10 Powerful Truths About Appreciation
There are two things people want more than sex and money: recognition and praise. ~Mary Kay Ash
I was recently blessed with a wonderful gift from someone very dear. I was given a copy of “The Simple Truths of Appreciation,” written by Barbara Glanz. It’s a great little 94-page book full of powerful reminders about valuing ourselves and others. Barbara has filled the book with heartwarming anecdotes drawn from her life and work, all testaments to lives changed by gracious acts of appreciation no one had to make.
I said I was blessed to receive the book. Why? After all, I’ve had thousands of hours of leadership training, and many more in experience. I know my faith’s teachings about joy, encouragement, and edification. And, I genuinely care about the lives of the people I know and with whom I work.
I was blessed because someone took the time to mail me a book from their personal collection, with a note, simply because they wanted me to know I am appreciated. I’ve been traveling a great deal more than usual, and it exhausts me. It hurts. It increases my total body pain. Yet, receiving the book and the note brightened my day. And, my day brightens each time I see the book on my desk or pick it up to re-read it.
I encourage you to pick up a copy of Barbara’s book and read it. Then, do what it says! I’d love to hear how the book impacts your life, so please leave me a comment below.
- Everyone wants appreciation (and needs it!). We all thrive when we feel valued and appreciated, and we want to know our lives have meaning and touch others. Little does more damage to self-esteem, productivity, and health than to spend days feeling undervalued or unappreciated.
- Your act needn’t be big or elaborate. You don’t have to rent the huge flatpanel in Times Square to send your message (but it would be impressive!). A quiet, sincere thank you in person or by phone speaks volumes. A simple hand-written note expressing your appreciation has the potential to become a cherished memento.
- It should be personal. An impersonal act of recognition is an oxymoron. It’s paradoxical. One person expressing sincere appreciation or gratitude to another is a personal act. Treat it like one by personalizing the message or gift, relate it to your sense of appreciation or gratitude, and express yourself.
- Use your creativity. There are countless ways to express appreciation creatively. The act of personalization will make apparent the right ones for you and the recipient.
- Surprises are good. Everyone (well, nearly everyone) loves happy surprises. It could be as simple as an unexpected note of appreciation, or as elaborate as you care to make it.
- Sincerity counts. Nothing will spoil the joy of the recipient as quickly as the sense that your act of appreciation was done from a sense of obligation or to gain favor. Put yourself into the expression and mean it.
- Plan. It’s easy to forget to appreciate people, especially when we get busy. Put a reminder on your calendar (and not the kind of reminder you ignore because you see it all the time). Keep a list (Evernote is good for this). Pick a consistent day of the week that’s your day to include time to meet, call, or write people you want to show appreciation.
- Give from your heart. Show appreciation in a way that demonstrates your caring involvement. Let your thanks demonstrate you really care and have paid attention to the needs of the recipient.
- Make it memorable. Sometimes, bigger is better. But, bigger doesn’t have to equal expensive. For something to be memorable, it needs to be 1) personal to the recipient, 2) meaningful in a lasting way, 3) something that stands out from normal activities.
- You’ll get more than you give. This doesn’t work if return-on-investment is your goal. But, I doubt you’d have read this far if that was your mindset. Most of us have been taught that giving is better than receiving. The only people I’ve ever met who don’t believe this are unfortunate souls who only give so that they may receive. It doesn’t work that way. People who give out of the abundance of their hearts do receive many times their gifts in return. They receive joy, gladness, and appreciation themselves. Not surprisingly, they also tend to experience less physiological damage from stress.
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now…for I shall not pass this way again. ~Etienne de Grillet
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