On January 1st of 2012, I narrowly escaped death in a near car collision with two of my best friends in the car beside me. The incident made me think about all the unfinished conversations in my life, all of the phone calls I had ended without an “I love you,” and all of the loose ends I had with people I cared about. I had always tried my best to be thankful and polite to everyone, whether it was my Grandma or the barista at Starbucks; but it never felt like enough.
I spent the next 11 months thinking about how to move forward and make a change, and it wasn't until Thanksgiving night that I thought of what to do. I decided to spend the next 365 days expressing my gratitude to one person every day. Each day, I would call or sit down with that one person and thank them for their impact and role in my life. Following this, I would write them an in-depth blog post with everything I had said fully fleshed out.
One year later, 365 different people had been thanked and my life has never been the same. I spoke about my experience at TEDxYouth@SanDiego, and each person's blog post can be viewed through my 365 Days of Thank You blog.
Actively expressing gratitude and appreciation makes you vulnerable, but it opens up your life up to stronger relationships and pure joy. I highly recommend it.