We all want to feel a sense of belonging. If not within our close quarters of family and friends, but also in terms of people we surround ourselves with in the community, our interests and even our workplace. Appreciation and acknowledgment go a long ways to filling up the self-image and importance boost we need to get through the ups and downs of our daily journey.
I’ve heard many personal development authors and speakers discuss the fact that it’s often the little things in those two arenas that go the greatest distance. If you catch people doing things right and give them a nice job and specify what they do around you that you enjoyed or like, you’ll be surprised how that energy flows from them back into your world.
I enjoy the emails we get from our teachers that let us know when both of our daughters are putting in the effort at school. I’ll go out of my way to make a big deal when I see them using their effective communication skills- or even when they feel the need to clean up a space around the house without any prompting.
Jack Canfield on his Maximum Confidence audio series spoke of a situation when he went to his wife and asked for acknowledgment after tidying up their garage. She went out of her way to fully inspect the area and praising him for how he removed the trash, condensed certain messes and went out of his way to keep the space clean. He admits that many may feel that this is a little odd or ego driven to ask for appreciation and acknowledgment- but I think we as humans need that to feel like we are going about the world in the right way and contributing to society.
In my own life, I appreciate my bowling teammates who notice when I’m making an effort to perform well, moving out of my comfort zone or even lend me an ear when I’m facing the stresses of my family life. It doesn’t have to be every 5 seconds- and it also doesn’t have to be long-winded. Sometimes the material that stays with us the longest is usually short, sweet and to the point- be it “nice pitch”, “great spare pick up” or “great execution and adjustment”.
I praise everyone in my department for all the hard work they do. I let my wife know how impressed I am with her tenacity, her enthusiasm, her level of care and her consistent giving nature. I don’t think it’s wrong to set an acknowledgment and appreciation goal for yourself over the next 30 days. Look within your world and catch 5 people doing something right every day and let them know with your words and actions that you really enjoy what they are doing. Maybe at the end of each week get out some thank you cards and go about sending some written appreciation for people who’ve recently been there for you as well as long time family members who maybe need a pick me up.
Set yourself up to achieve more and let the negative go by the wayside. Fill your head with positive, good, uplifting memories and crumple up the energy-sucking ones, maybe write them up on paper and make a deposit in the trash for those that you want to vanquish out forever. Treat others well and I think you will receive great service from others tenfold. I thank all of you across this wonderful world who take the time to read, share and grow with me- I’m hopeful that you gain as much as I feel I do from the act of writing this.