"Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, and a beautiful image it is."
Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, Scientist and Philosopher
I remember the positive experience gained early on a personal development course. We were asked to come out to the front of the group one by one and the rest of the group were invited to look at the person intently and read into their soul then write down positive, empowering traits of the person's character. Group members were very insightful in the characteristics they found which were quite deep, not just superficial glib suggestions. Each person was given the list to take away. I have lost the list unfortunately but I remember that whenever I read it, it empowered me so I considered it a gift.
A woman once said that "We spend 80% of our time complaining about the 20% of someone that we don't like, usually our spouse, instead of focussing on the 80% that we do lik." How true. I think it is unrealistic that we could ever like someone else a full 100%. Just given the basic differences between men and women, there will always be something we do not like or which niggles us. However, overall, most people have good points and that is what attracted us to them in the first place. I stuck a quote on the fridge: "Don't let a little disagreement ruin a great relationship."
I also like this quote:
"Edify a person in advance for the positive traits you want him or her to have, and you'll find them making a concerted effort to live up to your praise."
- Bob Burg
Switched-on companies realise that people do more for recognition than for money or power. A pat on the back and public recognition will often spur that employee with loyalty to even greater achievements. A child whose efforts are noticed and praised by a parent will want to achieve even more. Star charts work wonderfully in motivating children to do their homework, tidy their rooms and carry out little tasks.
So, say something uplifting to someone today without an ulterior motive.
© Antonia Stuart-James 2007