As part of our LDR100 course, we were assigned a group project called the Fred Factor Project. This project was based on the book Fred Factor written by motivation speaker Mark Sanborn. The book highlights Mark’s experience moving to a new neighborhood and how his mailman (yes, his mailman), Fred, impacted his life. Fred was nothing more than an average mailman except he took his ordinary job and did it extraordinary. this included simple, yet remarkable, things that went far out of his job description. One example of this is Fred delivering a UPS package that was delivered to the wrong house to the correct one. Despite it having nothing to do with his job and even being a totally different delivery company, Fred went out of his way to fix the mistake.
Mark was so taken back by this extraordinary care by his mailman that he wrote Fred Factor. In the book Mark highlights four main points that make someone a ‘Fred’:
- Everyone makes a difference
- Everything is built on relationships
- You must continually create values for others, and it doesn’t have to cost a penny.
- You can reinvent yourself daily
So, for the project, it was our responsibility to do something around campus that made us Freds. For our project, we decided to emphasize gratitude and the impact it has. As our video (click here) highlights, being grateful increases happiness, not only for the person receiving it, but also the person giving it. So we asked a couple random people to write down someone they were thankful for. Then things got interesting, and we asked our participants to call the person they wrote about.
We found that this was often a difficult thing for them to do and that they were often hesitant. However, these calls often brought them and the recipient to tears which made me realize that as easy as it is to give gratitude, so often we don’t do it for whatever reasons. I decided, as a result, that I’m going to be a Fred by showing the gratitude that is so rare and that I’m going to be grateful for those around me and let them know.