Appreciation – Oasis for the parched soul

“Once I did bad and that I heard ever.  Twice I did good, but that I heard never.” ― Dale Carnegie

Remember the time when you did your best but could not really meet someone’s expectation or tried something new at work which backfired? While you were already dejected, those unkind words from the person involved dealt a critical blow to your self- esteem. To make matters worse, a reference to the incident is brought up every time to drive home a point and show you down.

Things couldn’t be worse, you may feel. But what about your moments of triumph when your project report helped your boss shine or you cooked that delicious meal for your partner and meet with deafening silence?

We all do more things right than the wrong ones. But strangely enough, mistakes are counted, referenced and talked about while righteous, selfless acts are often forgotten. If you are really outstanding among scores of people, you may be recognized once in months or years by your organization. You may also be praised by your partner on special occasions with Facebook or Twitter posts. But in day to day life there are hardly any words of appreciation.

Many a time all of us are a culprit of exhibiting such behavior. We make time for social networking making hundreds of friends, clicking “Like” buttons and hoping for few “Likes” ourselves. But when dealing with real people we often go cold and struggle to show basic empathy. Our frustrations often find an outlet on anyone who fails to meet our expectations in the form of complaints and criticisms.

“Criticizing and reminding people of their mistakes wounds their pride, reduces confidence, and often breeds grudge.”

A key finding of a new study from Office Team suggests 66% of employees would quit if they feel unappreciated. Among millennials, the number of employees who’d leave if unappreciated jumps to 76%.  These numbers are bound to go up where employees face regular criticisms. For people managers and leaders, this implies huge cost for hiring, training and lost productivity. Back home, feeling unappreciated often leads to loss of harmony among family members, discontent, and arguments over petty issues.

Philosopher William James, said, “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” As food is to the body, appreciation is to the soul. It nurtures the soul, empowers the spirit, enforces positive behavior and leads to bigger accomplishments. This holds true for both personal and professional life. Just like we require timely food for the healthy body, appreciation is needed from time to time to keep our spirits high.

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All it takes a little smile, a simple “Thank you” note, a pat on the back or talking highly of a person in his peer group. Little things often make big difference and a few words of appreciation go a long way in creating positive synergy. People who you appreciate will always try not to disappoint you. Cultivate the habit of showing confidence in people around you when they fail by saying “Well tried” or “I am sure you can do better” rather than being angry or blasting them. It does take deliberate efforts to conquer impulse but results would be worth it.

Not only we must appreciate others around us, we must also learn to be our own cheerleader by appreciating ourselves for our efforts, our achievements and value riches already in our lives. Begin your day by saying “I like myself” and repeat whenever you feel low, it will immediately make you feel better.

Thank You

With so many positives of appreciation, it’s time we make it a habit to appreciate at least 3 people on any given day. Appreciate your spouse, children, colleagues, security guard, cab driver, or just about anyone for little things they do for you. You will realize how quickly they will also go out of their way to keep you happy.

So go on spread some cheer, make someone’s day by appreciating little things.

As I end my first blog entry, I appreciate you for spending your precious time reading and sincerely hope you found the content practical & applicable. I encourage you all to share your feedback or stories from your own life which re-enforces the value of appreciation.

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