WOW Word-Of-the-Week #383: Appreciate

December 7, 2011 by  

Appreciate – to acknowledge the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.

Do you fully appreciate all of the people in your life? When was the last time you told a family member how much you appreciate them? When was the last time you sent a thank you to your customers, guests, members or clients? Do you ever feel that you are not appreciated and “taken for granted?”

The Holiday season seems to be the time when people most tend to count their blessings and show appreciation. I personally think we need to do that all year long! The cover of the November 20th issue of American Profile read, “THANK YOU! The benefits of expressing gratitude.”

You’ve heard the saying, “Tis better to give then receive.” Nancy Henderson writes, “Gratitude, experts say, is a powerful emotion that makes us feel more connected to the people we love. It boosts our spirits and helps us maintain a positive outlook.”

“People frequently make the mistake of thinking of gratitude as a one-time event that they need to put on their to-do list. This leads to the experience of gratitude as an obligation,” says Richard Nicastro, a psychologist in Las Cruces, NM. “I encourage people to think of gratitude as a mindset, a way of being and a way of viewing the world rather than an isolated event.”

Henderson adds, “But is isn’t enough to feel grateful. You have to show it.” Nate Lambert, a professor of family sciences at Brigham Young University, has been conducting research over the past five years and has found that expressing gratitude helps the giver, not the receiver. “Gratitude works because it takes the focus off the self. All of a sudden you start focusing on what’s good about the person and how that works well with you and suddenly you have a different mindset and a different approach to your relationship. Helping someone else feel valued makes you feel more valued,” Lambert says.

This week’s focus is on acknowledging the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of the people and things around you. Do you tend to be more appreciative around the Holidays? How would it feel to make someone else feel valued? Do you think you can create and maintain an “appreciative mindset?

Reader Responses

“I love it!  and I’m grateful to have you as a friend and the best client!!!” – Sandra

“Hi Susan!  I appreciate you and your faithfulness to continue to WOW for 383 weeks.  That is a lot of work and I always look forward to a good word. Merry Christmas 2011 to you and your Family.” –
Sincerely yours Ken

“Great word for this time of year. As you noted, we need to be reminded of the attitude of gratitude EVERY DAY. A couple of weeks ago I took my father-in-law and his cousin to a basketball game in Madison, WI, between my alma mater, Marquette University, and the University of Wisconsin. I drove my father-in-law up, I bought lunch for them and the tickets for the game. As I remind them, this is just a small token of my appreciation for all that my father-in-law does for us during the year. It also gives him a chance to catch up with his cousin, whom he sees only once a year. My father-in-law is 78 years old, and the opportunities for these kind of get-togethers will be few and far between in the future as he and his cousin grow older. So, I want to take advantage of these opportunities to say thank you.  As I watch my daughters grow, I appreciate every moment spent with them and my wife, especially the vacations and holidays. I can’t tell you the number of times I feel I have been taken for granted, especially in the workplace. I try not to think about it and just give every day my best shot. I know that all I have is today, and I do my best to make the most of every opportunity. One of my co-workers and I were talking last week about little things that we notice around us every day, especially in the outdoors. I told her that when I am reading outside in the yard, and I hear the pecking of a woodpecker on a telephone poll. Or the robins calling to each other on the top of a fence. I said we should all stop and try to listen to the grass grow. These are all the great things to appreciate every day. My three-year-old is amazed at how white snow is when it falls from the sky. A few nights ago, I looked up at the full moon in the sky and was just amazed at how bright the light was surrounding the moon. It was beautiful. Let’s enjoy and appreciate all of the little moments. So much for which to be grateful every single day. Take care, Susan. Santa Claus is coming to town!” – “Warrior” Joe