Something to reflect on –
- are you more likely to silently participate and enjoy when things are going normal or good?
- If there’s something not-ok, are you quick to take action or provide feedback?
If so, then that’s something you might want to reconsider. Normal doesn’t need to be ignored. Normal needs to be noticed too. Because you won’t like it if those so-called seemingly normal things go abnormal. We mostly think appreciation is reserved only for something excellent. No! Appreciation is in general for things that are in normal working conditions too. Because the opposite of normal would be abnormal. And you might not want that, right? Are you glad that things are normal? Do you express that?
It takes efforts to keep things normal! If you ignore normal, you can’t complain when things don’t remain normal anymore.
A simple example – when I was in the corporate world, I noticed this happening with the transportation team often. If they operate say 200 vehicles every single day for 25 days of the month and everything runs smoothly for 24 days – nothing is said. It is expected that they have to run properly. One day – a vehicle goes late or the driver misses pick up – all hell breaks loose on that team. From the employee to the manager, an entire chain of emails comes their way complaining of negligent behavior.
Now you may be wondering, “should I appreciate people for doing their job even?” Appreciate doesn’t mean go and give them awards. A simple thank you while getting off the vehicle will do! You are acknowledging their presence and their effort! And once in a while, taking time to talk to the team and thank them for their efforts to ensure smooth operations, being curious to understand what does it take from their end to actually keep this entire fleet running and empathizing with their challenges – all these are small ways of showing you care for what they do.
And honestly, you know what? When you do the above, on that one day when things go wrong, you will not be affected by it as much.
- One – because you know how tough it is in the background to keep things running normal. So, your understanding of the process makes you more understanding of the person or the situation.
- Secondly, by taking notice of these small normal things, you have generally been practising gratitude. Hence, when things go wrong, they don’t tend to disturb you much since you are in a more positive frame of mind.
It’s like this – if you blessed with a normal working brain and body – one way is to assume of course, ‘a human being is meant to be this way. So, what’s to be appreciated. This is the definition of a normal human and I am normal. God just did his job.’ However, do you also realize, that God has a choice not to do it this way too? What if he chose not to create you ‘normal’? Then you may not have all that’s working for you now, working exactly that way.
Give people the motivation to be normal. Pay attention to things when they are normal so that they strive for going better. If you don’t pay attention to things because they are normal, people might want to do something abnormal to get your attention.
Unfortunately, most of us assume bad things need to be corrected openly. Good things need to be observed and enjoyed inwardly. You may feel happy or grateful from within but might not find it necessary to express it to the concerned people. But should there be something not-so-good, you’ll be quick on your feet to seek clarification or criticize. We have to remember one thing – we have the right to criticize openly only when we also have demonstrated the ability to appreciate openly. That’s when you maintain the balance of energies and rapport too. It doesn’t matter what we think inside. No one will know unless we state it. Hence, please do state what you like. Give thanks more openly. Only then will criticisms also be welcome. Because you create a safe space for someone by letting them know that you appreciate them. Once they know you generally appreciate them, even if you give critical feedback once in a while, they may be more open to receiving it.
These are again, mostly unconscious patterns – based on what we are used to in our life. If you think you are being grateful and are expressing it regularly – don’t stop with that assumption. Please do confirm with your loved ones if they feel so too. Do they feel you are appreciative of them too? Often times, we can’t see our blind spots. We think we are something, but in reality, we may fall short of it somehow. So, get some feedback, understand, see what makes the difference. You mean well, you want to do well. Hence, seek clarification from people who matter since it might really help you align your actions with your thoughts in the truest sense of the word. Imagine you spend your whole life assuming you are being grateful to your loved ones. And your loved ones never felt recognized! What a shame it would be to realize that too late! You meant well but somehow couldn’t get the point across in time. Therefore, crosscheck and confirm while there’s still time.