It may seem boring at the time, maybe it seems like too much trouble, or maybe we’ve simply lost practice in today’s email and text driven age, but your Mom was right – writing a thank you card is the right thing to do. I think it’s interesting to note that recent scientific findings link gratitude to increased optimism, stress reduction, and a better night’s sleep. Few who sit down to write a short note of thanks are aware that by doing so they are not only making someone else’s day, but they are improving their odds of becoming happier and less stressed.
A text message or email can’t compete with a hand written card or letter for the simple reason that conveying real emotion in digital formats doesn’t work. Somehow a sea of exclamation points, shouting in ALL CAPS, loaded acronyms and cute little emoticons can’t come close to delivering a heartfelt message scratched out by hand onto a scrap of paper.
It’s funny to me, but nothing I do or say, no amount of work I do, no matter how many long hours I put in, and regardless of all my good intentions, there’s nothing I do regularly that receives the same glowing and positive response as when I take the time to write someone a hand written card or letter. Maybe it’s to say ‘thanks for your business’, it could simply be to tell someone ‘I appreciate your hard work and dedication’, or even simply ‘I was thinking of you today’. People receive so few handwritten notes that receiving one is almost as rare as spotting a unicorn in an open field on your drive in to work. Don’t laugh……I think I saw two unicorns on my drive in this morning (of course, I guess they could have been deer).
Many famous people send hand written notes and cards. Jimmy Fallon (talk show host), Anna Wintour (Vogue editor), Ralph Lauren (clothing designer), to name a few. I’m a card and letter writer too. Telling someone thanks is the right thing to do. And, it really does make you feel pretty good when you do it. Start small. Give it a try – write a couple of cards this week. It will make at least two people happy – the person you send it to, and not least of all – you.