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Like father, like daughter

I write letters to my children. Then I stick those letters in envelopes, affix stamps, and mail them to the kids.

It’s fun to get mail, even if it’s from your father, and it’s my chance to say some things that I want them to remember.

Clara mentioned these letters to me this week. She said, “Yeah, I save them all. When I’m feeling down, I take them out and read them. They always make me feel better.”

I couldn’t believe it.

I wrote a whole chapter of my new book, Someday Is Today, on the importance of preserving compliments and messages of kindness and doubling their power whenever possible through a number of strategies that bring those words back to you again and again.

It’s an important concept to understand if you’re looking to increase motivation and your overall sense of well-being.

None of us experience enough kindness in this world. As idyllic as your life might be, we all deserve more positivity in our lives. Compliments and acts of kindness are far too rare in this world.

Even worse, our ancient, hunter-gatherer brains are designed to remember negative experiences far better than positive ones.

Back when negative experiences – a poisonous berry or a hungry lion – could kill you, remembering those negative experiences was incredibly important. Life was brutal and precarious, so being ever vigilant for the multitude of things that could kill you was required for survival.

But the world today is filled with doors and Doritos. Security and sustenance abound. It’s a much safer place for human beings, yet we are still wired to remember that rotten thing a coworker said to us far better and far longer than the compliment offered to us by our neighbor.

Research shows that it takes six positive statements to counteract one negative one. Sadly, very few of us live in a world where this 6:1 ratio is ever achieved.

But perhaps we can get closer by doubling and tripling the power of the positive statements we receive. My book talks about the many ways of doing this.

Little did I know my 13-year-old daughter was already engaging in my strategy. Doubling and tripling the power of the kind words that I send to her through the mail in a simple, proactive, and effective way.

She gets it. I could be happier.

Brilliant girl. Don’t you think?