My name is Andrew and I’m the founder of Tribute.co. We’re on a mission to spread gratitude in the world, but more specifically, gratitude for the people who make our lives awesome – moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends, significant others and co-workers.
Gratitude was not a major part of my life until the summer of 2013, when my girlfriend Miki gave me the most meaningful gift I have ever received.
When I got home on the night of my 26th birthday I was bombarded with my closest family members and friends throwing me a surprise party, but that wasn’t the best part. Miki surprised me by pulling out a projector, putting the image on the wall, and hitting play. What I didn’t know was that she had contacted 25 of my closest friends and family members and asked them each to send her a one-minute video telling me why they love me. She collected all the videos and compiled them into a single montage. I sat there for twenty minutes crying tears of joy as I watched the video. I felt more connected to my community than I had in my entire life. I felt more seen, cared about, and loved than ever before.
After hearing how difficult it was for Miki to create the video, I had the realization that everyone should be able to feel as appreciated and as valued as I did at that moment, and the only reason more people didn’t receive this powerful gift was because of how difficult it was to create. In that moment, I decided to build Tribute. Tribute is our technology platform that automates the process of collecting these meaning videos and compiling them into a single gratitude-filled montage that you can give to the people you care about, on any occasion.
Gratitude Does More than Make Us Feel Warm and Fuzzy
Gratitude is proven to boost our overall health as well as our emotional well-being. Research from The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley and several other sources have shown that practicing gratitude heightens our immune system to fight illness, decreases blood pressure, and lowers our risk of depression.
Gratitude also improves our relationships, and great friends aren’t just nice to have, but are an essential component to a full, rewarding life. In Harvard’s 75-year study on Adult Development, the Director of the study, Dr. Waldinger proclaimed front and center, “The clearest message we got from this study is that good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”
Sharing gratitude = More gratitude and better friends
Sharing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to reinforce our important social ties, and it shifts our focus from what our lives lack, to the abundance that is already present and most importantly to those loved ones who are present for us.
- Sharing our gratitude with someone allows the recipient to recognize their own value. That person gets to see the specific virtues and characteristics that we often deny to ourselves because of the internal critic and self defeating internal dialogue with which so many of us struggle.
- Expressing gratitude amplifies our own appreciation. Research shows that sharing our gratitude for others out loud increases our overall feelings of gratitude and contentment.
- When we share our appreciation with someone, that person is more likely to share gratitude with someone in their direct, and even indirect social circles. So sharing your gratitude is literally creating a never-ending “gratitude loop.”
Two techniques to actively share gratitude
- I love you, because…
Robert Cialdini is the author of Influence, one of the seminal books on communication and persuasion. In his book, he talks about how “it is is not our statement of love that impacts the recipient, it is our explanation of it.”
When we say I love you, it is an important and meaningful statement, but it is actually when we take time to qualify our love with an explanation that the true authenticity and thought comes through.
- I love you, because you make me the best version of myself
- I love you, because you make me laugh harder than anyone else
- I love you, because you were the only friend that showed up to help me move
Next time you want to say “I love you,” take the time to bridge it with a “because” and watch what happens!
- If you have anything nice to say…
Remember that adage we all heard a million times growing up, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
At Tribute, we realized that this statement has exponentially more impact if you take out the two “don’ts.” It then becomes, “If you have anything nice to say, say it all.”
That simple message will transform the way you bring gratitude into your life and connect with people.
- When you see someone who looks nice, tell them
- When someone makes you happy, let them know
- When you feel love for someone, share it…with a “because!”
We couldn’t be more excited than to have the opportunity to partner with the Gratefulness.org team and luminaries from around the globe to create a Tribute for Brother David Steindl-Rast’s 90th birthday this year! Brother David has inspired millions of people, and we know that this Tribute, which will live on the Gratefulness.org website, will be one of the most powerful we have ever created.