Something happened recently that blew me away. I received an email from a person who I have corresponded with over several years--he is the author of one of my favorite books. Fundamentally, the book is about leveraging the wisdom of those of us who have been around a few years (55+) to ensure we continue to live a full and meaningful life.

I have given many copies of the book away and each recipient has told me how inspiring and helpful it has been to them. Now this could be frustrating but, if I reveal the name of the book, the author will be known and that would dishonor the privacy in which the email was sent to me. You will understand why as this story unfolds.

One of my new year’s resolutions was to be better at practicing what I preach. A manifestation of that commitment was to acknowledge more consistently in writing, or verbally, people who have made a positive mark on my life. Knowing them personally was not a requirement as the internet provides the means to search out and get in touch with most people.

My purpose was to acknowledge their efforts and reassure them that they were clearly making a difference in the world. I have been taken aback by how much this effort has been appreciated. I am convinced more than ever that there is a palpable lack of positive recognition between all of us. In fact, there is a famine of affirmation and compliments.

So back to the email I mentioned in the opening paragraph. It read: “Hi David, what a delight to receive such nice words. I've been a bit lost lately and it really helps to know that I have been of benefit to people. It's easy to forget.”

How can this person be ‘lost’ I thought? Doesn’t he have all the answers? After all, I read and benefit from his wisdom every morning. Of course, I know from my own experience that none of us escapes the storms of life, or even the doldrums where nothing seems to be happening. We wander about not sure if we are going in the right direction or if what we do has any significance or matters.

But then, unexpectedly, words of encouragement, or appreciation, or acknowledgement, or caring, or compassion, or gratitude are expressed by another and aimed at us. Our spirits soar; we sense we are truly valued, that our contribution is important. Life once again shows promise and a light at the end of the tunnel beckons us forward. Our purpose--why we are here--becomes clear.

Who, in your life, deserves to be acknowledged, thanked or recognized? Is it your spouse, partner, child, colleague, friend, a teacher, mail person, doctor, leader? Reach out today, perhaps with a personal note, and let them know how much you appreciate who they are and what they do. Don’t worry about your words being poetic, it is the thought and fact you took action that counts.

Several years ago, I had the privilege of being one of two speakers from the United States to present at a convention in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The other was the iconic, motivational speaker—Zig Ziglar. The audience comprised thirty thousand people and it was held at the famous Maracana Stadium, home of many of the events in the recent Olympics. Unquestionably, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I shall never forget, however, what Zig shared with me: “You never know when one kind act, or one word of encouragement, can change a life forever.”

Breaking News: I just received permission to reveal the name and author of the book:

The Sages Tao Te Ching by William Martin.

Thank you Bill - your generosity is remarkable

Watch the inspirational video--THE PUSH: