People may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel (Carl W. Buechner). Never underestimate the power of a few well chosen words of appreciation in the lives of those people who cross your path.
Appreciation not only encourages and brings out the best in others, it increases our quality of life and results in a significant return on the investment. During one of my hospital stays, I soon learned that nurses would respond to my needs more readily than to the needs of the miserable patient down the hall as long as I was known as “the patient who is easy to look after and shows genuine appreciation.”
Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it (Ralph Marston).
There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread (Mother Teresa of Calcutta).
What does appreciation look like?
- Be interested in the interests of others
- Say thank you
- Catch people doing things right and say something
- Give a genuine compliment
- Be sensitive to people’s needs and offer to help
- Write notes and use words to express appreciation
What are the benefits of showing appreciation?
- You get help faster (remember the nurse?)
- You will feel better emotionally and physically
- You are more likely to forgive (appreciation and bitterness can’t co-exist)
- You brighten up the people around you
- You end up leaving a legacy of hope and optimism
- Those you touch will do better at their job and end up spreading positive feelings
A cousin of appreciation is gratitude. If you are showing appreciation to others you are exercising your gratitude muscle which studies have proven over and over again will have a powerfully and positive impact on your life.
Science Today uncovered some amazing findings on gratitude in an interview with Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and world expert on the study of gratitude.
The advantages of grateful people [GP] (based on Emmons research):
- GP report fewer illness symptoms
- GP feel better about their lives as a whole
- GP are more optimistic about the future
- GP tend to be more satisfied
- GP tend to do good things including acts of generosity
- GP are more compassionate
- GP are more pro-social
- GP are more stress-resilient
When facing a serious life situation, people who are grateful BEFORE a traumatic event…
- Recover faster
- Are less bothered by the negative emotional symptoms of a traumatic event
- Have a perspective which helps them interpret life events more effectively
Cultivating a spirit and disposition of gratitude and appreciation during a time of peace and prosperity will better prepare you for a traumatic event. It will develop the muscles that will work to find hope in adversity and opportunity amidst difficulty.
Gratitude after all isn’t something we are born with but is something we choose to develop!
On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “I’m a whiner” and 10 being “I’m an appreciation champion”, how would you rate yourself?
Who can you appreciate today that will ensure you leave an appreciation legacy for tomorrow?
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