Kindness Challenge Day 3: Write 3 Thank-You Notes to 3 People You Appreciate

This is Day 3 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Good morning everyone!!!! :D Welcome to Day 3 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge!!! :D

Over 740 Participants! Sign Ups Extended for Another 2 Days!!

We now have over 740 participants for the Kindness Challenge!!! :clap:

To accommodate for those of you who are late to the game, I’m extending sign ups for another 2 days!! 

For those of you who have not signed up yet, please sign up NOW to be part of this worldwide movement. Basically, if your name is not on the official participants list, you are NOT signed up yet. 

Here’s how to join NOW in just three seconds:

Upcoming Feature in Lianhe Zaobao!!

I received a call by another media correspondent for upcoming feature of the Kindness Challenge! This time, it’s a journalist from Lianhe Zaobao, a highly popular Chinese morning daily in Singapore, and the publication is interested to feature the challenge AFTER it ends, to assess the outcome and impact to the members!!

What does that mean?? That means, let’s give the Kindness Challenge our VERY BEST SHOT over the next 12 days as we prove to the media and the world out there that this kindness movement has a place in our society and it has the power to move and mobilize people!!! Let’s DO THE DAILY TASKS to our best ability, POST OUR RESULTS (via the comments section), INTERACT WITH THE OTHER PARTICIPANTS (again via the comments section and shoutbox), and RALLY OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY to join the challenge if they haven’t already! Once again, sign ups are open for another 48 hours! Let’s get moving people!!

Listen to My UFM 100.3 Radio Interview! (In Mandarin)

UFM 100.3

For those of you who didn’t manage to catch my UFM 100.3 interview live (some of you told me that the “listen live” widget on the UFM site didn’t work for you; sorry about that!), you can listen to it now! I got the recording from the station on Thursday, have done the editing yesterday, and uploaded the interview as a podcast earlier today.

You can listen to it from the Podcasts section. Under the section “My Kiss 92 Segments (and Other Radio Interviews)”, click on the third title called “Chinese Interview: Nov 14-Day Kindness Challenge on UFM 100.3″.

Or download the mp3 directly here if the player doesn’t work for you for some reason:

The interview is partly about the 14-Day Kindness Challenge, and partly about my life, what I do at PE, and why I do what I do. It was a great interview and I really had a lot of fun with the deejays!! The UFM100.3 listeners were incredible and many of them have found their way over to my Facebook and PE, sharing very positive words of encouragement and support. Thank you SO MUCH for all your support guys!! ♥

Oh, haha, I don’t know why but lately the interviews would, in one way or another, bring up my relationship status and whether I’m seeing anyone at the moment. I thought it’s quite cute and funny! At the same time, I love that it’s (relationships) something that often resonates with the interviewers and audience!!

Day 2 Review: Give Up Your Seat To Someone

Day 2′s task was to give up your seat to someone (who needs it more than you do).

It proved to be really challenging for me as I was NOT able to give my seat up to someone despite overt attempts to make it happen. (!!)

The first challenge was that I was not able to get any seats when I got on the public transport, because it would be the peak hour and there would already be many people on the bus. The second challenge was that even AFTER I had painstakingly gotten a seat, there was no one (IMO) eligible for me to give up my seat to. The people around me were mainly young people and young adults; not really someone who would need the seat anymore than I would.

I then tried to innovate by thinking out of the box and thinking about the task in terms of giving up seats in general. However, because I’m a lady, people kept giving up seats to me at this social event I was at yesterday evening and no one was willing to take me up on my offer to give up my seat (which is understandable too; I think it would make the other party look bad if I were to insist him/her to seat down when he/she didn’t want to).

Regardless, I’m going to continue to work on this task for the next few days. I’ll update this space when I get to complete the task.

Update Nov 5 (Day 5): Yes, finally accomplished this task today! I got a seat on the train on my way to Kiss92 for my third episode on how to tackle procrastination, and was eyeing for someone whom I could give up a seat to throughout the 40-minute train ride.

Sitting down on MRT

Me preparing for my Kiss92 segment on tackling procrastination

First lady I offered to (looked like she was in her late 40s) refused—I actually think she was embarrassed that I thought she would need the seat, and she was pretty aloof in her rejection. I later offered it to another lady (looked like she was in her early 50s) who promptly thanked me and took it up, not before giving a pleasant look of surprise. :D

The first lady later turned around to look at me and smile at me, as if to indicate that she didn’t mean to be rude when she rejected my offer initially. When I left the train, I turned to say bye to her, upon which she responded in kindness too. What an awesome day! :D

Participants’ Responses for Day 2: Give Up Your Seat To Someone

…this morning, I was driving into work and I know one of my exit ramps will be crowded. So as I was getting into the exit lane, I saw the big semi truck trying to get in that lane as well. No one was letting him in as they don’t want to be stuck behind a slow moving truck on the exit ramp to another freeway.

