Appreciate: What a great and powerful word with a host of meanings. To appreciate is to understand, to show gratitude, to admire and to increase in value. The more we appreciate, the more we are open to learn and grow.
Appreciate is one of my favorite words. When I learned its many meanings, I committed myself to having it be a word that I would think about and use every day of my life. The fact is that by learning its very meaning, I was engaged in appreciating. I was understanding what it meant, increasing my knowledge and then feeling really good about the whole process.
I begin and end each of my days with formal appreciation times.
In the morning I lie in bed for a moment after I awake and think about the things I am grateful for…waking up, breathing, having a roof over my head, having a wonderful wife, a beautiful family, great friends, enthusiastic colleagues. I think about the country I live in, the career I have, the clients, the patients I have the honour to serve and so much more. My short appreciation sets the early tone for a day that I look forward to with appreciation. I call this way to get going my AmMo…my morning Momentum creator.
In the evening, I lie in bed for a few minutes and review my day again, thinking through an appreciation lens. I think about what I did, what I learned, whom I touched and who touched me. I think about what I accomplished and what challenges I met and then I think again about what I am grateful for. This appreciation fosters a wonderful transition to a sound and restorative sleep. I call this preparation for slumber PmMo…my nighttime Momentum rejuvenator.
My wife has been very influential in teaching me about appreciation. Her influence began the very first time we sat down to eat a meal together. She introduced me to the saying of Grace at meal time. I knew about it conceptually and had never participated in formally saying thank you and appreciating at the dinner table. It’s now a ritual in our home and before each meal we pause to say Grace and think about those we love and want to be well.
In 2007, a beautiful little gift, a granddaughter, came into our lives. Her name is Lilly. From the first moments when she sat with us to share a meal, she began to learn about appreciation and grace. Lilly will be five in June and when she is in our home, she leads us in saying grace. She puts her little hands together and says “For what we are about to receive, let us be truly thankful. God Bless Mommy and Daddy, Nanna and Papa, Grandma and Grandpa, Omi (that’s my wife) and Zaidy (that’s me), Cally (her dog) and Kobe in heaven (that’s our cat who died last year).” She then adds other people such as her great grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends on different situations and transitions by saying, “OK we can eat now.” It’s wonderful to listen to her appreciation.
Study this word and do what you can to have its many meanings positively impact your life. The result will be an increase (appreciation) in your joy and Momentum.