthday *smiles*.

Near the end of her party, she had pulled me aside. After giving me various feedback regarding my blog, she looked deep into my eyes, paused slightly and said genuinely,

“You are amazing. Even if you didn’t have the blog, I would still be so proud of you in so many ways… like that time you imitated (our friend) Tim after his conductor class, how your energy just shined. You know, I will always be here to be your cheerleader… regardless of what you worked on. I have so much faith in you. Just always know that.”

I stood there, stunned, and trying hard to hold back my tears. I smiled back at her with sincere gratitude.

“Wow! What a gift!” I thought.

Instead of going to a party as a gift giver, I came home as the ultimate gift receiver.

The Best Gift of All

It became clear to me that one of the best gifts we can give someone is appreciation and an open communication to express that appreciation. It took her two minutes of connecting with me and I was shaken-up for days. I felt more energetic, more positive and unusually calm.

Sometimes, it’s the ones closest to us who we take for granted, unintentionally of course. Ironically, those closest are also the people whom we love most. When our lives become hectic from chasing after one task to the next, it is really easy to miss the simple gifts we are graced with everyday.



What Can You Do?

Try this on someone over the next week. It will be one of the most precious and rewarding gifts you can give someone. Trust me.

  1. Take 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted time out of your day. Find a spot with a pen and paper.
  2. Pick a person you love or care for.
  3. (Optional) listen to some soothing music.
  4. Close your eyes and think of all the good times you’ve shared with this person. Think of times where this person has helped you or given you priceless gifts of love and friendship. Conversations you’ve had, or memories you’ve shared together.
  5. Think of qualities that you admire and appreciate about this person. Imagine specific scenarios of this person expressing that quality.
  6. Start writing down some of these ideas, memories, admired qualities and specific examples.
  7. Find a few moments to connect with this person (you two don’t have to be alone or even sitting down).
  8. Before telling them, send out the intention that you want to let this person know how amazing they are and how much you genuinely appreciate them. Start speaking with this frame of mind, and this intention will be clearly shown in the way you speak.
  9. Tell them how amazing they are, and why you think they are amazing. Talk about all the things you admire about them or have learned from them. Make sure to use specific examples.
  10. Tell them you are proud of them and will always be here for them. (of course, only if you feel it)
  11. Thank them for being part of your life.
  12. The key here is to be genuine. If you don’t feel it, please don’t say it, it’ll be clear to the receiver exactly how you feel. Don’t memorize. The writing down step was meant to help you collect your thoughts. Please do not read from it. :) Express yourself naturally.

How do you express appreciation to those special people in your life? How did you feel when you told them? If you felt all warm and fuzzy inside, perhaps you might consider making a small list of people and repeat the process with them. People on my list: Adam, Mom, my Step Dad, my friend Daniel.

Who are you thinking of practicing this on? Have you had similar stories? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments. See you there. :)

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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39 thoughts on A Gift That Wows!

  1. Tina,
    Great minds think alike, proven once again by your article. I’ve talked about this idea as well on my own blog and recently took the time to tell people how I felt. Being a bit on the shy side, I used email for my mother, and two friends of mine, one of whom needed encouragement.

    I’ve also recently let my mother-in-law know how much she has meant to me over the years. Giving them all specific examples was the key. People forget the wonderful things they’ve done for you or downplay them. Whether you call them, send them a card or tell them in person, you will feel joy lighting up your body and mind for several days after you share your true feelings. I still feel good remembering it now. In fact, I only hope it made the recipient’s feel half as good as it made me feel. It feels wonderful to give people the recognition and love they deserve. :0)

  2. I did something similar to this for my wife. A couple of weeks ago I made her a list of “100 Reason Why I Love You”, printed it on nice parchment paper and tied a ribbon around it. =)

    I truly believe your gratitude and appreciation is the best gift you can give someone. I’ve been trying to practice giving a silent gift (a good intention) to everyone I come in contact with. It will totally change your perspective on life.

  3. I like jd’s idea of choosing to perceive everyone around you as a mentor or inspiration. We can certainly learn things from everyone. This kind of attitude nurtures a more open and receptive mind. To feel grateful for everyone and everything also redefines abundance.

  4. awww, its a pretty touching story.. =) and im glad i have that kind of friend too. thanks for the tips! will definitely apply it to my life..

  5. This is a great thing to do when you give someone a greeting card. Just don’t sign your name, really tell them why they are special to you. Thanks for sharing this, I truly appreciate the time and energy that you have put into these articles. I definitely plan on spreading the word on your amazing blog.

  6. Wow, I ‘ll do it right now. The idea is so wonderful. I think appreciation and support are the key to success and mutual understanding

  7. Very nice. This is a well researched area in positive psychology, the role of the expression of gratitude. Interesting how something so simple so easily escapes us as we work harder to get more status and more stuff rather than finding fulfillment in places like you describe here. You do a really nice job here of making it personal and practical, with your story and the recommended steps for accessing the power of gratitude. From what I read here, I’m not surprised your friend thinks so much of you.

    Thanks for the piece.

  8. Tina, I just got around to reading this one… and I loved it. This is very practical advice. Far too often we forget to tell those around us how much we truly appreciate them. Thanks for the reminder. ;-)


  9. Belle

    This is a really beautiful site- I’m so glad I found it. Thanks Tina.

  10. mike gangmei

    Hi!! Tina..
    Thinking of to Be someone great in life make me sick,
    Since no parents and only brother left me for lifetime..
    But Sisters and Friends around little..
    Never think about helping others with empty hand…
    Now i say AWESOME… Guess I found my way .

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