Today I received an email. Nothing too exciting about that right? We get them everyday. This one was different, in that it was really a very practical and affirming kind of message from a friend, Rabbi Brian who sends out a regular newsletter called Wisdom Biscuits, which I always enjoy reading these biscuits of wisdom! This particular email wasn’t one of those feel good sort of chain like posts you see on Facebook. For instance, that states if you re-post this now, your prayer will be answered, or money’s on the way if you re-post this etc.
Oh I felt good after doing what was asked, and when I really gave it more thought I realized just what Robbi Brian was saying. He is talking about how when you actively appreciate another, and tell them what you like about them, they in turn will appreciate you.
Appreciation is just like gratitude, it increases the more grateful we are, which in turn is passed on to another and having a ripple affect that expands. This creates blessings of happiness.
If we make appreciation and gratitude a regular practice then it becomes a very positive and beneficial habit, a kind of spiritual exercise. Below I have posted Rabbi Brian’s email he sent. You might want to make it a part of your life. I know I will.
On the 10-year anniversary of the newsletter, in July of 2015, I sent a quick email expressing my gratitude for all of the readers. And in it, I asked people to partake in a little exercise of thankfulness. I want to elaborate on this gratitude process which has greatly blessed my life.
I can promise that if you do the following exercise, the people you know will become more wonderful and you will feel great.
These are two “almost too good to be true” propositions. And, yet, they are true.
- People you know will become more wonderful.
- You will feel great.
I guarantee it.
But you have to be willing to do two things.
- You must be willing to push through what might be an initial, slight sense of discomfort.
- You must commit to a 90-second written or oral exercise.
There is one possible side effect to this exercise: there exists a good chance you will wind up with the song What I Like About You stuck in your head.
Please do not proceed unless you have a few minutes.
If you read past this sentence, you are hereby committed to doing the exercises.
You have a choice. Please decide if you would rather do this exercise by typing or speaking.
- Typing can be done by text, IM, or email.
- Speaking can be done by phone or in person.
|(1) Typing||(2) Speaking|
- Congratulations; you did it! That’s great! About 40% of people reading this didn’t try the exercise. OK, I made up the percentage, but the point is, if you did this, great job. If you didn’t, please, please go back and do it. Thinking about playing (or practicing) the violin is not as good as actually doing it. If you want personal congratulations for doing the exercise, please click here. If you did not do it, would you please send me an email letting me know why? (I’m simply curious; no shame. I promise.)
- I have found that people are almost starved spiritually; hearing what you like about them nourishes their souls.
- I have made a commitment to doing this exercise at least three times a week. Usually I do it on Friday nights and tell my better half and our children what I like about them. (They often reciprocate.) Sometimes I do it on people’s Facebook pages in honor of their birthdays. And then there are some random times in the week when I might call and let someone know what they mean to me.
- I’ve done this with people I’ve just met. Once. It was with a whole group of people who tried it. It worked! I would recommend this only to the very spiritually adventurous. I prefer doing it with people with whom I have a preexisting relationship.
- I ask wedding couples do this exercise with each other. I encourage them to continue doing it weekly. And some report to me years later that they still do!
- Sometimes the person who receives the 90 seconds of attention wants to return the favor and tell you what you mean to them. This is perfectly acceptable. Switch roles!
How did it go?
Did you enjoy it?
Did it make you want to do it again?
Did you and the other person react as you might have predicted?
(Please post to the ROTB FB page or e-mail me and let me know.)
Don’t you find yourself feeling closer to the person with whom you did the exercise?
Imagine that I had asked you to do an opposite exercise. Imagine I had asked you to list the things you don’t like about someone. Chances are, at the end of that exercise, you wouldn’t want to hang out with them so much.
By bringing awareness to what we like about others, we foster gratitude, warmth, and love.
Lynne Twist, the wise author of The Soul of Money, says, “What we appreciate, appreciates.”
In other words, if we take time to notice and appreciate a friend’s good qualities, it’s a win-win situation: we feel better and the friend feels better, too.
I have made it a policy in my life that I do this exercise 3x weekly.
I’m going to ask you to do it twice more (typing or speaking) in the next 24 hours.
Or tell the people with whom you have dinner on Friday night what you like about them.
You are an adult; feel free to adapt.
#wisdom_biscuit: Tell the people in your life what you like about them.