Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's Day Secrets

By: Joseph Norman

“But I shall let it remain a secret for ever, since it should not be written of: the most delightful and choicest pleasure is that which is hinted at, but never told.” - Chretien de Troyes

Valentine’s Day is a special day for lovers and a scary day for singles. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that millions of women are freaking out right now because Valentine’s Day is a very big deal to them. Even for men, it’s an easy day to feel loved or lonely.

This life we live is about feelings, emotions, and experiences and words don’t always do them justice. But, I’m going to try for you today because I think there are some important things we can take from the legendary experience of a Valentine’s Day lived well.

My thoughts today stem from the fact that everybody deserves and desires to feel appreciated. We all want to be loved and feel loved. It’s human nature to want that. The beauty of this fact is that recognition, a form of appreciation, is a harmless strain of vanity. It’s a gift we can freely give to lift people up and raise them to new heights.

There are three keys to making someone really feel special this Valentine’s Day; be creative, be mysterious, and be authentic.

Be creative. Do something different. Break the routine. Play a song that reminds you of them on their voice mail. Make a card instead of buying one. Don’t go out for a romantic dinner at some fancy restaurant; instead try creating your own atmosphere in your own place with music and food you both like. Make a short, funny movie together which expresses your appreciation for a mutual friend. The possibilities are endless, so be original with your creation!

Be mysterious. What is it about the “secret admirer” situation that drives us completely mad? The beauty is in the mystery. Who could it be? What is it about you that inspired their sudden attention? Try flattering someone with a random act of kindness. Anonymously send them a note with an honest compliment. Then a few days later, if you want to, let them in on the secret of who sent it. Instill a hint of mystery in your interactions of appreciation with the people in your life.

Be authentic. Whatever you say or do this week to make someone feel special, make sure it comes from a place of honesty. Hollow words are the easiest to see through. Be genuine with your actions and words as that will enable you to make the greatest impact. And, that’s what the spirit of this day is all about, making an impact on someone you value having in your life.

But, why do we have to wait until Valentine’s Day to let the people in our life know we appreciate them? We don’t and that’s our challenge to you now that you’re armed with some knowledge about how to make a deep impact on the people around you. Spread it around all year. Even if it is just a genuine smile and a silent blessing of good will, make it a goal to brighten one person’s day, everyday.

The secret of living is giving. Imagine what our community in Western New York would be like if everyone took just a few minutes everyday to make someone feel appreciated. That’s a place I’d be proud to call home.