Appreciation in Action

It’s not what we know it’s what we do that matters!

Many of us have brilliant ideas and/or learn amazing new
concepts all the time. However, until we put these insights
into action they have no impact on our lives. Appreciation
is often one of these “insights.”

Most of us know how important it is to appreciate ourselves
and others, and to live with an attitude of gratitude.
However, knowing about the importance of appreciation and
acting in an appreciative way are two totally different

Here are a few simple and powerful actions you can take on a
regular basis to increase your personal level of
appreciation and that of those around you:

5 Simple Acts of Appreciation:

1) Write heartfelt thank you notes: In today’s fast-paced
world of email, cell phones, instant messages, and more, the
power of a hand-written, thank you note is immeasurable.

Each week pick out at least one person in your life you
would like to acknowledge. Sit down and write a heartfelt
thank you note to that person and send it to them in the
mail — yes, the “snail mail.” See how they respond. They
will love it and so will you.

One week, write the note to yourself and send it in the mail
to your home. You will not believe how good it feels to get
that card in the mail.

2) Use a “gratitude” journal: A gratitude journal is a place
where you write down things that you are grateful for, what
you are proud of, and all the positive stuff that is
happening in your life.

This journal is a safe place for you to express your
gratitude, about yourself and your life, on a regular basis.
Regardless of our circumstances, there are always things to
be grateful for. And, the more attention we focus on being
grateful, the more we have to be grateful for. It is amazing
how this works.

3) Compliment people: Make a commitment to go out of your
way to “catch people doing things right” and let them know
about it. We always find what we look for and if we look for
the greatness in others, we will find it.

Once we find that greatness, we then have a choice about
whether or not to share it with them. It sometimes takes
courage on our part, but when we acknowledge other people
(in a genuine way), not only do we create a win-win
situation; we actually encourage more of the behavior,
attitudes, and/or attributes that we appreciate in them.

4) When people compliment you, say “thank you” and then shut
your mouth: The irony about appreciation is that most of us
are starving for it and many of us are horrible at accepting

The best example of this is how awkward and weird people
often get when they are complimented. Even if you feel funny
or uncomfortable when people compliment you, simply say
“thank you” and then shut up.

Whatever you say after that (a self-deprecating joke, a
quick complimentary response, etc.) is often a way of
avoiding the appreciation and/or deflecting the compliment.

Just like a birthday present, say “thank you” and accept the
gift (compliment) that is being giving to you. The better
you become at receiving compliments, the more you will get.

5) Start and end meetings with appreciation: When you get
together with other people for a business meeting, a family
dinner, an informal gathering, a team session, or anything
else, one of the best things you can do is to start and end
the meeting with appreciation.

At the beginning, have people talk for a few minutes about
what is working, what is going well, and what they are
excited or happy about. This starts the meeting off on a
positive note. At the end, take a few minutes for
acknowledgments. Allow people to compliment each other,
thank one another, point out strengths, and focus on what is
being accomplished.

Starting and ending meetings with appreciation makes
everyone feel better about themselves, the work that is
being done, and about the group as a whole.

These are just a few simple examples of the many actions we
can take to increase our personal level of appreciation and
that of the people around us. Now the million-dollar
question is, what will you actually do?

by Mike Robbins