How expressing gratitude resulted in the most magical Christmas experience ever

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It’s Christmas Eve, 5 PM. I just went for a run and decided I would meditate after taking my shower before driving to my mum’s for Christmas family dinner.

Instead of meditating I found myself at the kitchen table on my phone thanking the people in my WhatsApp conversation history. Starting at the top, working my way down.

In just a few lines I thanked them for what they mean to me and I expressed my appreciation and gratitude. Every message I wrote was an expression of what was in my heart. More than once in had tears in my eyes when typing and pressing send. But I kept at it.

Speaking from my heart overwhelms me.

Yet here I was, doing it with very deliberately written text messages. I had 2020 plans to prepare, presents to wrap and a whole bunch of other things to do, but I was glued to my phone. And all of the other stuff didn’t matter.

As Christmas Eve unfolded I kept sending out these messages, just a few every hour. I continued doing this throughout the next day. And the next.

In the course of three days I had sent love, gratitude and appreciation to my girlfriend, close friends, my son, my daughter, my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister, my coaching classmates, professional relations, ex-girlfriends, my coaches, and a bunch of people I just met and only had a short chat with on WhatsApp.

It wasn’t about the result.

It was about the action of being grateful and speaking from my heart. But I received so many messages from people expressing how touched they were, and as I read each one I was touched and felt closer to that person. An amazing elevated emotional state took hold of me. I felt deeply grateful for what was happening.

It was the most magical Christmas experience ever. I had no idea it would turn out the way it did. That’s why I want to share this story. Because this is a really powerful way to connect with people on a different level. And you can do it, too.

It’s so simple.

  1. Take your phone, open WhatsApp or any other messaging service you use the most.
  2. Open a chat with the first person or group on top of your conversation list.
  3. Connect with your heart to that person or group.
  4. Express why you are grateful, why you appreciate them, what you acknowledge, appreciate, admire or love them for.

Do that in a few lines. Don’t turn it into a story. Just express gratitude, love and appreciation. Don’t add New Year’s wishes, regrets, promises and stuff like that. Keep the format clean and simple, for example:

Dear x, it’s the end of the year. This is a time for me to say thanks.
I thank/acknowledge/appreciate/ admire/ love you for…
Have a great 2020!

That’s it. Stick with it for a couple of days – until you get through your history.

It will be the best time you have spent on your smartphone, ever.


Do it for everyone from top to bottom of your recent chats list, even if you and that person are not the best of friends or if there is something between you two that’s preventing you from becoming closer.

Detach from the result. You are not expressing gratitude and appreciation to get something back. It’s not about looking for validation. You are giving the gift of your gratitude. You can do this all year round, of course. But in the holiday season people seem to really appreciate this.

Start with your favorite messaging app. If you want to keep going, you can continue with your latest text messages, email, and so on. But remember, you are not writing the wordings for a postcard with fireworks and the number 2020 on it. You are connecting with your heart and expressing gratitude.

If you have tried this, please let me know how it turned out for you – it will make my day!

From my heart, Hans

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