How Can I Cultivate the Practice of Appreciation?

Work to consciously appreciate those around you, especially those with whom you want to cultivate one-on-one relationships.

Any time you find your mind being filled with a lot of mental chatter, taking you away from the present moment, pause to think with appreciation about things in your life.

  • As you go through the day, pause to note what you appreciate about someone in particular.
  • When it seems appropriate, make an appreciative comment.
  • Let feelings of appreciation take hold.

Reflect on the effects of appreciation
As you begin to practice appreciation, take time to notice:

  • Do your attitudes toward other people and the manner of your connections change?
  • Do you notice that other people’s attitudes and the manner of their connections have changed?
  • Does the discipline of appreciation change how you go through the day—how you work, play, and rest?
  • Do you have more or less patience? Do you feel more or less stressed? Do you have more or less energy?

(Some questions adapted from Rao, S. Srikumar, Are you Ready to Succeed?, New York: Hyperion, 2006. p. 96)

Once you begin the practice of appreciating the world, your work, and your place in it, you may discover that old resistances drop away and you have new energy and strategies for being the best you can be.

For example, when I began this discipline I realized I became more relaxed. I had much more patience for people doing things in different ways. I felt less stressed. My husband commented that I was much easier to live with. He wanted me to keep up this practice. Over time I became much better at building relationships. I feel more deeply relaxed and joyful every time I have conversations with people which are based on this attitude.

All of my coaching conversations are based on this attitude. Some clients need to learn this. They report that they feel that they feel less pressure, enjoy people more and have more patience. People around them are not only more relaxed, they are also more effective.

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