January 21, 2021
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”
Ray’s Daily first published on January 21, 2009
I had breakfast with a friend the other day who heads a major arts organization. He, like others with similar responsibilities has the job of leading and motivating a group of artists on the performing side and administrators on the business side. Each group is dependent on the other for the organization to succeed and yet as is so often the case many do not understand or place value on the role of others in the organization. Sadly when we don’t understand or place value on the work of others we have a tendency to fall back on status, seniority, and many times a false sense of superiority. Fortunately my friend has the skill and temperament to make sure everyone is recognized and that their work is valued. In my experience the best way to bring people together is to publicly appreciate what they do so all can see how winning comes from the joint effort of good people.
If you are like I am you find it too easy to take for granted those who perform with competence day after day, people who are always there and who always make our lives just a little bit easier. I need to frequently stop and recommit myself to recognize the things that people do and let them know that I appreciate them. When I do let people know that I value them I find that they respond positively to knowing that I appreciate what they do. Unfortunately I find many, if not more people seem to concentrate on finding fault than on recognizing the good in others.
Here is what personal coach Carolyn B. Ellis suggests we can do to reap the rewards that come from appreciating others:
Appreciation is an underutilized yet hugely valuable ingredient in successful relationships. Wondering how to get into the groove of appreciation? Here are the seven strategies I call the “Appreciation A-B-Cs” to get you off to a great start. Each of these strategies is simple and effective, whether you’re in a relationship or not.
1. Keep Your Appreciation Simple. — Your verbal statements of appreciation to another don’t have to be fancy or long. Try a simple “I appreciate you for ____…” to get you started.
2. Speak from Your Heart, not Your Head. — Don’t think too much! Your most effective guide is your heart, not your head. Take a moment to breathe, visualize your heart, and let the words flow from there.
3. Keep It Up. — Expressing appreciation on a regular basis is more effective than going on a binge one day and then dropping into radio silence for the next two weeks. Set some simple goals like expressing one heart-felt appreciation to your partner each day. Giving and receiving appreciation may feel awkward initially, just like a muscle that hasn’t been called upon for a while. Simply keep up your efforts and soon it’ll become a natural and effortless habit.
4. Cover All the Bases. — Once you start looking, there are so many things you will realize you appreciate in the people in your life! Look at what they do, how they communicate, how they look, how you relate to each other. Look for things to appreciate and you’ll start to find them.
5. Don’t Let Just Words Do the Talking. — Appreciation doesn’t always need to be verbal. Play with nonverbal appreciation as well, such as leaving unexpected notes in lunch bags or briefcases, flowers, and other small acts of kindness.
6. Who to Appreciate. — Loved ones, family, and friends are clear candidates for receiving appreciation. How about your coworkers or employees? Why not expand your horizons to include your hairdresser or the check-out clerk at the grocery store? Appreciate your home, the city you live in, or your health. Expanding your list of whom and what you appreciate will help you to live in an “attitude of gratitude,” which will help you keep centered and open, better able to take on any challenges that might still be in front of you.
7. Appreciate Yourself. — Do you ever find yourself in need of appreciation? I always encourage my clients to start by appreciating themselves first. It’s amazing what wonders doing 10 written self-appreciations every day can do for your spirit!
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read.
You’ve seen those ads on TV promising amazing results from all sorts of contraptions. Well, there’s no need to invest in fancy equipment. If you have (or can borrow) a dog, you have everything you need to get in shape now!!! The following exercises can be done anywhere, anytime.
Inner Thighs: Place the dog’s favorite toy between thighs Press tighter than the dog can pull. Do not attempt bare legged – dogs who favor shortcuts to success will just dig the toy out. You could be damaged.
Upper Body Strength: Lift the dog – off the couch, off the bed, out of the flower bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. As the dog ages, this exercise is reversed onto the couch, onto the bed, into the car and so on.
Balance and Coordination, Exercise 1: Remove your puppy from unsuitable tight places. If they’re too small for him, they’re certainly too small for you. Do it anyway!
Balance and Coordination, Exercise 2: Practice not falling when your dog bounds across the full length of the room, sails through the air, and slams both front paws into your chest.
Balance and Coordination, Exercise 3: (for use with multiple dogs) Remove all dogs from lap and answer the phone before it stops ringing.
Upper Arms: Throw the ball. Throw the squeaky toy. Throw the Frisbee. Repeat until nauseous.
Upper Arms: (alternate) Tug the rope. Tug the pull toy. Tug the sock. Repeat until your shoulder is dislocated or the dog gives up (we all know which comes first).
Hand Coordination: Remove foreign object from dog’s locked jaw. This exercise is especially popular with puppy owners. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Remember, this is a timed exercise. Movements must be quick and precise (think concert pianist) to prevent trips to the vet, which only offer the minimal exercise benefit of jaw firming clenches.
Calves: After the dog has worn out the rest of your body, hang a circular toy on your ankle and let the dog tug while you tug back. WARNING: This is feasible only for those with strong bones and small dogs.
If some people said what they thought, they’d be speechless.
At the banquet of their 25th wedding anniversary, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.
“Tell us, Tom, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?”
Tom responds, “Well, I’ve learned that marriage is the best teacher of all. It teaches you loyalty, forbearance, meekness, self-restraint, forgiveness and a great many other qualities you wouldn’t have needed if you’d stayed single!”
“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”
Concerned about fitness in my middle 40s, I enrolled in an aerobics class. To my dismay, I walked into a room filled with much younger women and decided to combat my nervousness with humor. “I’m here to do my postnatal exercises,” I said.
The instructor gave me an appraising look. “How old is your baby?”
“Twenty-six,” I replied.
“The only reason that I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
To pass the time while our plane was being de-iced, the flight attendants played a trivia game with the passengers. They asked us to guess the total number of years the three of them had worked for the airlines. After an attendant collected our estimates, we heard the announcement: “The correct answer is 26 years. For the two people who came closest with 28 years, we have prizes. And for the passenger in seat 12F who guessed 85 years, would you please step off the plane once we are airborne?”
“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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