Personal letters can be some of the most powerful ways to impact people. Many years ago, it was common to send and receive letters in the mail since we didn’t have computers to share notes and letters electronically to our family and friends. Today, we often use social media outlets which is great because it is easy and saves us time, but there is something special about receiving a personal letter from a family member or friend.
When I wrote my first book Find Your Lane, I talk about the importance of writing personal letters. I have been sending personal notes and letters for many years and some that I have received mean so much to me including a letter I had framed from President George W Bush. I was also overwhelmed with joy each time I received a letter from people sharing their takeaways after reading my book. It was super inspiring to know each person took time out of their day to invest in this call to action. Many of the people that mailed me a letter will never know how much their kind note impacted me personally when I received it in the mail. So inspiring and something I will always remember. I call this a “Milemarker”.
Last week, I read another letter. This was different. It was an open letter from a daughter to her father, Payne Stewart who was tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 42. He was a professional golfer that played at SMU and was one of my favorites. When I read her letter on social media, this is the comment I posted on my facebook page.
“When I read this letter, it not only filled my eyes with tears, but also provided reflection on some of the things I am most grateful for which includes; the day I walked my daughter down the aisle, the day my oldest son told me he has found his true love, and the day my youngest showed how he was no longer embarrassed to have his dad around by putting his arm around me during warmups on the football field his senior year. This tribute reminds me of all the wonderful things we get to experience in life that we sometimes take for granted … My hope is that we can all model great character for our children like Payne Stewart did during his time here… so inspiring! My eyes are full of tears now and my heart is full of love for my family and his. He was one of my favorites… and reading this letter makes him even bigger than life today.”
You can read the letter here: …kleenex tissues highly recommended!
Letters can create a “connection”, “inspire our growth, and “move us” like no other. This week is the beginning of 78th HRSouthwest Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. On Saturday, all of the State Council members for Texas SHRM attended our state meeting at the Fort Worth Convention Center. In this meeting, we got to hear our guest speaker, Jimmy Taylor, Texas SHRM State Director Elect talk about the importance of employee engagement. Toward the end of the meeting, Jimmy challenged all of the attendees to take out our phones and send a personal note to someone that is making impact and say “thank you”. He stressed to not just say thank you, but to also be specific and sincere. This message created reflection and inspired me and gave me the opportunity to share my gratitude with a very special person serving on our Texas SHRM Board of Directors.
Many times, we take it for granted that someone knows what they mean to us and how they are positively impacting our journey. We also take it for granted that we will always have the time to let them know… but we don’t really know how much time we will have to share our gratitude. We are often so busy in the workplace and with our personal life that we miss the opportunity to “be a lifter” by investing in the people that care about us.
So today, I want to continue Jimmy’s challenge, and challenge you to invest 10-15 minutes and write a letter to someone that is inspiring you, that is moving you, or that you just want to let them know how much you appreciate them. Be intentional… It can be text, email, or social media. But there will be power in a letter… Recently I made a donation to a young boy selling lemonade and this weekend I received a thank you note from him in the mail. It read, “Thank you so much for the donation. It means a lot to me. Luke”. That’s it.. It was specific sincere, inspiring and powerful… and most importantly it made me smile. Don’t you think our world needs more smiles? Stop now, and make the investment. Make the choice to put a smile on someones face. There is power in a personal letter with purpose… it will absolutely make someone’s day, and it will make your day too!
So, who is it going to be? A friend, a family member, a colleague, a supervisor, a volunteer, or possibly someone you don’t know that writes and creates content for growth and inspiration for you?
Quote of the week: “Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together”. Phil Jackson
Call to Action: Write the letter and send it this week to make impact. Make it intentional and part of your discipline. Share with you team and create a movement… it’s the little things that lead to the big things in our careers and in our life. …and remember, someday is today!
This has been A Relocation Minute on “the power of a letter” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page. Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com to review my leadership book “Find Your Lane” and my 5-year Leadership Journal “Milemarkers” available on amazon.