What everybody needs to know about appreciation!

After resisting for too long, I finally signed up with a personal trainer to get uber fit in the next 12 months. This is something I should have invested in a long time ago and yet, my mind kept convincing me to keep at my personal fitness routine so I’d get better. So after trying in vain for the last 5 years, I decided to sign up for personal training, so I have more energy, feel good about how I look and be able to chase after my lofty dreams and live the life I love!

Within a few sessions of my training, I observed something unusual about myself – and no it is not what I saw in the mirror! But instead, it was how I was showing up in my sessions.

My coach would say encouraging words like good, great, amazing, very nice, good job – every few reps I’d do with any exercise. While at outset I found it a tad bit silly, I decided to be a good student and just do as instructed. And slowly I noticed how I was responding to his words. I found myself pushing for those two extra bicep curls after my muscle was already screaming for relief, I managed to stay up after 45 seconds with my planks – and I was doing this happily, without feeling terrible about it. If you’ve worked in the gym earlier, you know that feeling right?

When was the last time as adults we used encouraging words with others our age? These words come more easily to use when we are talking to those younger than us – usually children.

And here is the magic I believe happens when we appreciate someone, genuinely.

It encourages repeat behaviour

Think about the applause furore in the stadium when the batsman hits a boundary shot. How do you think he will play for the next ball? He will try to repeat the same shot or better it, even more, this time. When we appreciate someone through applause, words or actions we encourage them to repeat the same behaviour over and over again! Like me doing a few extra reps!

Changes someone’s state of being

While I was bracing myself to go on for a few more seconds and could feel my muscle turn sore, my coach’s words ‘go on – few more seconds, you are doing great’ literally held my space and gave me the will power to continue. At the end of the plank, I felt stronger and was ready to go for more. He had changed my state of being by making me believe that I can go on, I have what it takes, I can do it – he thought I could and I did. Isn’t that an amazing way to change your state?

Makes them pass it forward

When you experience appreciation in your environment, it lifts your energy, makes you feel very good on the inside, raises your self-image and therefore you are more likely to pass that vibe to people you meet – at home, at work or while travelling. When you do this, you make the world a better and happier place.

While most of us have lost the practice of appreciation, a simple way to inculcate the habit would be to appreciate at least 3 adults you meet in a day. Now you may feel, how do you do it? It would seem fake. Relax – there is a simple way to do it

I encourage you to be genuine and you can do this by observing your colleagues, family, co-travellers and you will begin to find something that you can appreciate about them. When you see your colleague draft that report without you, instead of starting with comparison and fault finding, begin with appreciating the fact that they managed to get it done on their own. After doing this, you have earned the right to give them feedback. Similarly at home, thank your partner for fixing you a hot cuppa when you return after a grinding day at work or your domestic help for cleaning up. Agreed, it is their job to clean up, but when you appreciate them genuinely, they will go above and beyond their duties to make your home sparkle! Try it!