Joe has been a member of Dan’s Strategic Coach program for more than 13 years, and when you listen to the brilliant statements that come from Dan’s mouth, it’s easy to understand why. Since 1974, Dan has personally coached more than 6,000 entrepreneurs, and his insights contain immense value for anyone interested in pursuing personal excellence.
In a recent episode he described the key difference he’s discovered between people who have a tough time in life and those who seem to have an easy time: the active pursuit of GRATITUDE and APPRECIATION in their life, their experiences, and their relationships.
Those who have an easier time approach every situation with a sense of gratitude.
Those who struggle are “on the take.” They aren’t interested in giving; they’re looking to get something. As a result of this attitude, they often experience negative emotions such as envy, anger, frustration and resentment.
Dan cited two definitions of “Appreciate” from the Oxford English Dictionary, and his interpretations brought entirely new associations to my mind.
1. Create increased value.
We often think about THINGS appreciating in value, such as real estate or stocks.
Dan extended the definition to include PEOPLE and made this connection: When you appreciate someone and express your gratitude, you actually increase their value in two ways: “First of all, you take up the value of that in your own mind, but in expressing it, you actually take the other person’s sense of value up of who they are and what they’re doing.”
2. Fully understand.
This definition has typically been used in a military setting, when scouts were sent out to fully understand or “appreciate” the battlefield and then report back.
Dan applies this to his everyday life by consciously choosing to understand the importance and value of a person he’s about to interact with.
What he does…
Before meeting with the individual – whether it’s a business or social setting – he writes down 8 things he’s grateful for about that person. He focuses on who they are and how they act, not whether they've ever done anything for him.
This exercise sets him up for the conversation with two critical elements that tie in directly with the two definitions above:
1) A higher sense of the person’s value
2) A much fuller understanding of how significant they are
During the interaction, he never talks about the actual items on his list, but that individual picks up on his attitude. Dan’s words, tone and body language cause them to feel valued.
Do ever you find yourself criticizing others who are important to you – whether aloud or in your own mind? Maybe you’re having a tough time finding anything positive to say about them. Yet you live or work with them, and you need to interact with them on a regular basis.
What if you took a few minutes before your next conversation and made a list of 8 things you appreciate about that person?
As Dan has learned, you can “inject positive energy” into any situation if you proactively apply these two definitions of appreciation to the people in your life.
I highly recommend you listen to the complete episode in order to get the full benefit of Dan’s exceptional thoughts about developing a deep sense of gratitude for others.