Interview With the Creator of ~ The Note Project
Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 8 of the Virtual Blog Tour for Mike O’Mary, Creator of The Note Project. The Note Project is a free, global movement aiming to make the world a million times better by inspiring 1 million people to write a note of appreciation to someone who made a difference in their lives.
Yesterday, Mike visited Schall Adams at http://www.seriousfunradio.com/2011/04/the-note-project/ on what this is, making a world a better place, relationships in appreciation and how one participates.
Today, I’d like to share with you an interview I had with Mike on starting of Note Project; appreciation/gratitude can change a person’s quality of life and is writing thank-you cards lost. I hope you enjoy it.
Jaki: Can you tell me more about how the Note Project got started, not just the “sentence” type details – but the way it made you feel, the passion, the possibility…
Mike O’Mary: It was (and is) very exciting to start the Note Project. I used to hear people around me say things like, “There isn’t enough time in the day!” And I’d say, “What, are you nuts? There’s plenty of time. I’m going to take a nap!” Then the inspiration for the Note Project came to me, and now I know what those other people were talking about. When you’re doing something that you believe in and feel passionate about, there definitely is not enough time in the day. But that’s okay, because I love what I’m doing.
I remember the day the idea for the Note Project came to me. It was more than a year ago. At that point, it had been several years since I received the note of appreciation from my sister that led to the project. Prior to that, I had written a newspaper article about that note and the story behind it. I later wrote a book called The Note. The first half of the book tells more about the note from my sister and our family, and the second half discusses the importance of sharing appreciation, why people don’t do it, why they should, and then step-by-step how to write a heartfelt note of appreciation (along with examples). I did all of that in the interest of spreading the word about the importance of appreciation and with the hope that my story would inspire others.
Then one day I was talking with Michael McMillan, an author, motivational speaker and long-time friend. We were kicking around ideas on how to further share this message of appreciation. That’s when the idea for the Note Project came to me. At first I was thinking in terms of asking people to pledge to write a note a week – which would be a great thing! But then I decided to keep it simple and just ask people to pledge to send a single note. That’s enough to get the ball rolling. And it’s the possibility that ball could roll and grow and end up involving 1 million people or more that gets me excited and gives me the energy to work on the project – even if it means missing a few naps!
Jaki: Do you believe that appreciation/gratitude can change a person’s quality of life?
Mike O’Mary: Absolutely. Sharing appreciation is great for the people around you, because they are going to feel more appreciated. But it’s also great for you. When you actively look for things to appreciate about other people, you will realize that you are surrounded by wonderful people. Many of them have been there all along – you just needed to open your eyes and be open to seeing and appreciating the people around you. Your ability to appreciate the good in other people will bring out the best in them, and new people will be attracted to the positive energy around you. You end up being surrounded by even more positive people – people who are doing good and meaningful things with their lives and helping others do the same. Those are the kind of people you want to be around.
Jaki: Do you think that in this day and age the art of writing thank you notes has been lost? Do you feel that the Note Project will help to improve not only the quality of people’s lives but literacy as well?
Mike O’Mary: I do think that the art of writing thank you notes is being lost. The reality is that people don’t write as many letters as they used to. That’s largely because we have so many other options available to us when it comes to saying “thank you.” We can send e-mail and e-cards, or a text or a tweet, or even a JibJab card! The art of actually sitting down and writing a note to somebody is being lost. But it’s not gone, and it’s not hard to do. Just keep it simple and write from the heart. There are tips and examples on NoteProject.com, and even a $1.00 Note Project Starter Kit (part of the proceeds go to promote literacy) to help you if you need help getting started.
On the second part of your question, I believe very strongly that the Note Project is going to enrich the lives of everyone who receives a note of appreciation and of everyone who writes a note. The project is also going to improve literacy, maybe in some small measure by encouraging people to write more notes of appreciation, but probably more so because I have promised to make donations to 12 literacy projects in 12 countries over the next 12 months. The people organizing those projects are out there really making a difference in people’s lives. I want to use the Note Project to help publicize their efforts and to generate some financial support for them, too.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Mike O’Mary and that you’ll check out The Note Project at http://noteproject.com/launch/pages/ekit.html