The Power of Appreciation: Who Could You See Differently? What Could You Celebrate?
I was enjoying a rare day at home, working in my jammies, when I got the news that a man I worked with for over ten years had died. His service was starting in just 45 minutes, so I quickly dressed, jumped in the car, and made it just in time.
His rabbi, younger brother, daughter, and granddaughter shared stories of the difference this man made in their lives: How he listened and took a genuine interest in them, made them feel loved and valued, and inspired them to pursue their passions; how they became lovers of music, dance, theater, and art because they experienced it with him through his eyes; and, how the twinkle in his eye, and hearty laugh, helped them to find humor in every experience, especially in difficult circumstances.
His children and grandchildren all nodded in agreement with every word. I was nodding, too.
And then, I remembered that when I was working with this gentleman, I didn’t appreciate these qualities. I was busy being focused on the work to be done and his ability or inability to get the work done. My head (at that time) was filled with thoughts of judgment and criticism because, in my opinion, he didn’t seem to enjoy his work, he wasn’t getting results, and I prided myself in being the queen of results.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:
To laugh often and love much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Hmmmm….. What I focus on is what I see. What I focus on is usually all that I see. What I focus on creates my reality. Because of my focus, I missed out on truly experiencing the joy of this man. I missed out on appreciating and utilizing the gifts, the success, he was bringing to the table.
I wonder… What could have happened (for me, for him, for the organization) had I asked him about all of the loves of his life, and saw the world for a moment through the light in his eyes? What could have happened (for me, for him, and the organization) had he shared his life experiences, his love of the arts and what inspired him? What could have happened had our breaks and lunches and social events been infused with the spirit of the arts and children?
How might we and how might I have approached our work differently? How could our results have expanded had we ignited our creativity, invoked our state of wonder, and revitalized our energy? What difference could we have made, how much greater could our results have been, had we and I approached our work with joy and aliveness?
As I reflect, I could beat myself up because of what I didn’t think, say, or do at that time. Instead, I choose to acknowledge and celebrate myself.
I am always in the process of creating the next version of the highest vision of myself. And today, the new, evolved version of me can SEE him and appreciate him. The new highest vision of me celebrates me thinking differently, powerfully, seeing and experiencing the divine spark in everyone one and everything, including myself.
I acknowledge and celebrate that I have grown from the Queen of Results to the Queen of Significant Results! The Queen of Infinite Results!
Who could you see differently at work? At home? What could you appreciate about them? What difference could that make? And what can you celebrate about you?
© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.
Mary J. Lore is a mentor to corporate leaders, multiple award winning author, keynote speaker, and founder of Managing Thought, LLC. In her career, she has served as a CPA, a crisis management and business turnaround expert, and an entrepreneur. Hailed by business leaders around the world, her multiple award-winning book Managing Thought: Think Differently. Think Powerfully. Achieve New Levels of Success and audio book Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World? not only change the way you think about success—they change the way you think, period. With a groundbreaking approach to harnessing mental power, Mary helps individuals and organizations turn counter-productive thinking into inspired action and significant results. If you’d like to take Mary’s 52-week online course in self-awareness, go to www.MindfulnessMonday.com Mary serves as an expert resource for Vistage, served as a Chair from 2002 – 2010, and was a member during the 1990s. Visit Mary at www.managingthought.com and www.maryjlore.com.