So I decided to get into the lane behind him but then slowed down and made enough room to let him in. I’m sure the people behind me were mad, but I didn’t care. So I gave up my seat that way this morning. — Participant Ken. Awesome work, Ken!!!

This morning I needed to travelled from Clementi to Bras Basah, I observed some interesting things. While from Clementi to Raffles place interchange, it was very crowded but I could see people giving up the seats to the other needy people while I was standing inside the train. :angel: From Raffles Place to Dhobby Ghaut, there were so many empty seats that we could easily grab!

I offered a seat that I grabbed to someone who walked near to them. It turned out that the people smiled back at me and sat the other empty seat. I felt so great about it. — Participant Hendro

Usually I do not travel by public transport however today suddenly I felt like traveling with a friend of mine. I was super tired and luckily I got a place to seat. After some time i thought of the lady who was standing for the quite some time and i gave my seat to her.

Don;t know but i was suddenly feeling happy and not much tired. — Participant Hetal_S. Beautiful, simply beautiful guys!!

I am at home talking with my parents and don’t have any intention to go out today. I gave up my seat for my mum to use the computer instead.. ^_^ She was checking her email for a sec and it would be inconvenient for her to key in her user details while standing up. After that I resumed my computer use. — Participant wanxuan. What a beautiful interpetation of the task. Great work wanxuan!! :D

I was at home today but I was traveling recently to another city by train when I offered my lower-berth to a senior-citizen as in her ticket, she had an upper-berth marked to her. It was evident that it will be impossible for her to climb upto two-berths so I exchanged my berth with her!

…the sense of happiness and joy on the senior-citizen’s face was so great that I think it combated all the coldness that I generally feel on the upper-berth! — Participant Divya

Read more Day 2 comments:

Awesome work, guys!! :clap: Let’s continue to practice Day 2′s task in the following days ahead of the challenge!

Day 3: Thank-You Notes

Thank You Note

Have you ever written thank you notes to others?

In every run of Be a Better Me in 30 Days, we would work on showing appreciation on Day 15, by way of writing thank you notes. It’s an incredible task every time the participants do it, for the thank you notes would elicit the most gentle and heartfelt of responses from others out of all the other tasks in the program.

Thank-you notes are a powerful way to express your love and gratitude for others. I think that there is no better thing than to openly express gratitude to someone whom you feel grateful for.

This is why I often express gratitude openly on PE, as well as on my Facebook page. I would often thank all of you angels for being in my life; at the same time I receive daily messages of love, support, and encouragement from all of you. The pursuit of my work is independent of whether I receive these words of appreciation, yet they undoubtedly fuel me in my journey and growth, because it touches me to know that you guys care.

Today, your task is to express your appreciation to others.

Your Task: Write Thank-You Notes to People You Appreciate

  1.  Identify 3 people you appreciate. It could be for something that each of them have done for you or said to you at one point or another. It could be for something major or something small.
  2. Write thank-you notes to each of the 3 people. 
    • These thank-you notes can be written in any format—e-mail, thank-you cards, handwritten letters, SMS, social media sites, and so on.
    • Try to go for the medium that can best convey your intent and sincerity with the message though; I tend to think a sudden SMS with a few words saying, “Hey, thank you for what you did for me yesterday” is a lot less sincere and impactful as a nice, long, handwritten letter on paper, put nicely in an envelope and passed in person.

Share Your Results!

Who did you pick for this task? How did you express your appreciation? What were their responses when they received the thank-you notes (where applicable)?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done with Day 3, proceed to Day 4: Sign Up For Volunteer Work (On Top of Whatever You Have Been Doing).

