I originally started this site because I wanted to create more joy in my own life, and wanted to share the tips I discovered in my journey with anyone else who may be on the same path. One of the greatest gifts this website has given back to me is the continuing discovery of new and exciting ways to improve the quality of my life. I am constantly looking to strengthen anything I think needs work on me. Luckily I have no shortage of flaws to work on. We all do. They may all be different, but they are all a blessing in disguise. Challenges and imperfections give us a chance to learn and to grow. Plus, the pressure on somebody who is perfect would be more than I could bear. One of the interesting things about me is that on occasion I stress over gift giving. I always want to give the perfect gift. Of course I would recommend my book  A Happy Life for Busy People which captures the very best of this blog. That may be just a shameless self-promotion. Actually my wonderful friend Cheryl gave me the best gift idea ever. If somebody asked you what gift you would want if you could have anything, what would it be? Chances are the answers here will be varied. Diamonds? A new sports car? A promotion at your job? Roses from an admirer? Why do we want any of these things? Diamonds could make us feel extremely valuable. A new sports car? Well that could certainly makes us feel powerful or really cool. Promotion at work could give us a sense of importance. Roses from an admirer would most certainly make us feel loved. I know what you are thinking, “Neil these are not one gift, they are many gifts. On top of that, all of these gifts are different” Very true indeed. What if I were to tell you there was a gift that could make you feel all of these things? It would make you feel more valued than a diamond, more cool than a sports car, more important than a promotion and more loved than several dozen roses! Would you not want to go out and buy that gift for the most important person on your gift giving list? Would you not want to give this gift for the most important of all occasions? Well I have good news and bad news for you. First the bad news, you cannot buy this gift. It is not available for any dollar amount and cannot be created by anyone other than you. No, in fact this gifts only price is a few moments of your time, some honest reflection and a pen and paper. That is the good news, this powerful priceless gift is available to anyone! Ok, so you have read this far and stuck with me, what is this gift already? Well, here it is. An honest and heartfelt letter of appreciation and gratitude. You may be tempted to dismiss this as trivial…don’t! Think of how you would feel receiving a letter from someone in your life not only expressing their appreciation for you, but going in-depth as to why they appreciate you and all the things you have done for them. How easy to you think it would be to write and give one of those letters to someone? Here is a little secret for all of my shy friends. The letter still works (although not nearly as well) even if you do not give it to them. Sitting down and writing out all the ways you appreciate someone and all they have done for you will change the way you view and thus treat that person. I also imagine that the energy will be picked up in some subtle way by that person. Of course the feelings would be far more intense and have a far greater effect if they could actually read the letter. Give it a try. Write one, maybe even hang on to it a while. Just see how life changes. Maybe shoot for writing one a week. Pick a different person each week. Tomorrow we will discuss another once a week action you can employ that will have a great effect on your life this coming year…

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