Whenever someone does something nice for you, it’s always a good idea to show your appreciation. However, if you want to stand out from the crowd, don’t send a text or email. Send a handwritten note instead.
With the proliferation of social media, it seems that handwritten correspondences have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Yet don’t you remember the excitement of receiving a card or letter through the mail when you were young? It was tangible, handwritten in the script of the sender. You enjoyed holding it and how it felt.
A handwritten note can be picked up time and again to be reread for new understanding and connection. Many people. including me, keep their most treasured thank-you notes in a safe place. They remind us that someone cared enough to take the time to think of us.
Handwritten notes are just as relevant today, or even more so, as they were a hundred years ago. Here are some tips to crafting the perfect thank-you note.
1. Purchase quality stationery.
You’ll be more apt to write a quick thank-you note if you have nice note cards on hand. Purchase foldover or correspondence cards embossed with your own name. Customized note cards can be obtained through retail office supply stores or online specialty stationery stores. If you want to showcase your uniqueness and do something special for yourself, hire a calligrapher to design your stationery and capture your personal brand.
2. Craft a relevant message.
In addition to writing “thank you,” acknowledge the recipient’s generosity and say a few words about how their action made you feel, or how you used or will use what you received. Reference a single moment that made an impact on you to make your message personal and heartfelt.
3. Don’t worry about being elegant.
A simply-written note makes more connection than awkward formality. Write from the heart as if you were speaking to the recipient in person. Keep it short and sweet.
4. Do it yourself.
A sincere nthank-you note cannot be outsourced to an assistant or online service. Don’t blow your opportunity to make a good impression with a canned presentation.
5. Always write by hand.
Even if you don’t have steller penmanship, do your best. The message will be felt through your words, regardless of how your handwriting looks. It helps to practice what you want to say by writing out your message on a plain piece of paper before putting it on your note.
6. Consider your sign-off.
In business letters, you generally sign “Sincerely” or “Best regards.” However, a more personal note deserves a more intimate send-off. Instead of using a redundant “thank you again,” consider a warmer closing such as “With sincere appreciation” or “Yours truly,” then sign your name.
7. Choose a decorative postage stamp.
Take the extra step of purchasing stamps from the post office. There are many designs available, from patriotic to commemorative to scenic. Select a few sets that expresses your personality. Just don’t run your thank you note through the postage machine.
8. Send it immediately.
The sooner you send the thank-you note, the better. Your promptness will be appreciated. It also demonstrates that even though you are a busy person, you still have time for the personal touch. If you forget to send your thank-you note, don’t be embarrassed about it. Instead, take action. It’s better received late than never.
The gifts we receive aren’t all tangible, but they can cost us a heavy price if we fail to say thanks. Whenever someone gives you their time, advice or helping hand, that’s reason enough to express your gratitude in a handwritten thank-you note. It’s one of the surest ways to make connections, strengthen emotional ties and forge friendships and business relationships.
In an age where skill sets can become obsolete in just a few years, many workers are scrambling just to stay current. How can organizations encourage continuous learning, improve individual mobility, and foster a growth mind-set in every employee, year after year?
Amidst all confusion, searching for career guidance wherever possible seemed like the only way to find any answers.
It seemed to most of us that we were playing a game of dodgeball, where we tried to avoid being hit by his sharp questions and words, struggling to keep the conversation flowing.
Here are four reasons why traditional career advice isn’t relevant in the 21st century and what can be more resourceful instead.
You had never wanted to escape a room so much as did that day. Every inch of you was laced with fear. You couldn’t imagine doing one thing for a decade. You didn’t know how to put all of your abilities and interests in a box- there wasn’t a thing that could check all of your wishes at once.
In a study, recent trends have been highlighted such as technological change, globalization, demographic change, etc that will play a major role in affecting the career of a present-day student.
The only thing that will give clarity is a true experience. Working as interns with head-on reality in our faces will give us the time and ability to tell what we really want to do. Little hints will nudge us in the right direction.
A subtle truth is that none of us have the whole picture in our heads. Most of us go forward with a vague idea in our head- based on the movies we watch, articles we read, or the environment we are raised in. All of these factors add up to give us a limited idea of what we want in life.
Most of us fear being jobless in a world dictated by automation. However, this research also shows that automation will create more jobs than it will take. Automation is simply one of the important aspects of the future. Many others aspects will contribute towards the future as well.
Young people are told to pick one option- because you can’t have it all.
