Someone said: “You can’t see clearly until you appreciate fully.” I hate to admit it, but for a small part of my life, I got distracted by people’s flaws and was unable to see and appreciate their potential. If we focus on people’s flaws and miss their potential, then eventually the relationship/friendship will break down.
I am not perfect. In fact, the older I get, the more I realize how just how many mistakes I have made and am still making. Hopefully, I am at least beginning to learn from some of them. None of us are flawless, but all of us have accomplishments and potential. Many times our accomplishments and potential go unnoticed, because most of the people in our world are looking for what is wrong, instead of what is right.
When I was growing up, I used to hear the older folks talking a lot about appreciation. I think appreciation may be one of the great lost art forms of our time. To appreciate means that we make an intentional effort to look past and beyond the flaws, mistakes and mess-ups and instead focus in on a person’s value. Every person in this life has value and contribution that makes life better.
Appreciation isn’t so much about saying “thank you”, as it is actually taking the time to recognize and understand the other person’s value and contribution that they can make.
I need to get better at appreciation. In fact, I want to pull out this old art form from the past and put it into practice, but I can’t do it by myself. I need your help. If enough of us get it and practice it, then it will become a part of our nature.
Here are a few things that I am trying to do to practice appreciation for others:
1.) Accept people as they are! I don’t have to agree with everything and I don’t have to like everything about a person to find something of value to appreciate in them. Sure I want to see people grow, improve and live up to their potential, but I am learning that before I can help anyone do anything, I first have to accept. appreciate and love them.
2.) Be willing to learn new things! I am a human being, but I don’t know all there is about human beings and what it means to live and succeed as one. Since I have room in my life to grow, then I need to be open to differences of opinion, realizing that while, I don’t have to agree, that I also don’t have to let it tear apart what could be a meaningful relationship of relationships. Sometimes we burn our bridges with no idea of who else could walk across them.
3.) Consider The Quickies: There are a few things that I need to do and keep doing to really appreciate others. I need to PAY ATTENTION. I am sometime so focused on myself that I miss everything else around me – must continually work on this one! I need to ASK MEANINGFUL QUESTIONS. Questions help me to get below the surface, so that I can know more. The more I know about you, the more opportunity, I have to find something to appreciate. I need to REALLY CARE. I care. I have always cared, but I am learning that I can care more deeply and more real. I am also discovering that I want to.
Appreciation is a choice. We want others to make the choice to appreciate us, but maybe we need to make the choice first, and then take whatever might come our way. Just a little something we all need to think about. Here’s a question for you: Who do you or who can you appreciate today? Take the time to appreciate them and you will be glad you did!