  • Netta

    I enjoyed this challenge. I really put my heart into writing thank you notes to three special people in my life. This challenge made me stop and think about how much I do appreciate the people that are in my life and the little things they do each day to make my day brighter.
    I wrote my first note to a close friend that goes out of her way to help me on a regular basis. This isn’t because I ask her to or because she feels an obligation. She really doesn’t do it because I want help. She does it without realizing what she is doing for me.
    My second note went to someone who has been an important part of my life for the past three years. She makes me laugh if I’m upset and she has been a huge moral support for me.
    My third note, I wrote it to my children. I suppose that is 4 notes all together because I have two beautiful daughters. My oldest is 10 and my youngest is 6. They make every day brighter and I tell them daily how much they mean to me. Telling someone and writing it down for them are different.
    Writing these made me feel good inside as well as making me realize how important it is to appreciate people in your life. I’m also glad I could make their day brighter. I hope I can remember to do this often without a challenge.
    A huge THANK YOU to Celes for putting these challenges together. You have made a huge impact in my life! :hug:

    • Celes

      Aww Netta, thank YOU for being a part of the challenges! :D I’ve always appreciated your participation in all the past challenges, and it was definitely a big welcome for me when I saw that you had signed up for the kindness challenge. Your responses are always well-thought-out and you have never once NOT given your all to the challenge tasks. So kudos to you.

      (I guess you can consider this as a thank-you note to you; I’m grateful for your presence and being such a beautiful part of the PE community. :angel: )

  • Robin

    Catching up on my comments. It’s been a busy (but good) weekend. I wrote two short thank you messages to my two best friends for day 3. Today I sent an e-mail to an old friend that seemed like they needed a pick me up last time I saw them.

  • ugi

    Good day Celes and everyone!

    About sending thank you notes challange, I sent a thank you e mail to one of my ex managers, who is more than a work friend/manager for me for a long time, a person who is a continuous support for me in all aspects. I really appreciate for her existence in my life and I expressed this in my mail thanking her for keeping me in her heart and mind even at times we do not communicate often. You hardly have this kind of people around you that you are sure you are in his/her mind, and she is one these rare people for me. I also have great respect for her, since she is always the best of whatever she does.

    I also sent a thank you note to a person whom I do not know personally but is a famous person, making a cooking program on TV. I quite respect her becouse she is going after her dreams and she is such a nice person, also helping other people to fullfill their dreams. I sent a mail to her expressing my appreciation for being only herself actually and being an inspiration for me. Guess what, she replied my e mail, a very nice and warm reply and I felt great!!!

    Will continue to send thank you notes to my friends, to make up both their day and mine!

    • Celes

      ugi, aww you are doing such a marvelous job in Kindness Challenge so far! I’m very impressed with your progress reports for each day’s task and can’t wait to see your results for the tasks ahead. Keep up with your awesome work! :clap:

  • Claire R

    I did try with my cards and pen next to my clipboard for my garage sale. But ended up talking and attending… But I did not give up. The two people who helped me with the sale( and many other things ) I made sure they both knew how I felt and was soooo happy for their help and company.
    The beauty of the notes- if you do send them, is in the thinking and expressing I am making a Thank you note for my students to do and before falling asleep I realized that I have been truly blessed so I added a lot of people and intentions to my prayers and I must say here-I must start baking cookies to give
    and in other small ways to show my love and appreciation.
    I now say” bless you” far more and without feeling shy about it. And I am reaching out more to say hi-by net, phone and in person . I will make time and send some short sweet notes.
    Bless you Celes, and all of us on this challenge :love:

  • Daria

    So for this day’s task, I sent thank you notes to 3 of my friends. The first one is my closest friend. The 2nd one is the friend who I look up to. And with the 3rd friend I share the longest friendship in my life.

    Only one of them was in the same country so I was fortunate enough to give her the handwritten letter personally. She’s not the kind of person who’s usually “touchy feely” and neither am I so all that was apparent was her surprise at first and then she read the letter, laughed at the *intentionally* silly bits & thanked me for it. But I could tell that she was moved by it because the very next day she got me a present that she knew I would like :)

    With my other two friends, I sent them before yesterday messages on-line, and the next day they replied with very heart warming messages and I teared up after reading the second one! One of the girls even told me how the message came to her at the right time and that she needed it and that she herself teared up too…

    All in all it was a rewarding experience and its outcomes shall be cherished in my heart :heart:

  • Desiree Garcia

    1 – Is my boss. Who is the strongest woman i know and is all around amazing!
    I just wanted to send you a thank you note for all that you have done for me in this past year. Thank you for giving me a chance and believing in me enough to hire me. Thank you for being such a great supporter, boss and family. I love being part of such a great team and having you as our leader. Yep, that’s right – You the leader! 
    But just thank you for being you!

    2. Co-Worker
    Thank you for being such a delight to work with and never judging me on my soda drinking habit that I claim to quit every month. Thank you for being you and there when I need to vent. I appreciate you completely!

    3. Friend
    Thank you for helping out with our fundraiser. I don’t know how the night would have went without you.

  • Faby

    I wrote two thank you notes to my friends and the other to my sister. I thanked my friends for being kind friends to me, helping me when i need help, and teaching me things simply by being themselves. I thanked my sister for the good times we’ve had thanks to her wonderful personality.