We are told to work harder and be consistent with our goals- but when the time comes to choose, our careers must magically fit with what society deems as success.
The only thing that you knew is that you had won an essay writing competition in fourth grade- and writing was the only thing that made a little bit of sense. You decided to improve your creativity instead of panicking.
The future holds abundance for us. While fear for the future has always existed, technological innovation may bring more to us than we can imagine. The digital age will provide access to resources and opportunities that we may have never dreamt about.
Now, people with no access to traditional educational institutions can develop their skills through the internet. This can be a huge asset to the underprivileged, who can reach their potentials.
It shows in its research about six different hypothetical workers of the future- with a combination of different skills required for their individual role. Each one of them differs vastly but they contribute deeply to society. For example- the skill of being an active listener is very important not only for a counselor but also for a teacher.
Of course, you have to start somewhere. In an unstable world dictated by new and changing norms, skills will be the new deciding element of careers.
If you told anyone ten years ago that you could record your life casually and get paid for it, he’d probably spit his coffee at you and tell you to jog on. Who knew that you could be a vlogger or a social media manager and get paid for it?
There is still hope for all of the people like me who never thought of a defined action plan. This might sound optimistic, but if we leap back in time, opportunities weren’t as endless as they are today. With the digital age rising and paving its way, new paths are being written and old ones are being replaced.
The paths that were defined for older generations are no longer valid anymore. Here lies a generation that is much more privileged with its options- hence we have the choice to select from things that weren’t available years ago.
Multipotentialites, therefore have the opportunity to combine all of their interests in a way that fends for them.
The future might be unpredictable- but that doesn’t mean we have to leave all of our skills and narrow it down to one.
Not everyone comes out of the womb with a plan. Some of us scramble with choices, going from place to place, trying to figure out what suits us best. If we were stubborn with our choices, we would never know what could potentially be a better fit for us and our lifestyle. The past and the future will not only differ in time but also in the kind of opportunities. Emotional Intelligence and cognitive skills will be required for success in the professional world.
If you could salute the people who go on with their choices without a doubt, you would. But after all, the doubt is an incentive to reach for better opportunities. What makes us leave is what makes us grow.
Unlike the cliched advice that talks about ‘following your passion’ or ‘doing what we are best at’, maybe a better approach would be realizing that we’re going to be bored anyway.
As humans, boredom is a constant — we can get bored of anything. Research shows that boredom is beneficial to us. The struggles that we are willing to overcome are the struggles that are worth it. Hence, when we break through phases of boredom, the skillset required to go through adversity and challenges will be formed.
You found something much more resourceful to you. You would be challenged to think for yourself. Your fear was an incentive to search and explore the potential. These days, there isn’t any formula for a successful career. That’s what makes it all the more interesting.
Upgrading your skills, instead- is the right thing to do at an age where everything seems cloudy and distant. With the plethora of options, the dilemma of right and wrong shouldn’t be a problem anymore.
Thinking of life as art, believe serves as a powerful guiding metaphor for us as we lead our lives.
As the artists, that is the creators of our lives, we realize certain maxims or truths.
Some of those maxims are:
Artists take responsibility for creating their art.
Artists are on a quest to continually perfect their art.
Artists know that they are always free to create again in the moment.
Each of our lives is overflowing with potential and possibilities. Let’s see how we can use that metaphor of life as art to create the best possible life that we are capable of creating. Looking at the first maxim that artists take responsibility for creating their art, simply means that the power to create lies with the artist and their vision. In other words, each of us is ultimately accountable and responsible for our lives. On an intellectual and intuitive level, we know that this is true. Yet at times, we tend to forget or blatantly disregard that the power to create the best life possible resides within us.
We blame external circumstances, our upbringing, other people and our past conditioning to abdicate taking responsibility for how our lives have turned out so far. Real maturity in life means accepting the fact that if we want to have or continue to have a great life, it starts with having a vision and a purpose. If you can consciously be accountable for your choices and actions, you will see a change in your attitude. You realize that you are responsible for your own happiness or…. the way that you react to your own challenges in life.
Now not totally life is not very challenging or difficult at times. Bad things do happen to good people and each of us have had our share of loss and heartbreak to contend with in life.
And sometimes through no fault of our own, we are forced to deal with the bad choices and actions of other individuals that have long lasting repercussions on our lives. What matters is that if we ever hope to create or continue to create the type of life that our heart truly desires, a life that is meaningful, the difference is the accountability factor. Be a true artist and take responsibility for the art that is your life that you create.
