The Berbers aren’t the only L3-ers making headlines lately! Those of you who were in Asheville were privileged to see Walter Green speak about his new book “This is the Moment,” about his journey of gratitude. The recently released book is available nationally, as well as in India, Australia, and England. Most recently, he was featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, as seen below. Congratulations, Walter on the success of your book!
Walter Green reaches out to 44 people who made a difference in his life
The retired Rancho Santa Fe corporate CEO has just made the spiritual journey of a lifetime.
He dedicated one year to saying thank you to people who have made a difference in his life, and he’s urging others to do the same.
“I discovered gold on this journey, so I’m just sharing it,” said Green, 71, who refers to himself as refocused in life, not retired.
“My hope is to awaken people to the logic of expressing your feelings to others while they’re still alive and well, so there will be no painful regrets later.”
When Green was 17, his father suddenly died of a heart attack, leaving many things unsaid between them.
Likewise, he was deeply affected by the passing of NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert at age 58. Here was a respected journalist, remembered by world leaders and a “Who’s Who” of political and news celebrities, yet Russert couldn’t witness any of their accolades.
“If it’s so important at the end of life to send a message, why not now?” asks Green. “After all, people can’t listen to their own eulogy.”
He started by making a list of people who have inspired him, counseled him and made an impact on his major decisions. He came up with 44, ranging in age from 28 to 87. Eight were family members, several had been his advisers and three were people he had mentored over the years.
He jotted down bullet points on why each person was important to him.
One by one, he set up appointments. Then he began a series of visits that took him beyond California to Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Canada and even Kenya.
The visits also took him into his own neighborhood and, in the case of his wife, Lola, into his own home.
“I will remember that day vividly for the rest of my life,” says Lola, “it created such an indelible bond between us.”
Green didn’t want to just say, “Thanks.” He wanted to explain in a meaningful way why that person, whether intentionally or not, had changed his life.
He met them in a quiet place, without distractions, and recorded the conversations. Afterward, Green summarized his thoughts in a 120-word letter. He then sent each friend the framed letter along with the recording on CD and a photo of the two of them.
“The first thing people ask me is: ‘Are you OK’? ‘Are you dying?’” Green stresses that he is the picture of health.
He was inspired by the stories of terminally ill people recounted in such books as “The Last Lecture,” “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and “Chasing Daylight: How my Forthcoming Death Transformed my Life.” But these writings also taught him that these things need to be said while people are healthy, not on their death beds.
His project started as a very private, personal journey. As word spread, however, a Carlsbad book publisher got wind of his mission and convinced him to write his thanksgiving recipe so that others could follow in his footsteps.
He did, and just released the book: “This is the Moment! How One Man’s Yearlong Journey Captured the Power of Extraordinary Gratitude.”
“I never intended to write a book,” Green says, “but it was such a powerful message, it needed to be conveyed.”
He convinced his publisher, Hay House, to add a blank gold page at the book’s beginning so gift givers could write their own words of thanks and appreciation to a recipient.
“You are either going to give your gift,” says Green, “or it’s going to stay in the closet gathering dust and never be given.”