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Turn any situation into a life-affirming experience.


Posted October 1, 2000

The Principle Of Appreciation

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.

If criticism diminishes life-force, then why doesn't it work when you criticize something you don't want in your life? For example, if you condemn the fact that you have so little money, why don't you get to experience the opposite, more money? Because you're contracting the very energy of money. You're decreasing the value of that which you want. Where your emotional attention goes, energy flows. So you're creating more of the same lack by focusing on and condemning that area. You're making your lack grow.

To create more of what you want, appreciate what you have. Even if you only have a penny, praise that penny. I get excited when I find pennies on the ground, in parking lots, on the floor of a store. When I turn the attitude around, and think, "So what, it's only a cent," I discover that they don't appear for me. My overall prosperity also suffers. Because of my appreciation of the smallest of coins, I've found not only pennies, but nickels, dimes, quarters, and one, five and twenty dollar bills.

The principle is the same no matter what you desire in your life. For relationships, give thanks for your relationship with yourself. If you want better health, find something that's good about your body, like your immune system. To find a better job, give thanks for something beneficial in your present job. Find something that you value in your situation. By discovering something of worth, you allow it to appreciate.

Because Cricket took the time to improve her self-image, she gained the confidence to become a marketing director. No matter how miniscule the thing is that you praise, keep your attention on it. Don't waste your valuable energy on being critical of that area. Condemning it will only bring you more of what you don't want. By appreciating what you have now, you allow it to expand and blossom into what you really want in your life.


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