  • Michael

    First of all, this is my belated thank-you note to Celes for setting up PE and making many more lives meaningful. I know I saw a lot of positive things to you, but I really mean them!

    Oh yes, and I also completed this challenge as well! I was at the Hong Kong Sustainability Jam this weekend and they have a face-board (pictures of participants with small envelopes for post-it hi/thanks notes). So I wrote my share of thanks to the people I got to know, and a note to the facilitator/organizers too. =)

  • Max

    Really takes me some time to fulfill this challenge, but definitely my favorite challenge by far. This is one of the most wonderful things I have ever done and I wanted to thank you sincerely for giving me the incentives to do this.

    I wrote a thank you note for my parents, uncle, girlfriend, housemates, and my friends from university.

    I thanked my parents for sending me to Holland even though they were not in the best financial state.

    I thanked my uncle for being the most unselfish person i’ve ever known and being one of the best teachers with the great ability to inspire.

    I thanked my girlfriends for the empowering relationship we have and the encouragement in the times when I really need it.

    And I thanked my housemates and friends for being such a fun companion and a great source of inspiration through their own, unique way.

    The response was amazing. Most of them were happy, some very suprised, and some were deeply touched. Seriously I have made so many people around me happy just by saying thank you, a very simple act that has such an amazing power.

    Thank you Celes!

  • wanxuan

    Hey, I’m posting something I found interesting. A Japanese scientist, Dr Emoto did an experiment to observe the effects of saying positive words such as “thank you” and negative words such as “You make me sick” to the crystalline structure of water. He found that the water crystals turned into *beautiful* intricate structures when “thank you” was spoken to them :D You can view the crystals in the link here Keep in mind that our body is made of 70% water. Remember, saying “thank you” is powerful!!

  • Celi

    I enjoyed this very much, because it helped me to reflect on my relationships. I sent e-mail thank you notes to my 3 sisters and my mother to express my gratitude for their contribution to who I am. My sisters are all very positive people and we never had a big fight after childhood, because we respect each other’s opinions and differences. In fact they are my best friends and my mentors in life.

    My mother is almost 80 and she supported us through life with very firm principles and she gave us our roots – to be firm and steady and have integrity in all we do. Although she never had the opportunity complete primary school, she was our consistent support throughout school and later university (all 6 of us!) She can converse with any of us on any topic because she is an ardent reader.

    My sister whom we have been out of the country for more than 3 months sent me such an endearing message because of the thank you note.

  • Kembabazi

    Hi Celestine you are such a blessing to the world. Just imagine … I am getting inspired by your mind here in Uganda, Africa. I thank God the almighty for who you are. Many people are selfish with their knowledge but you are just one rare great person who wants to get others achieve their best in life before they die. And how many have died with their dreams unfulfilled simply because their was no one like you to encourage them.

    • Celes

      Aw thank you Kembabazi! That’s very kind of you to say that. I thank you for being who you are. Thanks so much for embracing your growth. And thank you for reading PE and following me on my Facebook page! :D

  • Angela Brent-Harris

    I wrote thank you notes to my 18 lovely 1st grade students. I told them that I was very fortunate and lucky to be their teacher. I thanked them for being amazing students too. I wrote my mom a note thanking her for raising me well and that I am grateful for all that she’s done for me. I wrote thank you notes to some co-workers thanking them for their support and for all they do everyday. I WROTE TO MY 2 SONS THANKING THEM FOR BEING THE BEST SONS IN THE WORLD AND I THANKED THEM FOR THEIR GENTLENESS AND FOR MAKING ME PROUD OF ALL THEIR ENDEAVORS. I THANKED MY OTHER HALF FOR LOVING ME. ;)

  • Krissy

    I have a friend, Candice, who I actually randomly met in a bar several years ago when I was on vacation. We have stayed in touch through emails, texts, phone calls, and Facebook. Last year I was going through a very difficult time in my personal life and she listened to me for hours, provided support without judgment and helped me move on a more positive path. She has been sort of down lately-She has been living with her family and just broke up with a boyfriend. So, I chose to write her a thank you note as part of this challenge. I thanked her for all of her support and encouragement last year and for being such a good friend to me when I really needed it. She text me this week that she received it in the mail and that it brought tears to her eyes. So, I hope it gave her the positive encouragement she needs to keep trying to improve her own life.

    I try everyday to be as nice as I can all of the time because I think of all the times in my life that people, sometimes strangers, have said nice things to me that were exactly what I needed and helped me move my life in a more positive direction. So I love this challenge!