If I am to ask you, what are the things you want in life? Before you read on, I ask you stop and spend 15 seconds and think on top of your mind the top things you want in life. Or better yet, write it down so you will be reminded. I’d bet we will have most of the answers the same as based on study.
Here are the things people want in their life.
- Health and preservation of life
- Money and the things money will buy
- Life in the hereafter
- Sexual gratification
- The well-being of our children
- A feeling of importance/appreciation
Source: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
If you notice, all items listed above can be given to ourselves in any way we can – except one, which is the longing for the feeling of importance. We long this from someone we love, from our family, co-workers, and friends and anywhere we are. It gives us a sensation feeling when we feel we are important to someone else.
This time, I wanted to give emphasis on the appreciation between husband and wife.
Can I tell you a story?
This husband was requested by his wife to help her wife with her assignment in the self-improvement program she was enrolled in.
Wife: Sweetheart, can you help me list down six things you believe I could do to help me become a better wife?
He was surprised by the request. He answered back and say:
Husband: Okay honey, let me think about it and give you an answer in the morning.
He was thinking overnight, he thought to himself, it was easy to list down a thousand things he would like to change about her. But he thought otherwise.
The next morning, the husband woke up very early to call the florist and had them send six lovely red roses for her wife with a note saying “I can’t think of six things I would like to change about you, I love you just the way you are”.
He then went ahead and go to work as usual. That evening when he arrived home, his wife is waiting for him, teary-eyed and thanked him for the appreciation. He was extremely glad, he rather chose to appreciate her. Needless to say, the feeling of importance was expressed towards his wife.
When the wife reported back her assignment to the group and told her story, several women approached her and said “That was the most considerate thing I have ever heard”.
She is extremely happy. Can money buy that? I doubt.
Moral of the story
Imagine you are the wife? What would you feel? I think it will be different if the husband went ahead and wrote the six things you requested. You probably are stumbling and thinking ways to justify yourself and might be a source of disappointments.
Imagine you are the husband, would you do the same? Would you let your wife feel upset instead? And let her feel she is not perfect and incomplete. Or if you will do the same in the story, what do you think will be the impact? I guess the house will be back to a fairy tale.
That is the power of appreciation. It is thinking beyond what people can feel. When you appreciate and let people feel important, your surroundings will be a better and peaceful place.