It was the best feeling in the world. I felt so good that night that my soul, it seemed to fly around that night as I flew that night.
— Keller Williams, Best Feeling
Whenever someone takes the time to tell me that something I’ve written has had a positive effect on them, I feel proud. It makes me feel great knowing that what I’m writing is not only being read by others, but that it’s influencing how they live their lives. To me, there’s no better feeling. I write back saying “Hey thanks for letting me know!” and then proceed to print out their message and hang it up in my office.
I do this because the feeling that I get when I read these messages is so encouraging, that I want to make sure I save it so that I can re-read it again. Whenever I’m unsure if what I’m writing is worthwhile, I convince myself that it must be considering everyone’s positive reactions. Here are some examples of the messages people have sent me that are hanging on my wall:
Your articles are inspiring and encouraging to me. Just thought I’d let you know that I believe you are touching the lives of other people in an amazing way. I’m not sure if that is a goal of yours as a writer, but if it isn’t it is something you can add to the list and check off as accomplished. Thank you for your advice and life lessons, they are well taught.
Short, sweet, and very kind. Still, despite being relatively short, I can’t help but think that somebody took the time out of their lives to reach out and say “What you’re doing is great.” I appreciate it. Here’s another:
I’ve never written a fan letter, but your blog has filled me with a sense of joy and relief these last two days and I’d like to send a little gratitude your way. I discovered your blog yesterday by googling something like “work despair” (wait, I actually googled “to quit or not to quit”), just to see what I’d find and perhaps alleviate some work-related boredom (and yes, despair). What I found is a blog that has provided me with encouragement and logical steps to improving my life.
Yesterday I not only learned that you overcame a fear of the unknown and a job that was not providing you with a sense of fulfillment, but I read how you achieved your goals (oh, and I learned that it’s important to actually set goals). I also read about how you moved past a gambling addiction (I’m in AA, so I relate in my own way), moved far from home to live with Cassie — not knowing if that would be one of those stereotypical ill-fated decisions that we so often make for love. Today I found out that Cassie was diagnosed with cancer, but has successfully come out the other side, which was celebrated with what looked like a blast of a cruise (I’m not the cruise type, so it’s amazing how much I enjoyed seeing your experience). Your writing has quickly endeared yourself to me almost as though I’ve known you for years. I guess I just wanted to let you know that I love your straightforward and charming writing, as well as your ability to impart a simple joie de vivre on this reader.
She loves my writing and finds my stories endearing. My god, how will I ever fit through my front door with the big head that she’s given me! Finally, here is a man who told me his life’s story, after I thanked him for donating to LifeReboot:
I should be thanking you.
Over two years ago I came across your article “10 Reasons It Doesn’t Pay to be the Computer Guy.” I felt as though I was reading something I had written myself, it was that dead on accurate for me. I remember printing it out and sticking it on the wall of my tiny 1 bedroom apartment. Reading about your history I see a lot of myself in you. We are around the same age and I too grew up involved in computers and technology. I was always the “computer guy” and I loved it as a hobby. Everyone (including me) naturally assumed that it was my course in life to pursue a career in that field.
Specifically I wanted to be involved in Network Administration. I had learned a lot from my home network and even involved myself in my high school’s network, doing system upgrades, managing switches, AD migration, etc. It was my dream to have a job in this field and I had such high expectations of how great it would be.
Fast forward a few years later, I had that job and I was the sole network admin for a government agency department of 75 users. It was great for the first few months but after a couple years working there, like you, I had run out of new or interesting things to learn. On top of that, every single item on your list of 10 things was eating at the core of my soul. My relationships with “friends” and co-workers only revolved around me supporting their computer issues. It was the same nonsense day in and day out. I know you understand what I mean. Even though everyone there loved me and I had received a promotion & pay raise, I was still miserable.
Then one day I came across your article. I remember thinking how this was my exact same situation. It started a spark of thought in my mind. I remember thinking that perhaps this life of the “computer guy” was not for me. So I secretly developed a plan to “reboot” my life, like you call it. I told absolutely no one of my intentions, because I did not want anyone to try and dissuade me from what I wanted to do. 3 months later the big day came and I walked into my boss’s office and handed in my letter of resignation. He was in absolute shock. When I got home I handed in my notice of intention to vacate my apartment. I packed my things, got in my car, and moved out of the city and into a place in the country where I always wanted to live. I had pulled the trigger and rebooted my life. When family, friends, and co-workers found out about this they went nuts. My whole life had revolved around other people’s opinions of me and what I did, like you, was influenced by their opinions. Not this time…
Fast forward to today. I’ve put my “computer guy” past behind me and I’m enjoying my new life. I redirected my computer talents into a field where I did not have to deal with any “users” or provide support: Internet Marketing. I’ve done really well and in 2009 I bought my first house and even my dream car. Most of all I’m living the kind of life I want to live and working from home. I’m really glad I listened to myself for a change and took the huge risk to reboot my life.
The reason I sent you that donation yesterday was because it was the 2 year anniversary of my “life reboot.” Yesterday when I noticed the date I started reflecting on this event. I remember your article and how it had started the change in my thinking, so I jumped on google and found your site. I re-read your material and some new stuff, saw the donation button and figured, boy does this guy deserve a donation. I hope you can use it for something good.
I really hope you do pursue your career as a writer. I can tell you that your article really had an impact on my life and changed it for the better. Good luck to you in the future and thanks for much for doing what you do!
According to this reader, I sparked an enormous change in his life! It’s unbelievable!
Reading through all of these positive messages puts me in a mindset that’s hard to describe. It’s a powerful feeling that is a blend of being happy, being content, and being overwhelmed with joy. Put simply, there’s no better feeling than knowing that what I’m doing matters. It makes me proud to get confirmation that what I’m doing is having an impact.
With this in mind, I want to take this opportunity to thank you.
Thank you, everyone. Thanks for everything.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for sending me messages describing how the things I’m writing are having an impact on your life. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for the donations and support. Thanks for subscribing. Thanks for sharing what I’ve written with others. Thanks for linking to me. Thanks for offering to write guest post for LifeReboot, or for asking me to write a guest post in your blog. Thanks for giving my writings meaning.
Thanks for making the time that I’ve invested here time well spent — it makes the process more rewarding, and the task worth doing. Thank you for helping to inspire me to keep writing. You’ve caused me to create something much bigger than me, and for that I am truly grateful.
Thanks, everyone, again. Thanks for making my day every time I think about how people want to read what I’ve written — it really is the best feeling in the world.
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