– 30.1.2018 – Gratitude and Praise
Someone asked me the other day how it was that I always seem so positive and enthusiastic. When I really thought about it, my overriding attitude is that I am grateful. Gratitude has become a focus of mine as I have become older.
When you are young, you look forward and make your plans, very seldom thinking to be grateful when those plans come to pass. When you are older, every day that passes is something to be
grateful for and every goal achieved, no matter how large or small, is cause for celebration.
I have a Gratitude Book. I keep it under my pillow and every night, before I go to sleep, I write down five things that I have been grateful for that day. Sometimes it’s a victory my grandchildren had at school, or a kind word that was said to me at work. Sometimes it’s because I am grateful for a comfortable bed and a good, solid roof over my head, but it keeps me focused on the things in my life that make me want to carry on, and it makes me look at everything that happens with a view to seeing the positive side.
One of my students told me recently that praise is something a Japanese adult is not accustomed to and I was very surprised. I have always been generous with praise. When someone has done a good job, I say so. When they are wearing a pretty dress, I tell them. I often approach complete strangers and give them a compliment. Something amazing happens. At first, the person looks confused and not sure that you are talking to them. Then, usually, their face lights up, their shoulders straighten, their chin goes up and I can almost see the glow that comes off them from being complimented. The one thing that everyone wants is to be seen. To be acknowledged for your achievements, whatever they may be.
Try it. I dare you. Tell the lady in your office that you like her new hairstyle. Thank the waitress in the coffee shop for getting your coffee to you so fast. Thank your boss for the opportunity to go to an interesting conference. See what happens. See if it doesn’t make you feel good too.