07/07/2010 03:02 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Express Gratitude to those You Love

I try as much as I can to reflect on my fortune in life. I've been blessed with a caring family and dedicated friends that give me far more attention than I deserve. It is the everyday acts of our friends and family -- a very different cast of characters for each of us, to be sure -- that have made us who we are. All of us have some people in our lives that typify this for us. And it's those very people that we need to make a more concerted effort to express or our gratitude to.

All too often, the time we take to sing the praises of another is not in one's presence, or, at worst, at someone's funeral. Rarely do we approach someone and express to him/her how much a single act, or a lifetime of care, has meant in one's own life. We may feel it internally -- and think about it constantly -- but in our culture, voicing this gratitude is rare, and even considered awkward.

We live in a world where every virtually every single day, people are doing things to help us. Whether it be a small act such as holding the door at the entrance to a building, to calling a friend to express support in a time of need, I refuse to believe we live in a wholly self-interested planet. We've all done things for other people, and they for us.

A little e-mail out of the blue to let someone know how much he/she has meant to you, if uncomfortable at first, can go a long way. So often do we, both in passing and in a business setting, offer criticism and negativity. Why not, at the very least, balance this with positive words that we often think but rarely say? Better yet, when would we ever regret doing so?

After reading this article, take a moment to think about the people who have made a difference in your life, those who you know that, without them, you would be in a very different place. We all have those people on our lists. If this article can motivate just one of you to take that minute to make a phone call or write that note to tell those people how much of a difference they've made, then it has done its job. You'll be surprised by just how much it will mean to those people. After all, no matter how much stress we feel on a daily basis, each of us are very fortunate in our own respective way.