Here’s a little challenge for you that I can 100% promise will make you feel really good.
It’s not new, in fact you might have already done it. Or maybe you heard about it but didn’t actually do it.
I work for a children’s charity, and we are very into all things positive. Positive psychology pretty much underpins everything we do, and if I was to tell you more about my work, you’d get why.
But I won’t. Instead, I’ll tell you that during a session on positivity, we were challenged to do this really awesome thing.
Here it is. If every single person reading this did it, all three of you including my mum, there would be just a bit more happiness in the world. And we all know that happiness is wonderfully infectious.
This is what you have to do
Think of someone who means a lot to you. They need to have had a positive impact on your life in some way. Maybe they inspired you to do something good, they might have helped you, made you laugh… it could be anything. They might have showed you how to juggle chicken livers and you’ve been enjoying it ever since.
Now, write them a letter. Write from the heart; it has to be truthful. Don’t worry about the grammar, your handwriting or letter writing etiquette, none of that matters. Go crazy – use bullet points if you need to! Woah – a letter without proper punctuation – it’s insane!
You are writing down why this person means so much to you. What is it about them that you like or love so much? Why do they matter so much to you?
Go on, off you go, I’ll be here when you get back.
Ah you’re back. All done? Good. (I will soooooo know if you haven’t done it. Like the time I found my daughters name written with her sparkly texta, in her writing, on her bedroom wall. She said she didn’t do it but I am just so intuitive, I knew it was her. Sixth sense and all that.)
You know where this is going, don’t you? Because the fun / scary part is coming up.
Now you have to go to that person and read them your letter. You HAVE to. I have officially challenged you and sure, you might not know me from Jack, but a challenge is a challenge. Don’t overthink it. Just do it.
If you skip this crucial step, what was the point of your letter? It’s a letter full of stuff you already knew. You could have been doing something else in those five minutes, like learning another language or how to fly a light aircraft.
Does the thought of reading this out to that person make you feel a bit silly? I understand. I am certain none of my friends have ever said, “Wow, Rachel is so in tune with her feelings and doesn’t she love to share them?” It’s just not me. Maybe it’s not you either, but I still think you should do this. You might make someone’s day – or year. I can promise you that afterwards, you will feel happy. Pure, real, sparkling happy.
A woman from work read her letter to the mother of her best friend from childhood. She called her, explained what was going on and read the letter aloud. Far from feeling silly, she said it was amazing and it was really cool hearing her describe it.
I wrote to my husband and the words came easily. I folded my piece of paper up, shoved it in my bag thinking that was that – and then I was told I had to read it aloud to him. I felt a bit awkward about it. Like I said, normally, this wouldn’t be my kind of thing.
I waited for the right moment. About a week later, realising this whole “right moment” thing is a big fat joke, as it always is, I decided the time had come. Too bad it was 11pm and he was fast asleep. I woke him up, and he is always supremely cheerful when I do that, and explained, “There was this thing at work…”
I read him my letter and I’m so glad I did.
I promise you’ll be glad you did too. And if it doesn’t then you can absolutely blame me.
How did you go?