The ability to show sincere and genuine love is among the greatest qualities that can be obtained in life. Our greatest joys are inextricably woven into the fabric of other’s lives. No man is an island. Whether we like it or not, we are each connected and the cause and effect physics of our most simple choices can have a profound impact. Like toppling rows of dominoes, or a Rube Goldberg illustration; for better or worse, you make a difference.
The modern world is all about the bottom line, and it becomes all too easy to lose touch with the value of people. Whether it’s apathy, or fear of appearances that keeps us from expressing our appreciation, the cure is the same:
Saying Something Nice
There’s a common axiom used in regards to interpersonal relationship: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The trouble with this course of thought is that saying nothing at all has little positive benefit. Some folks would never utter a syllable. I suggest an improvement to this line of reasoning, which is, “find something nice to say.”
Old habits die hard. It’s all too enticing to criticize or tear down. In order to redirect our natural inclinations we must find a diversion of that energy. The stream of our desires cannot be dammed for long. It will eventually overflow. However, the course can be redirected to serve a better purpose. With this concept in mind, let’s examine what I have found to be one of the most profound and easily executed means to express our appreciation.
Write A Note
There’s no special method for this, but here is what I do: I always carry a pen and index cards. This helps to remind me that I should be looking for things to thank people for. If a colleague at work gives a presentation, write them a thank-you note telling them what they did well. If a friend gives you a ride, then write a thank-you note.
What I have noticed is that as I write these notes I find myself experiencing appreciation for people without them really having to do some thankworthy feat. Writing notes of appreciation, which express the qualities I admire in others, helps me to refine an ever-growing list of characteristics I want to build. And perhaps selfishly yet most definitely, it builds relationships and makes others far more willing to help when I need it.
Take the challenge and start writing thank you notes. I’d love to hear about your experiences and insights so leave them in the comments.