Gratitude: One of the Greatest Investments We Often Overlook

 How many times have we heard the phrase, “Before it’s too late?” Yet, we neglect to take action until it really is too late to go back in time and change our decision. One might call this phenomenon a definition of regret. 

For many, regret appears unexpectedly when a loved one passes away, and we are left with the untold words, stories, and expressions of gratitude for the impact they had on our lives. We invest countless hours in preparing for the future, getting our financial affairs in order, and making sure our family is taken care of. However, I believe there is one investment that often goes unnoticed. The investment is simple, free, and can be the missing ingredient to every important relationship we have in our lives. It’s the immeasurable value of gratitude.

It’s incredible to me that people can be so important to us in our lives, and we wait until they die to honor and express our profound gratitude to them. This has perplexed me for years. It’s the way we have always done things so why would we change? It has led me to discover a foundational idea that has become a movement for which I have aptly named “Say It Now.” 

As you think about what it means to plan for the future, I believe this may give you a new perspective on how you invest your time today to receive powerful dividends in the years to come.

I have attended numerous memorial services and celebrations of life and was struck by the beauty of the tributes but even more so by the realization that the person in the casket being honored never heard a word of it. I did not want that to be the fate of those who had impacted my life. So, for my 70th birthday, I visited 44 people that year, sitting down with each individual to tell them how they’ve impacted my life. These were living tributes where the words and stories that would normally be shared after they had passed were now being received and experienced right in front of them. Not only were they able to benefit from learning about the profound impact they had on me, I, too, was able to feel immense joy and peace knowing I would not live with regret having not told them how I felt. This is the dividend that never stops paying simply by “saying it now.”

Can you think of someone who has had a significant impact on your life, and is still alive? If something happened to them unexpectedly, would you have any regrets for things you haven’t said? Now imagine what it would feel like if you did a “Say it Now” living tribute for this person.

It was William James, widely regarded as the Founder of American Psychology, who said that: "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated." Our impact on others is often unknown to us, so if someone doesn’t express it, we will never know its value. 

Regret may be that one liability that we have the power to eliminate. And gratitude—it may be one of the single greatest investments we make, but frequently overlook. Just remember this as you think about the loved ones in your own life… It’s often too late, but never too soon to “say it now.”

For more information on how to bring “Say It Now” to your family, community, or company, visit our resources and stories at


Walter Green was CEO/Chairman of Harrison Conference Services, a leader in the development and management of executive conference centers.  Since selling his company 25 years ago, he has invested his time and resources in nonprofits and mentoring young adults.  He was the author of, This Is the Moment…How One Man’s Yearlong Journey Captured the Power of Extraordinary Gratitude and in 2023, launched the global movement called Say it Now.

Apella Capital, LLC (“Apella”), DBA Apella Wealth is an investment advisory firm registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm only transacts business in states where it is properly registered or excluded or exempt from registration requirements. Registration of an investment adviser does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission. Apella Wealth provides this communication as a matter of general information. Any data or statistics quoted are from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed or warranted. Apella Wealth does not provide tax or legal advice and nothing either stated or implied here should be inferred as providing such advice.

Content written by Walter Green. Apella Wealth is not affiliated with Walter Green and the Say It Now Movement.

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