Ray's musings and humor

Thanks for being here

Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Voltaire

! gratitude

This last week and a half has reminded me again of how much I appreciate my wife and lifelong companion. I don’t remember ever being in as much pain or being as debilitated as I have been over these last ten days or more. My wife has been my driver, comfort manager and sympathetic ear and I am truly grateful. I have been reminded again how important it is that we not take those close to us for granted. I know I have not told my wife nearly often enough how much I appreciate her.

What about you, do you keep your gratitude under wraps? I hope not for some day it may be too late. Here is something I got from the Fast Fedora blog that I think we all should heed.

How to Express Appreciation

Do you tell others often how much you appreciate them? Does it come across sincere? I struggled in the past with expressing appreciation. Especially with employees, but also with loved ones, colleagues and even strangers. I aim to get things done. Once I complete a task or project, I’m onto the next one. I used to forget to stop and appreciate the people and things around me. To take a moment and express a heartfelt thanks.

Learn to Appreciate

Everything I read indicated appreciation is both an attitude and a skill. Empty platitudes are meaningless. Therefore, before you can learn how to express appreciation toward others, you must first learn how to feel appreciative. Take these steps to learn to feel appreciation:

Appreciate the world around you – Take a few moments in each day to notice useful or beautiful things around you and smile at them. Imagine what the world would be like without them. Take a deep breath and be thankful for their existence (and keep smiling!).

Express your appreciation of the world to others – Tell a friend how much you appreciate breezy spring days or hot tea in the morning. Learn to verbalize your appreciation.

Practice appreciating yourself – At the end of each day, ask yourself “What can I truly be proud of today?”. Say it aloud or write it down. Practice recognizing in yourself the type of things you want to appreciate in others.

Express appreciation to others – Tell people that you appreciate them and why. If it feels strange, start with people where you have few power dynamics or attachments, then move onto employees, colleagues and loved ones.

Express Your Appreciation – Learning how to appreciate others is only a first step. Sincere appreciation gets amplified when you express it in certain ways.

When expressing appreciation, try to:

Make “I” Statements – Being appreciative is about how you feel, not the other person.  Thus, avoid “you” statements and focus on “I” statements. Tell them how you feel, not what they are. Don’t say “You are so organized”, say “I appreciate you being so organized because it means I can focus on the bigger picture.”

Be Specific – Avoid vague or broad  language. Be specific in what you appreciate. Don’t say “You’re awesome”, say “I appreciate that you’re so punctual.”

Recognize the Exceptions – When someone does something that requires extra effort or under touch circumstances, recognize them for it. Say “I know we had a tight deadline for the proposal, but I appreciate you putting in the extra effort to make sure it got out on time.”

Appreciate the Unexceptional – But appreciate the unexceptional too. Notice when people do things right, and thank them for it. Too often we pay attention only when things go wrong. Be thankful for the good things as well. Imagine what life would be if they weren’t there.

~~~

“Whenever I count my blessings, I find myself becoming more grateful because the good things of life outweigh the not so pleasant things that are happening in my life.”

James Jason

~~~

An insurance salesman was trying to persuade a housewife that she should take out life insurance. “Suppose your husband were to die,” he said, “What would you get?”

The housewife thought for a while, and then said, “Oh, a parrot, I think.  Then the house wouldn’t seem so quiet.”

~~~

I am in shape! ..Round is a shape.

~~~

Two hunters got a pilot to fly them into the far north for elk hunting. They were quite successful in their venture, and bagged six big bucks. The pilot came back as arranged to pick them up. They started loading their gear into the plane, including the six elk. But the pilot objected.  “The plane can take out only four of your elk; you will have to leave two behind,” he stated.

They argued with him; the year before the had shot six and the pilot had allowed them to put all aboard, and the plane was just the same model and capacity as this. Reluctantly the pilot finally permitted them to put all six aboard. But when they attempted to take off and leave the valley where they were, the little plane could not make it, and they crashed in the wilderness.

Climbing out of the wreckage, one hunter said to the other, “Do you know where we are?”

“I think so,” replied the other hunter.  “I think this is about the same place where the plane crashed last year.”

~~~

Our lives would run a lot more smoothly if second thoughts came first.

~~~

“Oh, Laura!” cried her neighbor, “I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband.  He was such a wonderful man.  I’m sure he left you well provided for, didn’t he?”

Laura dabbed at her eyes and muttered, “Yes, he was a very caring husband and he left me almost half a million dollars in his will.  I miss him so much that I’d give fifty thousand just to have him back!”

~~~

No one ever says “It’s only a game,” when their team is winning.

~~~

A magician was working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  The audience would be different each

week, so the magician allowed himself to do the same  tricks over and over again. There was only one problem:  The captain’s parrot saw the shows each week and began to understand how the magician did every trick.  Once he understood he started shouting in the middle of the show:

“Look, it’s not the same hat.”

“Look, he is hiding the flowers under the table.”

“Hey, why are all the cards the Ace of Spades?”

The magician was furious but couldn’t do anything; it was, after all, the captain’s parrot. One day the ship had an accident and sank.  The magician found himself on a piece of wood in the middle of the ocean with the parrot, of course. They stared at each other with hate, but did not utter a word. This went on for a day and another and another.

After a week the parrot said:  “OK, I give up.  Where’s the boat?”

~~~

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

Bessie Stanley

~~~

Stay well, do good work, and have fun.

Ray Mitchell

Indianapolis, Indiana

Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.

Ray’s Daily has been sent for more than fifteen years to people who want to start their day on an upbeat. If you have system overload because of our daily clutter, let me know and I will send you the information via mental telepathy. If you have not been getting our daily you can request to be added by e-mailing me at raykiwsp@gmail.com. Back issues are posted at https://raykiwsp.wordpress.com/ currently there are more than 2000 readers from around the world.

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