The Gift of Appreciation
In North America, November is the month the holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated. It is, without question, a favorite time for our family even though our heritage is not American. We value, however, the spirit of Thanksgiving for it is about appreciation, the expression of gratitude for all that is positive in our lives - "the counting of our blessings."
The quickest route to unhappiness is focusing on what we think is missing rather than what is present in our lives. Thanksgiving, if we stay true to its original intent, asks us to reflect upon the abundance that surrounds us, that which can so easily be taken for granted: our health, our work, our loved ones, our friends, the relative peace and safety with which many of us live, the economic system and type of government that promotes freedom of expression and opportunity.
One of the most powerful ways to put appreciation into action is to express to those important people in your life how grateful you are for what they contribute to your life. To be complimented and acknowledged for our value builds our confidence and nourishes our souls. It is rare that a human being suffers from an overdose of recognition.
A couple was celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. Over dinner the wife says to her husband: "Darling, you never tell me you love me anymore." He thinks about it for a moment and replies: "I thought I told you that when we got married?" "Yes, of course, you did," she answered. To which he replied: "Well, if anything changes I'll let you know." Humor like this provides a very clear lesson.
I was told by someone I love that I did not "see" her. It took me some time to understand what she meant until I finally realized that I had a blind spot. For various reasons and circumstances I was unable to appreciate her true nature, what I would now describe as her "magnificence." Blind spots can put relationships at great risk.
One of the best investments we can make is taking the time to consider and give thanks for the "ordinary" in our lives - those simple everyday things which, with deeper thought, we discover are quite "extraordinary." Ironically, we end up being the primary beneficiary of this exercise. Peacefulness, contentment, generosity, love and an overall sense of well-being are all activated by having an attitude of gratitude.
So what and who do you take for granted? Start making your list today and endeavor to add at least one new thing or person everyday in November. But, for that special person who came to mind first, waste no time in reaching out to express how much you value and appreciate them being in your life.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The Gift of Appreciation
Every month, I enjoy getting the David McNally Report, a newsletter from a motivational/business speaker. I got this month's today and I found it quite inspirational. If you have a moment, read below and hopefully you'll feel a bit of the Thanksgiving spirit as well.