Thank You Revolution: The Toughest Challenge Yet

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Thank You Revolution Archive

You might not like me after this.This is the toughest Revolution challenge yet.

Sure, I’ve had you write notes to your garbage men, teachers, co-workers, parents, etc. Some were hard, but none as hard as this one. Are you ready?

Before you read on, bookmark this page, come back and share your story below in the comments. I’d love to hear from you and I know others would as well.

Today’s challenge: Write a thank you letter to someone you don’t like.

I’ve never been accused of being the sanest person in the world, but I’m not crazy for suggesting this. I want you to write a note to someone you don’t really like, perhaps even someone who hurt you deeply, and thank them for something.

I’m doing it myself today and honestly, I’m not my own biggest fan for it, but I am doing it for three reasons:

  • It’s a growth opportunity for me.
  • This person really did something I should be thankful for.
  • I am called to be a light to the world and this is one way I can do that.

Eight years ago (man, I didn’t realize it was that long ago), my father passed away from a rare form of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Seven years prior, he married my stepmother. She and I never got along.

To this day, I can easily recount all of the things she did to hurt my father and to hurt me. I have battled with forgiveness for years and did so recently (talk about freeing), but I never thanked her.

Thanked her for what?

With all of her faults, she was there for my dad as best as she knew how as he was slowly deteriorating in front of our eyes. While I moved away from my business, she was right there with him, making sure he got the best care possible. And I never said “thank you.”

Today that changes.

Today, despite our differences and despite the past bitterness I had towards her, I will write to her what I should have said or written eight years ago.

I have no expectations of a relationship. I have no expectations of ever hearing from her again. But as she reads it, the world will indeed be a little brighter. My light will shine.

And the one thing I do expect is that I will smile more today.

This will be tough. For me. For you. Some of you will battle. Some of you will cry. Some of you will feel a freedom you haven’t felt in ages. Some of you will experience a restored relationship.

However tough it is, I urge you…I beg you to do this today. Don’t let one more day pass you by. This day might change your life.

Let your light shine.

With Gratitude,

Matt McWilliams

Matt McWilliams.com | Life. Leadership. Love. Learned the Hard Way

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  • Way to go, Matt! This is where the rubber meets the road on the Thank You Revolution. Thanks for setting the example we all should follow. Today, I’ll be writing Thank You notes to members of my team. I want them to know how much I appreciate their efforts in the fiscal year we just wrapped up.

  • Sahn

    For the life of me, I cannot think of anyone I know personally that I dislike off the top of my head, but there has to be someone who gets under my skin, so I will ponder on who I should write this thank you letter to. Perhaps, I should write a letter to President Obama?(TIC). Hmmm…

    I did do something along the same lines the other day if that counts. I was on a genealogy website when I noticed that there was a typo in the writing of an ancestor’s name. I was in a hurry and made a quick, succinct request that the virtual memorial be changed. The person who had done the memorial was insulted by the way I worded my request and fired off a harsh response. At first, I was a bit taken aback, but soon realized that I do need to be more careful when on these sites because even though I do not know or associate with them, there are real people on the other end who have spent their time and energy to make this info public. Instead of ignoring the reprove or lashing back, or sulking obsessively about how rude, etc etc this unknown emailer was, I chose to take the higher ground and instead write a nice email of apology for having bruised their feelings. I also thanked them for pointing out that I could have written my request in a more considerate way and pledged to do so in the future. The response I got back was an apology from THEM for over reacting and how grateful they were for me being so humble and kind. Apparently they work in a customer relations department and had experienced a very rough day of dealing with really nasty people when they came home to my initial email and it set them off. Both of us left feeling better about one another and I may have made a new friend, rather than an adversary.