Being appreciated, maybe even more than being loved, and being acknowledged is an uplifting experience even when you are down. When someone loves you they have a compulsion to appreciate you and maybe their unconditional bias turns mediocre into grand. That is what is wonderful about love but when someone expresses thanks and recognition for something you did or attempted there is an unrequited gratitude that buoys the spirits. If I recognize how remarkable this makes me feel as a receiver then why am I so stingy as a giver? When someone, outside my intimate and personal circle, does something that improves my/our world what holds me back from expressing esteem and admiration? There is probably some deep seated childhood memory that compounds my other pathologies and inhibits my ability to express simple and sincere gratitude. Too much baggage there, but the theme of the day is appreciation and so I do.
Thanks and congratulations to the team at Alzheimer Calgary for holding the 26th Annual Thanksgiving Run despite the wintery weather. Thanks for the enthusiasm. smiles, cheering and crazy warmup. Three cheers for all those who turned out to run and walk in support of people living with Alzheimer and all those who made donations to support the runners fundraising efforts. The team of first aid volunteers and the massage students deserve a big round of applause for stepping up and handle the aches and pains from a slippery track. Two event sponsors deserve special recognition; Investors Group (Title Sponsor) and Save-On-Foods (Lunch provider) – Thanks for sharing your financial and human resources to make the day complete.
While I didn’t set a personal best, special thanks to the young lad, in lime green, that kept me pacing to within 8 seconds of my best time. Your steady stride and young age were enough of a motivation to keep these old legs churning.
The them for today is appreciation – don’t be stingy. Tell someone you don’t know well what they did well.
Make Today Thankful,
As you continue to spend time in breathing practice, it is time to begin appreciation practice. Appreciation has a couple of meanings, both of which are important; a fully and deep understanding of the situation and the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.
“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.”
~ Joseph Addison
Again,I remind you that first steps are hard to take even when they may not be difficult to do. Today you take a second step towards hope and possibility.
To begin, I am not asking you to be grateful or express gratitude, not yet. This exercise is about understanding and recognition. It is a head practice not a heart (that will come later). Today we begin training our senses; sight, hearing, taste, touch to fully understand what is in front of us.
- grab a pen and paper. you will need this every morning
- take 5 minutes to consider one aspect of your life – emotional, relational, financial …
- in more than 5 and less than 15 words meaningfully describe reality (as you currently see it) of the situation
- find at least one good quality in the situation and write it in ALL CAPS
- Repeat the good quality three times and repeat it again throughout the day
- Repeat tomorrow
That’s it a second step taken. Your commitment to changing your life has begun. You have started taking control. Mediocrity and misery won’t like what you are doing so be mindful that they may go on the offensive and try sabotage your steps. When you feel the challenge pressing – breathe and repeat the ALL CAPS good quality three times.
Step 3, tomorrow,
Do you hear that many times every day? Once a day? A week? Never?
Are you appreciated for your efforts and contributions? Do you feel appreciated? Do you deserve to be appreciated?
There is no substitute for being appreciated and acknowledged. Margie Warrell says “It’s not about being ‘needy’ but simply feeling appreciated. There’s a distinct difference. In my work in organizations and in my life beyond it, I’ve yet to meet a person who felt over-encouraged, over-appreciated or over-praised. I do however, regularly encounter people who feel just the opposite. In fact, when running leadership programs, one of the most popular exercises is focused on giving and receiving acknowledgement and praise. So many… too many… people feel like their effort isn’t acknowledged and go to work everyday starved for appreciation. It’s not because they’re insecure or needy. It’s because they are human. ”
Daniel Pink has based a couple of books on the idea that once you meet the financial needs then autonomy, mastery and purpose are far greater motivators and satisfiers. Most people need to hear how the are becoming masters and filling a greater purpose. Performance reviews aren’t enough. Spontaneous, sincere praise should be part of all our days – both receiving and giving. Maybe it is a culture piece – if someone is recognizing the effort and results of others it might become contagious. Are you willing to be that someone all this week?
Go ahead, you are doing great.
Make Today Remarkable, for a colleague,