Originally published Tuesday, 05 August 2014.
1. Begin at home. It’s said that familiarity breeds contempt, but more commonly it breeds complacency. We can fall into the habit of taking one another for granted. Instead, take time to focus on the amazing gifts brought into your life each day by your spouse, children, parents, or siblings. Each person is truly a miracle, fearfully and wonderfully made. Letthem know about it.
2. Be specific. It’s lovely to hear, “I appreciate you.” But it’s memorable to hear, “I appreciate you for your kind and thoughtful ways.” Let the other person know you have noticed and treasured something specific about them. They will rightfully feel that you have paid special attention.
3. Be consistent. Look at all the appointments that fill up your weekly calendar. There is at least one that probably doesn’t need to be there. Get rid of it, and instead put in a praise appointment. This is your reminder to deliver your gift in a timely and consistent way.
4. Extend your reach. As you strengthen your praise muscles, look to see who else you can extend your gift of praise to. Colleagues? Employees? Neighbors? The person who just served you coffee with a smile on their face? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or take much time, but practice your skill throughout the day.
This week’s self-reflection: Are you a praiseful person? Do you notice the people around you frequently beaming back at you with appreciation? Would you like to to become an agent of praise?
This week’s call to action: Carry out a praise exercise for the next week. Use the steps above as a guideline, and be intentional, specific, and energetic with your praise. You will have a positive impact on others, and find your own heart being filled with gratitude for all you have.