"Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other." -Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
When I was at RRE Ventures, I had a positive first meeting with Ben Marcus, the Founder & CEO of AirMap. Less than a week later, I received a thoughtful hand-written thank you letter from Ben expressing his gratitude for my time and the interaction.
Over the last decade, I've met with thousands of entrepreneurs, yet I've only received one hand-written thank you letter. Ben was an anomaly. His action stood out so much that it's still fused in my brain more than five years later. I'll never forget him for it.
We now live in an era of easy, frictionless and fast communication. Our phones are always within our reach. We can beam a text, photo and/or email to the other side of the planet in a less than a second. Despite the speed and convenience, expressing gratitude digitally rarely creates a lasting and big impression. In other words, the meaning and intention behind the message is often lost.
That's why sending a hand-written thank you note delivers such a powerful message especially in the digital age. The simple act of writing a letter and sending it through the mail is one of the purest and most potent forms of communication. These notes, even when just a few paragraphs, are often packed with intention, meaning and gratitude.
I believe everyone should craft hand-written thank you letters not only because it will help you stand out but also because it's the right thing to do. So few people actually send them. When you do, it's a rare and an unusual event. The recipient will pay attention and feel your gratitude. You will create a lasting impression. I guarantee it.
Writing thank you letters is a lost art and gesture that should be revived. The act doesn't even take ten minutes, yet the message of gratitude is powerful and lasting. There are countless opportunities to send them. The impact on your life and someone else's will surprise you.
Thanking someone and expressing your feelings towards them is what life is all about. This act fosters deeper connections and relationships. What's more important and human than that?
(To order your own thank you notes, Minted is a good place to start)