I like to send handwritten notes to people. I do it for variety of reasons: a quick thank you, a longer no really, thanks, a glad to have met you, and so on. My mother taught me to write a note anytime I received a gift. I appreciate the notes I get and sometimes frame or display them as a reminder of the consideration and kindness in the world.

During the holidays my children received gifts from family and friends in abundance. My reminder to them to write everybody notes was, as usual, received with less than enthusiasm. They are sincerely appreciative and thankful but want to text, e-mail or call in lieu of putting pen to paper – which to me seems too easy. To be clear, my age is definitely showing. I was raised by the generation who was raised by the generation that thought easy work was not real work. Actually, I have experienced quite the opposite. A difficult task feels easy when I’m in a flow state. Athletes refer to this state as being ‘in the zone’. You know that feeling? When you look up and it’s been two hours and it feels like it’s been five minutes?

I have been working on identifying the circumstances or environment that lead me into a flow state. I did this by journaling a couple times a day and discovered that I go in flow most quickly when I’m moving. So, I’ve added walking as a part of my brainstorming time and as a way to have a meeting; a walking one-on-one with a colleague (at least for me) leaves me energized and focused. The same amount of time sitting at a desk makes me sleepy. I figured out I could put my iPad on the treadmill and do a Skype meeting while 45 minutes or an hour zoomed by. During a recent Skype-while-on-a-treadmill session, we cruised through multiple topics and problem-solved at a quicker pace and with more energy in the conversation. If I were to write a thank you note to flow, it would read something like this:

Dear Flow,

Thank you for your time yesterday. The hour we spent together seemed like just a few minutes because the conversation was so engaging! I am very excited about working with you on a daily basis. You helped me see more clearly the plethora of options we have!

See you soon,

(p.s. If you have a solution for writing a legible thank you note while walking on the treadmill, please forward it!)


– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO