How do you rate when it comes to giving praise?
Many times people deserve praise for what they’ve done well. For example, a friend excitedly telling you ‘I aced my exam’ or ‘I was promoted at work’, really does deserve praise.
Do you give a ‘wishy-washy’ or very general response like ‘Way to go! or ‘Good job!’ or ‘Well done!’ Great that you’ve responded but…
This is such an opportunity to build your relationship, an opportunity really not to be missed. Try and give praise that focuses on the specific achievement by finding out more details. This will show that you are really interested rather than a quick ‘Way to Go!’ response.
Effective praise works wonders in relationship building as it tells the other person that you were really listening, and are interested in their well-being. Try and match your emotion to that of the person sharing their good news. If they’re excited, you be excited as well! There’s nothing quite as deflating as excitedly telling someone about what you’ve done and their response is like a dead fish, very bland and unengaging. Let your praise be authentic, as opposed to a ‘one-size-fits-all good job’ praise!
When a person is depressed the tendency is to focus more on oneself. So when someone shares their achievement with you take the opportunity to focus on them and build them up. It is a good exercise as it takes you out of yourself. Look out for the opportunities and be generous with your praise!
By the way, this beautiful sunrise photo was taken on Addington Beach, Durban, South Africa.
Oscar Pistorius, known as the ‘blade runner’ is South Africa’s sporting hero. We’re so proud of him being chosen to represent our country in the Olympic Games (for the able-bodied) despite being technically disabled with prosthetic legs.
His sporting motto is “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have”. Focus on your abilities rather than allowing yourself to be brought down by your disabilities.
Being Mothers Day I thought I would read up about what his mother was like. I could only think that she must have been an incredible driving force behind Oscar as he was growing up. I wasn’t disappointed with what I read.
Oscar has a brother Carl and when their mother Shiela told Carl to put his shoes on, she told Oscar to put his legs and and ‘that’s the last I want ot hear of it!” She died when Oscar was 14 and he has wonderful memories of her. ‘She was very cool; a very hectic, free spirit. She didn’t really comply with much and had a very carefree approach to life. She didn’t take anything too seriously…. and never made decisions for us. When you try to do things sometimes and you don’t succeed and you give up, you never really know what the potential could have been if you had stayed dedicated to something.’ What inspiring words and what a wonderful tribute to his mother.
This did get me thinking… We can either bring our children ready to explore this wonderful world of ours, or we can limit them by our own fears. When we limit them by our fears children walk in the footsteps of their parents, go to the same college, qualify for the same job and marry the same sort of person as their opposite sex parent. Children grow up into replicas of their parents – all very safe!
We all learn from our mistakes and so children should also be given the opportunity to explore this world and grown into the people they are meant to be. If you don’t try you don’t know what you’ve missed out on, so you’d better make the most of every opportunity that comes your way!
To all the mothers out there – Wishing you a very happy Mothers Day!!
Information on Oscar Pistorius obtained from : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympics/article-2117316/Oscar-Pistorius-exclusive-walking-wild-side.html#ixzz1tv4EM24y
I found the 10 Questions posed to Lady Gaga in the Time magazine (March 12, 2012) quite inspiring so I’d like to share some of the content with you.
Lady Gaga has just launched the Born This Way Foundation to inspire bravery in young people as well as their parents and the worldwide culture. The Foundation aims to work towards a kinder and more accepting society.
Lady Gaga was bullied as a child for being ‘different’. All I can say is thank goodness we are all born different – imagine what a boring world this would be if we were all exactly the same! Being different is what makes this world exciting and actually grows us as ‘individuals’. But being different also opens one up to criticism and rejection. Not being like all the other sheep in the pen can be difficult! Often we find it is easier to criticize than to value and appreciate our differences.
The reporter asked Lady Gaga how an 11-year old girl could live our her idea. This was her reply. “She could go up to one person in class who maybe is not one of the cool kids and say, ‘I really like your T-shirt.’ That would be her one great loving and accepting deed for the day.”
And to the question of how she achieves so much. She gives much credit to the close relationship she has with her mother, but adds “one of the things I hope to impress upon everyone is that all it takes is just one person to believe in you.”
So my challenge to you is this. Don’t only affirm qualities in those people you consider to be cool, the ones you compliment hoping they’ll accept you in return. Affirm and compliment the ‘not-so-cool’ people, the underdog, those who battle to find their place in society. These are the people who need your words of encouragement so much.
And your children? And your spouse? You are in a particularly unique and special position to boost them, show them their incredible worth and love them to the fullest. To achieve great things, it takes just one person to believe in you.
Let us all aim to do one loving and accepting deed each day.