Art can and does mean so much more than that, to so many people. Art is a way of seeing the world, a way of expression, oftentimes a compulsion: we simply must create!
Art may be a way to explore your world or your imagination. Art may inspire a beginning painter to take steps into learning a new medium, or an accomplished artist to experiment with a new technique. Art is teaching, art is learning. Art can be exciting, empowering, and an expression of love.
Art can be a challenge: both frustrating and rewarding at the same time, leading to a sense of accomplishment — or a determination to do more. Art can be a message: of politics, of peace, of brutality or beauty. Art can be an escape, an idealization, or simply a means of play. Art can be anything and everything you let it be!
Every artist plays a different and necessary part in contributing to the overall health, development, and well-being of our society.
Creative thinkers and makers provide their communities with joy, interaction, and inspiration, but they also give thoughtful critique to our political, economic and social systems — pushing communities to engage thoughtfully and make steps toward social progress.
Art is about connecting with people’s emotions. It’s personal and at the same time, universal.
It’s a human urge to express emotion through the medium of mark-making. We all carry with us memories of our past experiences.
An artist has the ability to ‘feel strongly’ to be ‘sensitive’ to things and express this in the paint, gesture, or color. The artist ‘absorbs’ the atmosphere of a place or the memory of a feeling. Sometimes, it’s a burden for the artist to carry all this emotion – to be so sensitive.
Art is genuinely a gift to the world. It’s what we crave in the human experience. Art gives meaning to our lives and helps us understand our world. It is an essential part of our culture because it allows us to have a deeper understanding of our emotions; it increases our self-awareness, and also allows us to be open to new ideas and experiences. Art therefore continues to open our minds and our hearts and shows us what could be possible in our world.
ART ALLOWS US TO CONNECT WITH OUR INNER SELVES
Art can transform our lives. When we connect with art, we are ultimately connecting with our inner selves. Art enables us to look within and to listen to ourselves, realize who we are, and what we care about. It connects us to our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and our outer realities and experiences.
When we connect with a work, it is possible to encounter a rise in emotions because it introduces us to new experiences, provides us with a deeper understanding of our emotions, and shines light on questions we never knew we even had.
But as humans, it is essential to surround ourselves with art created by others. Art introduces us to a whole new set of experiences and ideas that we may have never witnessed before.
These experiences allow us to look within because as people, we decide what we’re seeing and feeling based on the emotional connection that we have with that work of art. As people, we tend to make emotional choices that are passionate to us, which allows us to realize what we care about and what we stand for.
When we are aware of this, we tend to be happier and healthier as individuals because we are able to figure out our purpose in life.
ART CAUSES US TO HAVE AN APPRECIATION AND GRATIFICATION FOR WHAT WE HAVE IN OUR LIVES
We tend to be happier when we are able to look at life through a standpoint of appreciation and gratification – when we are able to view all of the wonderful details that are going well in our lives instead of focusing on the alternative.
When we give ourselves the opportunities to connect with art, we are able to take a step back, reflect what’s going on in our world, evaluate our lives, and reflect. That is why I believe it is so important to gift yourself with opportunities to incorporate art into your life on a daily basis. This could be through visiting an artist’s studio, a museum, seeing a live show, watching a movie, or even reading a great book.
ART BRINGS MORE CREATIVITY, SATISFACTION, AND HAPPINESS INTO OUR LIVES
Have you ever had an emotional connection to a work of art? Have you ever experienced a wave of emotions while standing in front of an amazing painting?
Have you ever experienced a work and could not seem to explain the feeling that it gave you? This experience ultimately comes down to intuitively connecting with the artist’s story, their voice, and their experience. You are being welcomed into the artist’s world.
Art gives us meaning and helps us understand our world. Scientific studies have proven that art appreciation improves our quality of life and makes us feel good. When we create art, we elevate our mood, we improve our ability to problem solve, and open our minds to new ideas.
Art is a testimony of the human condition. It encompasses all of our hardships, emotions, questions, decisions, perceptions. Love, hatred, life, death. Essentially the way in which we perceive our world, every aspect of humanity can be expressed through art.
These times lay bare why art can’t be dictated nor contained by anything.
Creativity isn’t limited by its resources.
Creation is a primal source.
The authenticity in a painting or a piece of music is felt universally, because it resonates with the same essential being in the creator and the creation. The artist is often referred to as a magician, whereas her art only lays bare the heightened capacity to channel the universal truths.
