Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Kindness Challenge day 9

Oh my goodness, I have fallen way behind with this!

Today's challenge was to write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life

And it's now obvious why I've fallen behind - I'm thanking the same people repeatedly in all of these challenges. So time to think out of the box and thank someone new.

I'm going to write to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as he's inspired me to live a more self-sufficient life. I love his programmes and could (and have) watched them all day. In fact, last week, I put in an offer on a house in my hometown of Sherborne which isn't a million miles from River Cottage.

I think his influence has definitely been a factor in the way I think now - I'm not at all materialistic and love nothing more than to potter around an allotment!

Thank you Hugh!

Have you ever been positively impacted by someone in your life before?

I’m sure you have. All of us have. Perhaps it was a mentor in our previous company. Perhaps it was an ex-colleague. Perhaps it was a particular teacher or professor from our alma mater. Perhaps it was our mom, our dad, our sibling, or our grandparent. Perhaps it was a dear friend. Or it could well be a distant acquaintance who said something that shook up our world and made us see life with a different lens ever since.

Our life is a culmination of different experiences and interactions with other people. Our ethos is essentially a result of the interactions we have with other people and the world (as I’ve shared in my childhood stories article). As such, it’s not surprising that people in our lives can have such a big impact in the way we think, the things we do, and the words we say.

As part of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge, I think it is important to celebrate the people who have ushered in positive messages in our lives.

Sometimes, these people may well not be aware of the impact they are making to others, and letting them know about the difference they have made in your life as well as your appreciation for it is a great way to pay it forward to them. It tells them that they are doing something right and they should continue to do what they have been doing. It tells them that the things they did to you and/or said to you really did make a difference. It tells them that they matter to someone and they have a more important part to play in this world than they might have thought.

So let’s get moving now, shall we?

Your Task: Write a Letter to Someone Who Has Made a Difference in Your Life

Step 1: Identify the person you want to write the letter to

Who is someone who has made a difference in your life before?

Step 2: Write the letter

Write a letter to him/her. This can be a physical or an electronic letter. In the letter, include:
1.Why you are writing this letter to him/her.
2.Specific things which he/she did that really made a difference in your life.
3.Your appreciation for him/her.
4.If you guys haven’t been in touch for a while, perhaps give an update on how you are doing at the moment. I’m sure the person would want to know how you are doing!

If you want, you can start off the letter by telling him/her that you are participating in this 14-Day Kindness Challenge initiative (share the link too he/she can learn more about it—it’s at http://personalexcellence.co/blog/kindness-challenge/), and Day 9 is about writing a letter to someone who made a difference in your life. This may make it easier to set the tone of the letter and “break the ice”, so to speak.

Step 3: Send the letter!

After you are done, send the letter to him/her, be it electronically or by snail mail!

For some of you, the person who made a difference in your life might be someone who has fallen out of your social circle. I say, write the letter anyway, and find a way to get the letter to him/her.

For example, the person I’m planning to write the letter to is my ex-mentor in my previous company, and we are not in touch anymore. (He is literally in China now for a work assignment.) However, I recall being connected with him on Linkedin, so I’ll probably send the letter to him via Linkedin.

If it’s a teacher from your alma mater, you can always get in touch with your school to ask them about the teacher, and check how you can contact him/her. Even if he/she is retired, you can ask the staff how you can get in touch—there will always be breadcrumbs to follow.

*Fortunately for MrM, this offer was rejected!

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