It’s that time of the year when we all consider how to better ourselves. Vows are made to exercise more, spend less, get organized or travel more. Of course, these are just some of the most common resolutions, but most people have something about themselves that they’d like to change.
One under-the-radar goal is to consider writing — by hand — more notes to the people in your life. It’s a small ritual that provides an abundance of benefits.
In my book Handwritten Notes: Learn How a Small Powerful Act Can Enrich Your Life, I illustrate how pen and paper can become your instruments for a constructive habit that grows relationships beyond the superficial. The magic of writing what you appreciate about another person down on paper is the relationship equivalent of a human magnet.
It doesn’t take much time to do this – just the willingness to try it.
Here are three unexpected benefits of making handwritten notes a part of your life.
The ritual of writing a good handwritten note serves as a framework to enhance focus on things in life that really matter. Technology can be wonderful, but it also puts us in an uncomfortable position of keeping up with the never-ending flow of information, most of which is meaningless. Writing notes by hand turn this dilemma upside down and trains the mind to appreciate our relationships and focus on what’s important.
Writing handwritten notes requires turning off devices and prioritizing another person — contemplating their strengths, potential for greatness, and unique contribution to enriching your life and the lives of others.
When you turn off technology and its temptation for distractions, you’ll train yourself to approach situations with greater intuition and imagination. You’re getting out of your own head with your own problems and broadening your world with enhanced perspective. Handwritten notes help you create a real connection with another human.
Handwritten notes can improve your relationships. The modality of this type of communication is received with different sensory organs than messages sent through technology, embedding the messages deeper and with more impact.
Think about it this way: If a friend sent an email thanking you for lunch, how would this land compared to a handwritten note saying the same thing? You’d probably be touched that they took the time to put pen to paper. This deliberate act of slowing down and thinking of you is much more impactful than any email could be.
The personalization of handwriting and the instrument’s uniqueness add interest and endearment. By thinking of another human and using a communication method that brightens the recipient like no other, you’re building strong connections with them. You’re witnessing them and making them feel less lonely in this world.
They’ll feel more understood and alive, and giving them this feeling strengthens their relationship with you.
Increased Business Acumen
Greater credibility comes when you focus entirely on another person. Top business people understand that successful relationships aren’t formed by telling someone all about yourself — they are built by focusing on another person and understanding their interests. You empower others by pointing out what makes them great.
Aside from perhaps therapy and counseling, can you recall the last time you felt 100 percent understood and validated?
When it does happen, you feel an instant connection. By contrast, have you ever engaged with someone who overpowered the conversation with the “me, me, me” talk? You probably put a wall up and stopped listening after the 3rd humble brag. Not too engaging, right? So catch yourself next time you find yourself doing this. Pull a change up and focus instead on the other person’s world.
Even better, write it down and tell them what you see in them that’s remarkable. The small act of note-writing trains the mind to think from another person’s perspective, which is one of the top qualities of a leader. When the recipient receives a well-written note — one that speaks to their good traits — they’ll savor it and hold you in high regard. You’ll linger in their memory as someone who sincerely appreciates other people.
They will be eager and ready to act on whatever mutual goals you set forth between you.
If done correctly, handwritten notes will strengthen your connections with others and give you an internal lift like no other. It’s a small act with a big impact.
So dare to be different to start this year and weave handwritten notes into your life.
Purchase her new book:
Handwritten Notes: Learn How a Small, Powerful Act Can Enrich Your Life!