The Principle of Appreciation, Part 1
by Linda-Ann Stewart
Cricket wanted to improve her self-image. Though she hated her appearance, she knew she had to find something to appreciate about her looks to be able to increase her self-concept. After trying desperately to find something she could value about herself, she decided that she liked her hair a little bit.
Knowing that praising something made it improve, she began to praise her hair. Every morning and every evening, she looked in the mirror and told her hair how much she approved of it. She liked its thickness, its length, its health. Over the next few months, her hair began to respond by beginning to curl for the first time in her life.
Whatever you appreciate in your life expands. Being grateful means you are appreciative of benefits you’ve received. As a matter of fact, the definition of both gratitude and appreciation is “thankfulness.” But the definition of appreciation goes further.
Appreciation also means recognizing the high value of something. In addition, it signifies an increase in value. So when you appreciate something in your life, not only are you recognizing its worth, but you’re causing that worth to multiply.
Remember how you felt when someone appreciated your efforts. Didn’t you want to do more for them? Now think of how you felt when someone criticized you. Didn’t it make you angry, and not want to help that person in any way? Didn’t it make you feel like crawling into a hole and licking your wounds? Criticism contracts energy, while appreciation allows it to expand.
Test this for yourself. Take two plants. For a month, treat them exactly alike. Water and fertilize them the same, make sure they get an equal amount of sun. However, praise one of them, and criticize the other.
Experiments like this have been done over and over, and the results are the same. The plant that’s praised will grow larger, with greener leaves and more roots. The other one will be stunted and wither.
Copyright 2000, 2012 Linda Ann Stewart
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