DID YOU APPRECIATE SOMEONE TODAY?
One of the biggest complaints teenagers have about their parents (or teachers) goes something like this: ”My parents (or teachers) never seem to notice when I do something right, but they never fail to tell me when I’ve done something wrong!”
Here is the irony. — Adults in the workplace have exactly the same grievance! David Stuart and Todd Nordstrom, researchers at the O.C. Tanner Institute, after combing through several workplace surveys and studies from around the world, tell us that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving!
The need for genuine appreciation and validation is obviously a deep and universally human one. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey talked about this in a commencement speech she gave at Harvard a few years ago:
“I have to say that the single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people was that there’s a common denominator in our human experience….The common denominator that I found in every single interview is we want to be validated. We want to be understood.
I’ve done over 35,000 interviews in my career. And as soon as that camera shuts off, everyone always turns to me and inevitably, in their own way, asks this question: “Was that OK?” I heard it from President Bush. I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. We all want to know one thing: “Was that OK?” “Did you hear me?” “Do you see me?” “Did what I say mean anything to you?”
To validate and understand others is the best way of appreciating them. One of the dictionary definitions of “appreciation“ is “an increase in value.” When we appreciate others, we literally increase their value in their own eyes, and ours, too.
It is important to remember, though, that there is a difference between recognition and appreciation. Recognition is performance-based, so it’s conditional. Appreciation, on the other hand, is about acknowledging a person’s inherent worth as a human being. Simply put, recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.
Let’s begin by noticing people and pay attention to the good in them. Once we do that, we will find enough and more to appreciate in them. But it’s not enough to simply notice their good qualities, we also need to tell them what those are, and be sincere and specific while doing so.
Appreciate someone today, preferably someone you have not appreciated in a while. You’ll be glad you did. Do let us know how it went! We would love to hear from you.
Have a great week!
The Second Look …
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.
So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”
With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.
He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oh, brother!
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why, he didn’t even show any gratitude!
She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.
She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.
If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.
— ’The Cookie Thief’ by Valerie Cox
We chuckle as we read this poem, because we have all been in that place of ’rightness’ … till we realized we were completely mistaken! It’s a humbling moment when that happens, but also a strangely liberating one if we choose to learn from it.
There is great value in taking a second look at things, especially when we find ourselves getting triggered by our strong opinions and emotions.
It has been correctly said that those who jump to conclusions often make a bad landing. — The second look is the ’parachute’ that keeps us from doing so.
Have you taken a second look lately? How has that made things better? Do tell us about it. We would love to hear from you!
Have a great week!
HOW OLD ARE YOU?
It’s a straightforward question, isn’t it? Or is it? We all know our chronological age, but how old we feel psychologically can be a very different matter. There are some days we walk with a spring in our step and other days when we feel weary and worn.
In 1914, Dr. Frank Crane penned deeply thought-provoking words on the subject, in a New Mexico newspaper. Over a hundred years later, these thoughts remain just as relevant and life-giving…
‘Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin; but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear, and despair—these are the things that bow the heart and turn the spirit back to dust.
Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart, the lure of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars, and at starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing, childlike appetite for what next, and the joy of the game of living.
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt;
As young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear;
As young as your hope, as old as your despair.
In the central place of your heart is an evergreen tree; its name is Love. So long as it flourishes you are young. When it dies, you are old. In the central place of your heart, there is also a receiving station. As long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, you are young. But when the central place of your heart gets covered with the snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism. then you are old.”
Have a great week! And may you stay forever young!