The 3 things everyone wants

A few months ago I had to visit my medical doctor.  Afterward, I needed to pay for the parking ticket. I paid the required amount, and took the ticket fro the machine. Have you ever felt a moment changing into a minute?
The state of my life was projecting in my mind like a very bad PowerPoint presentation.  Stressed, tired and feeling like a failure was the headings of my slides.  I was feeling down, uninspired and stuck in a rut.
I picked up my ticket from the machine, and turned to the exit. 
“Hello” the lady behind me said.  She was standing in the line to pay for her parking ticket, and she had two small children hanging on each arm.  My immedate thoughts were that she wanted to ask for money.
Her next words shocked me.  “I want to say you look beautiful! You have the most stunning hair! Well, have a lovely day!”
“Uhmmmm, thank you.  You are very kind,” I responded, smiled to her. I proceeded to the exit, feeling overwhelmed with emotion.  Closing the car door behind me, tears started to roll down my cheeks.   

What happened?

Looking back at what happened that afternoon, I realise that the kind words of a stranger made a huge impact on me.  It made me think that kindness is a free gift that we can give anyone at any time.  When a stranger give me that gift, it made my day.  At work, and my role has been particulary challenging at that time.  Sales were slow, pressure was high, and expectations where huge! Everyone focused on their own work and worried about their own worlds. Appreciation for others were not a high priority.
A caring stranger changed that for me.

What we all want

In the book, The Motivation Myth, author Jeff Haden states that no one gets enough praise or recognition.  We know we should give it, but we don’t give it as often as we should.
All people, regardless of age, position, education or background Pwant three things. Praise. Recognition. Appreciation.   
We all want to be seen.  We all want to know that we matter. 

Give a complement and praise every day

We know that we are all pulled into the busy-work every day.  We deal with challenges, problems, too much work to do and demands and distractions on a daily basis.  But that is no excuse for being self-absorbed.
Here is my request: be the strange lady.  I mean, be the person who will say something positive to another human being.  It can be someone you live with, a colleague at work, or even a stranger in a shopping center. 
Don’t know what to say?  Here are some ideas:
  • That dress/shirt/jacket/shoes are beautiful!  It really suits you!
  • Thank you for helping.  I appreciate your help/support. 
  • You did a great job!  Well done!
  • Thank you for being there for me.  
When you say it, mean it.  Say it with sincerity and kindness.  When you give praise, recognition and appreciation, you will not only lift up the other person, you will also lift your own soul!


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