If there’s one thing that’s missing in this world, it’s appreciation.
We’re all about fortitude, confidence, can-do, will-do, ambition in the professional world. But in reality, if you want to improve your work life and your home life, chances are, you don’t need more grit. You probably just need more appreciation.
Think about it:
Send a handwritten thank-you card to a client, boss, or friend.
Buy a friend a little gift. Just for being a great friend. Bonus points if you mail it.
Bake the office cookies or muffins. Just because.
Write your significant other a love note. Extra credit for including a “coupon” for dinner or a massage.
I’m suggesting to do these things to improve your life. Sometimes, when we’re so wrapped up in getting to the next level, we forget that life is in the now. You have to live the breadth as well as the length of your years. And the best way to do this is to remember to lower your expectations of others, but to keep your appreciation sky-high. Think about it:
Acquaintances to whom you send a thank-you card are more likely to remember you, do business with you in the future, and pass your name onto other clients.
Friends to whom you are gracious are more likely to be gracious in return. And to be there when you need them.
Office mates will enjoy seeing another side of you with baked goods or little gifts, especially if they are heartfelt or tasty!
Significant others can’t be told they are loved, needed, admired, respected, or supported enough.
I’m not saying to do these things to be manipulative. But appreciation and gratitude tend to bring many personal and professional rewards into your life. Even better – the feeling that you get from being in the spirit of giving is a reward in and of itself. And once it becomes a habit, it’s certainly an addictive one.
I’m guilty of living most of my life on the full speed ahead side. I don’t think I’m self-centered, but I do think I’m very career-oriented, almost too goal-and-result oriented. Looking back, I think that my biggest regret is that I didn’t stop and give the family, friends, and acquaintances who made the greatest difference more platitudes along the way. It’s important to always remind others of how great they are. Chances are, they are running on empty from only focusing on their own flaws much of the time, and are hungry for some appreciation. Remember: A little goes a long way, and it’s never too late to start.