The Power of a Note

When I was a young professional my mother mailed me a New York Times article about Neil Rudenstine, the man who, at the time, was serving as president of Harvard University.

The article was titled, The Power of a Note and left such an impression on me that I frequently still reference it when conducting workshops.

Rudenstine told of how he purposefully carved time each week to write notes of gratitude and appreciation. I remember thinking at the time that, if the president of a university can make time to write notes of recognition then certainly I can too.

And I know you're busy, but you can too.

Last week my family and I channeled our inner-Rudenstine. We wrote anonymous letters of encouragement and then sealed them in yellow envelopes which we then delivered up and down the island of Key Largo. We had so much fun on our adventure that, I am hoping if I share some highlights you might be inspired to jump in on the fun.

Notes were simply made – white paper and Crayola markers. We wrote things such as:

“You were meant to shine. Go forth and make a contribution!”

“Thank you for making a difference in your corner of the world. We need you.”

“You matter. Thanks for sharing your talents with the world.”

We made ten notes in all.

Then we hopped in the car and made an adventure out of deciding where to leave them.

We left one in the spokes of a yellow bicycle

Another in on the windshield of a car with a sun bumper sticker

Matthew suggested secretly placing one in the menu of the restaurant where we ate 

and Jack wanted to discreetly leave one on the table next to us, in the plastic tub holding condiments.

Richard made the case for placing one on an Adirondack chair at a local beach and 

after we finished with the other four,

I suggested the perfect place might be the outside seating at our local Dairy Queen.

That, is of course, after we went inside and rewarded our good deed with a round of ice cream cones for everyone.

Your turn. 

Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 6/26/13 10:00 am by Claudia Beeny in: Inspiration,Yellow Envelope Project
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