The common story of life, love and death is what connects us humans.
Art is important because it functions as a holistic portal to a deeper understanding of humans and the self.
Right now one thing is abundantly clear: The world could use a little more peace, love, and understanding. There is suffering to be eased; there are wrongs to be righted. If you read the daily headlines and wish someone could just step in and make things better, we have good news: Someone can—and you already know just the woman for the job.
Inside you there’s a mighty activist, even if you’ve never owned a bullhorn or chained yourself to an oil rig. To be an activist, all you have to do is exercise your power to, yes, act. You can be a force for good whether you’re helping a neighbor, raising your voice, or calling attention to a problem in need of a solution.
Every person can make a difference, and no deed is too small to matter. Consider the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, which is commonly used to refer to acts of kindness or the pursuit of social justice. The Hebrew phrase translates to “repair the world”—not revolutionizing or reinventing, just repairing: putting the world back together a little at a time, each of us, every single day.
Helping repair the world is your mission, should you choose to accept it. And we know you will.
Compliment Friends and Strangers
Try praising a new person each day for a month.
Whether you’re in the market for an oil change or a bottle of Merlot, think about where you’re directing your dollars. Can you find a woman- or minority-owned retailer? Or can you opt for a small business over a chain? Challenge yourself to do all your shopping this way for a week—or a month.
Talk Politics Productively
The initiative , founded by Bay Area friends Justine Lee and Tria Chang in the wake of the 2016 elections, encourages citizens with different viewpoints to sit down and respectfully listen to one another’s opinions over a nice lasagna. For details on hosting an evening of your own, download the instruction guidance.
Keep Your Kids’ Vaccinations Up-to-Date
Friends don’t give friends whooping cough.
Browse for Worthy Causes
Download a charitable web browser extension like , which uses ad revenue to donate to a partner nonprofit of your choice every time you open a new tab.
Switch to Tubeless Toilet Paper
Unless you’re super crafty, you won’t miss those cardboard cylinders—and neither will the planet.
Support Your Local Women’s Shelter
Donate new bras, which are always in short supply. Menstrual products are another high-demand item (for every box of its tampons you buy, will donate a box of pads to a homeless shelter), as are hair products suitable for different textures. And don’t forget books and board games for the kids.
Know Your Neighbors
Only about 20 percent of the population do—down from nearly 30 percent since the 1970s—and research has linked social connection with decreased depression and even a longer life.
Someone has to have a bandage, a pain reliever, a safety pin, floss—why not you? The Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit contains all of these, plus double-sided tape, nail polish remover, and more must-haves.
Eat Your Leftovers
It’s estimated throw away 15 percent of the food they buy each year—enough to feed millions of people. Plus, all that trash produces loads of greenhouse gases. Not sure when it’s time to toss? tells you how long to safely keep thousands of products.
Plant an Herb, Vegetable, or Flower Garden
Everyone wins: The plants produce environmentally beneficial oxygen, you reap the meditative rewards of gardening, and you can savor the fruits of your labor—or gift them to friends and family.
Give Away Your Unwanted Stuff
Put your goods on ad-posting sites and apps for free, so someone who actually needs them can have them at no charge.
Become an Organ Donor
About 95 percent of adults are in favor of organ donation, but only 48 percent are registered. You can sign up right now without leaving your couch, at and potentially save eight lives—the number of vital organs you likely have to offer.
Turn off the lights, turn off the water. Unplug your devices when not in use.
Admittedly, this is one still in the process of learning , but in a world where we are running out of resources almost as fast as we can identify them, unplugging our appliances at night saves an incredible amount of power (phantom power accounts for 10 percent of all household energy outputs). If you turn your shower off while you’re shaving, or letting your conditioner set, you can save a lot of water. Think about what that can add up to.
Adopt a rescue.
If you’re ready to get a pet, and have thought about all the variables, please consider adopting from a rescue agency. Don’t forget that rescue agencies often have different kinds of animals other than cats and dogs, (like rabbits, or hamsters, or lizards) which can be even more difficult to find homes for. If the time is right, consider directly saving a life.
Reconsider your consumption.
Like meat? Don’t want to give it up? Can you give it up for just a day? Just a day per week without meat has been shown to be of great benefit, in terms of animal lives saved, and the environmental toll it can take.
Eating them sometimes as often as three times a week—they were my ideal comfort food. While chose the organic, humanely-raised options; our society’s demand for meat just isn’t environmentally sound.