This is an excellent book of 100 short stories of ‘simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life‘. Each story is a very quick read of about 1 page. If you take it to heart and implement some of Carlson’s suggestions, your life will definitely change for the better!
“Spend a Moment Every Day Thinking of Someone to Thank“, is the title of one of the stories. Developing an attitude of gratitude not only changes our own lives but can make a tremendous difference in the lives of those we thank and appreciate. Gratitude and inner peace go hand in hand. Start the day thinking of the people you could show appreciation towards and thank. You can even make it into a sort of game. Do it and enjoy the response!
Think of your partner. How often do we just take those around us for granted. A bit of appreciation could so easily spiral the relationship upwards to a new level. What about your children? Thank the shop assistant, it could make their day as appreciation rather than a complaint could come as quite a surprise. Thank the person who lets you merge in the traffic. What about a special letter of appreciation – this could certainly lift someone’s spirits. Be creative!
It’s so easy for the mind to slip into negativity and this new attitude certainly counteracts this tendency. Focus on the good in life. It’s a very simple suggestion, but it’s a habit that is really worth developing. In fact it could be quite fun. Start the day by consciously deciding to find something to thank and appreciate in as many people as possible who cross your path. This is a good practical way of changing habits and a good one for anyone overcoming depression.
I’d love to hear what happens when you try this!
This very useful, and easily readable book is Available on Amazon
Yesterday evening my family and I went to see the delightfully magical 3D movie ‘Hugo‘. What a treat! Hugo is an orphan living on his own in the clock towers of the Paris railway station. He spends his time fixing things, especially mechanical things that run on cogs and wheels.
A new friend asks him how he manages to live on his own. And he replies something like, ‘I see the earth, the same way as I see a machine. A machine comes with the exact right parts to make it work perfectly. Each part is important and there are no spare parts.’ Despite living in what most people would regard as an extremely hopeless situation, Hugo lives with hope. He knows he isn’t a ‘spare part’. He is meant to be here on earth, just because he has been created. He knows he has an important part to play, but what it is he has still to find out.
What a lesson for all of us! I’ve sometimes heard very despondent people saying that they’re just wasting oxygen! Each of us is so very important. Just because we are created beings means we have a special place on this planet. When you’re feeling down, or disheartened, just remember how very special you are. You were created with a part to play in the bigger picture of this place, called earth.
A proverb in the Bible says that without vision, man perishes! Guard your self-esteem, believe that you are special, because that belief will affect how you live out your life.
How often are we given the advice ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!’ It’s a common saying meant to give encouragement.
HOWEVER it really isn’t very good advice. It’s actually very bad advice! Think about it. If you didn’t succeed in the first place, why just keep on doing the same thing, the same way, over and over again? Unless of course, you want to fail, and fail, over and over again.
I love this picture! If you want to succeed you need to reassess your ‘travel plans’, see where your original ‘road map’ might be wrong. Take the next exit to Success, rather than staying on the Highway to Failure.
My daughter has been battling to get her driver’s licence for quite a while now, but each time she tried, she failed. This was so disheartening for her and for me. She had been very loyal to her driving school, but in the end decided it was time for a change. Maybe a change in strategy would lead to success. It was time to change driving school. With that decision made, she booked for her drivers test again and passed with flying colors!
So, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, think of another strategy, and only then, try again!
Charles Dickens – Worldwide, people are celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of this very famous author. At the time he was writing there were only 60 books in print in England! (Time magazine February 6 2012) What a difference to modern times, where books no longer even go ‘out of print’ because of electronic text!
Dickens wrote stories of poverty, hardship, and even about a debtors prison. What interested me in particular was his final bit of legacy. He appointed his friend Forster to write his biography after his death. He felt so ashamed of his upbringing that he didn’t want his readers to know that it was his own life that inspired his writing, until after he died. The books were essentially about him. So after his death, this shock was revealed to his readers. He had seen his own father go to debtors jail and Dickens himself worked in a factory as a child.
What a story of a man who overcame adversity. So many people become a victim of their past, or their bad life experiences. Not so with Dickens. He used his bad experiences to create a better future. Only a person who really knew what hardship was like could so vividly portray the community of that time. What an example to follow.
So many people go through life with a victim mentality, an ‘if only’ mentality. ‘If only’ I had more money, then …. ‘if only’ my partner were nicer to me, then …. and nothing comes after ‘then’… They have become victims of their past.
Try to think of the ‘if only ….’ attitudes that could be keeping you a victim of your circumstances, of your past. Change ‘if only …’ to something like ‘it would be nice if….’ and then get back to reality, creating a better future for yourself with what you have. ‘If only’ statements keep you focused on what you don’t have, rather than what you do have.
If you’ve experienced many difficulties, you’re the expert! Turn it around for good and use it to help others through their hard times!