Monday, March 9, 2009

Appreciation gives you more

This post is comprised of two parts. Part I shares some basic thoughts about appreciating and wanting. Part II derives from a speech about appreciation that I delivered to employees at our annual employee appreciation banquet.

Part I
Appreciating and wanting

When we always get what we want, we weaken our capacity to realize true happiness with what we have. Always receiving what we want strengthens our desire for more, weakening our appreciation for what currently exists. To live without wanting strengthens our gratification for what we have, and when the timing is right for us to obtain more, we appreciate what we receive.

Appreciation for what we have can be expressed towards our knowledge, relationships, physical abilities, spirituality, money and other material items, and many other identifiable and sometimes unidentifiable components that comprise the totality of our lives. As we express true gratitude toward each of these existing variables, we foster growth for each variable, resulting in the acquisition of more…more knowledge, more healthy relationships, improved physical abilities, enhanced spirituality, and even more money.

Appreciating all variables that comprise our lives will help us maintain balance. The desire for more of any one component results in a lack of appreciation for one of more of the remaining components.

Part II
The following content derives from a speech that I delivered to employees at our university's annual appreciation banquet.
Good afternoon! Welcome to the 2009 employee appreciation banquet.

For these opening remarks, I thought that the topic of appreciation would be a good fit. So, I decided that I would share a wise quote and reflect a bit on my perspective of appreciation. The quote comes from the Dalai Lama, who states that “The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” In other words, more goodness grows through an appreciation of the goodness that already exists

I’ve learned that appreciation can be very powerful and rewarding. Through genuine appreciation of that which we have, regardless of what it is, we will receive more. Through our care for the vast array of things in our lives, they become even more beautiful. To illustrate, think of a flower. When we care for a flower, the flower blossoms and brings even more beauty to our world. Or, consider a student entering the university as a young freshman, a new seed ready to be cared for and appreciated to blossom into a flowering graduate.

This blossoming effect truly applies to all areas our lives.

For example, when we care for our belongings, we prove to ourselves and others that we are worthy of having more and, subsequently, more comes to us. Think of a child who appreciates his toys…his parents are much more inclined to buy him more toys because he cares for them. However, if he does not appreciate his toys, his parents will be less likely to buy him more because he isn’t expressing proper care to those that he already has.

The same is true for our relationships, knowledge, bodies, money, and more, even higher education. When we care for our relationships, we utilize the strategies necessary to strengthen our relationships, proving to ourselves and others that we are capable of entering more.

By appreciating our knowledge, we use that knowledge to gain even more as we study and open our minds to the teachings of others. When we care for our bodies, we exercise and eat right to gain more strength and health. When we care for our money, we invest and save properly as a means to increase financial wealth.

So, how does all of this apply to us at the university? Well, here are a few examples that come to mind. When a supervisor expresses genuine appreciation for the good work performed by her employees, the employees are eager to perform more good work. When an employee expresses appreciation toward the constructive remarks and favorable responsibilities given by his boss, the boss is inclined to offer more constructive feedback and opportunities to the employee. When an employee expresses appreciation toward a coworker for helping her with a task, the employee is likely to receive more help in the future from that coworker and other colleagues because she truly appreciates the assistance. In the classroom, when an instructor expresses appreciation for the students’ good work and classroom participation, the students are eager to perform more good work and continue their participation in class. When students express appreciation for the instructor’s efforts and feedback, the instructor is more likely to offer even greater efforts and more constructive feedback for the students.

Try to view appreciation from the perspective of a giver. As we give something, and it could be anything…a compliment, a smile, a lending hand, a tangible possession…and the recipient expresses appreciation, we feel good inside. When we keep in the forefront of our mind that pleasant feeling, we will be inclined to express much more appreciation toward others.

Appreciate everything in your life, whether it is seemingly small or large, at home or at work or anywhere else for that matter…care for it all. True wealth exists through the genuine appreciation of all that you have.

Thank you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Appreciation is so important--you expressed it very clearly! Although I wasn't able to hear you speak at the banquet, I truly appreciate the opportunity to read it on your blog--thanks for posting it!!!