Share a meal.
Making a meal for, and breaking bread with someone, is an intimate way of getting to know people, and it fosters a deep-running sense of community. Can you invite a friend over for dinner? Host a monthly potluck?
Clean our space.
We are all a part of this world. Our bedrooms were a reflection of our mental space, several years away. Cleaning our spaces helps us feel that much lighter. See what you are able to do from that refreshed space. Honor yourself and your own surroundings just as you would someone else’s.
It’s hard if we’re working a full time job and have kids, or are struggling through the depths of winter, or have just dealt with a scarring break-up, but the world asks us to participate. Stay open to the cues and see what we might have to offer the world. If we think something needs to be changed, write a letter, start a petition, do more direct activism—whatever we can do can help.
This one is a bit loaded, understand. Most of us can’t quite understand what it’s like to be living on the street, unsure of where our next meal or shelter is going to come from, and in urban centres the rate of homelessness is rising. It can be difficult and hard to resist a place of judgement when every third or fourth person we encounter in your walk to work asks us for change, but that is why we must resist judgement. If you feel uncomfortable giving money, consider buying food, or in winter, donating or giving your extra or mismatched winter clothing away.
If you need to/want to get away and your only option is a resort, there are more environmentally friendly ones out there. Find ones which are transparent about their environmental practices, and support those. If you don’t “do” resort vacations, consider how your mode of travel impacts the environment and try to mitigate that. We know of someone who plants a tree whenever they take an airplane, but if we all try and do what we can to offset our carbon footprint, it can only be of benefit.
Check your community.
Does your social network include lots of different people? Elders? People of different ethnicities? People who identify as trans* or with different sexualities? Friends and the people see on a regular basis are all of age group. State this not to “tokenize” any group at all, but simply to state that the more varied our communities are, the more we are able to understand and communicate with each other.
Plant a (bee-friendly) garden.
Some choices of bee-friendly plants that you barely need to pay attention to? Lavender, sage, some roses. Bees are in trouble and they could use any help you can give, in offering “pollination stops.” Even if you don’t want to help pollinate plants, your own garden can give you vegetables, herbs, and fruit to eat and is just a good alternative to buying from a supermarket. If you don’t have the space for a garden, yet this idea interests you, you could try community garden or plot sharing.
Give a Compliment
Tell someone that you care about them by complimenting them. It can be a big compliment or a small one. The point is that you share what good you see in them. That will help them develop confidence and a stronger sense of self.
There’re many reasons why doing voluntary work is good for you. Find a good cause you care about and give your time to it. Serve in some way. Volunteering transforms your hard work into other people’s happiness. This is one of the most common acts of kindness that you can do.
Tibetan spiritual leader Dali Lama described the new generation as the generation of the 21st century and his own generation as belonging to the 20th century “You are the generation of the 21st century.”
He said that the generation of the 20th century had been witness to immense violence. “We can say that it was a century of violence. But the violence failed to create a better world.”
He called upon the new generation to aspire to make the world a better place, more peaceful and clean. “Such a world may not materialize in my lifetime but there is a possibility that it can be brought about if you actually resolve to do so,” he said.
“I do not see it and others of my generation may also not, but I will watch you either from heaven or hell to see what you have made of this world,” he told.
“I am confident that things can be improved greatly as most of the problems are man-made and can be reduced if man wants to reduce them,” he added.
He recalled his days in Dehradun and Mussoorie in 1959 when he was staying at Mussoorie for a year after he came from Tibet as a refugee.
“After facing a lot of difficulties in the beginning of refugee life, I enjoyed my stay in Mussoorie -I was very happy there. But in 1960, not out of my own choice, I had to shift to Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh which was very isolated in those days.”
“We preferred Mussoorie, but the Government of India said that Mussoorie was only a temporary arrangement.”
He said that what impressed him greatly when he came to India was the tradition of non-violence and religious tolerance and harmony.
“I felt that I should propagate this tradition and highlight the concept of Ahimsa. In today’s world, destruction of your neighbor would mean your own destruction, considering the global economy.”
Talking about the need for keeping one’s mind calm, he said that a calm mind leads to good physical health. Greed, ambition and worry all transform into anger. A healthy mind is a key factor for physical health. I want to show you my own face, I am almost 77 years old but am quite healthy,” he said with a beaming smile.
“Anger is blind energy and destroys one’s judgement. Buddhism and Hinduism both talk a lot about mind control and we should try to practice this,” the Dalai Lama said.