Posts tagged with ‘respect’

01 may

Have I Told You How Much I Appreciate You?

JayForteThis week is my anniversary – a celebration of finding the most incredible person among the 7 billion people on the planet, and choosing to build a life together.

So for me, it is a week of more celebrations – and I mean “more” because since the moment I met my partner Jeff, we have committed to celebrating life – daily. We know life is as we make it. We believe we have both the ability and responsibility to invent our lives – it is our choice how excited, fired up and passionate we live. So we choose large. We choose exceptional. And this starts first with appreciation; this starts by appreciating each other and our world.

This week, I ask you to join me in using the phrase have I told you how much I appreciate you? with the people in your life. A simple phrase that reminds us to value, honor and acknowledge the greatness we see in others. This reminds us that what we need to live in the most extraordinary way, is generally found in the connection to the people in our lives.

Make this a celebration week of the people in your life. Consider completing the phrase, “Have I told you how much I appreciate you…” with the following (or, add your own):

*For the ways you encourage me to be something better than I think I can be.
*For the way your smile can remind me I have everything I need – in you.
*For the way you give me courage to face today on today’s terms, even though I feel like hiding and keeping my head under the covers.
*For the things of beauty you add to my day.
*For your humor, love, sincerity and honesty.
*For pulling me up – to a higher lever of awareness, consciousness and understanding of life.
*For making the best food on the planet.
*For watching out for me when I get too busy to do it for myself.
*For letting me screw up, not rubbing my nose in it, and forgiving me for it.
*For knowing what to say and when to say it, to remind me I am always supported and loved.
*For giving me a hug when it is exactly what I need.
*For greeting me every morning with “Happy Anniversary” because every day is an anniversary of choosing to be together.
*For making an “event” out of the little things to make them great things.
*For driving me to, showing up at, and cheering me on, in my activities, sports or hobbies.
*For insisting that I have the best, then serving yourself.
*For waiting patiently for me to make my point and allowing me to say what is on my mind – even if we disagree.
*For saying ‘no’ to something you want so I can say ‘yes’ to something I want, and never bringing it up.
*For always doing your best – at everything.
*For choosing me to go through life with you.

Who says people can’t stay together or stay connected. The challenge happens because we forget to say thank you. We forget to appreciate. When great things done for us are unappreciated, they stop. When they stop, we drift apart; we don’t feel valuable or special.

Appreciation is the glue that keeps us together. Jeff and I try never to miss an opportunity to notice each other’s greatness and appreciate it. It helps us stay connected in a very disconnected world. It helps us each feel valued, respected and important. And when we feel valued, respected and important, there is really nothing that can take us down or break us apart.

So make today the first day of your year of appreciative living. Then next year, on this date (your appreciative anniversary), commit to another year…and another. Soon, appreciative living will become your standard. And it all starts with “Have I told you how much I appreciate you for….?”

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and the on-line resources, Stand Out and Get Hired, and The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual. He has just completed his new book, The End of Average; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit and Transform Your World; chapter downloads will soon be available on his website. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to live fired up! More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com.

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Posted by Jay Forte on May 1st, 2010 in Family, General, Global/Social Change, New Directions, Personal Stories, Relationships, Teens, Things We Love | 2 comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

23 feb

Never Miss An Opportunity To…

JayForteWith Valentine’s Day just behind us, I was reminded of our tradition to take a day and celebrate special events. We celebrate mothers, fathers, pilgrims, veterans, workers, religions traditions, famous people and presidents. Overall, a good idea.

What struck me more is the concept of a holi “day.” If these are really important events, why do we limit the celebration to just a day? Shouldn’t we identify the reason for the celebration and build them into all aspects of life each day?

Here’s my thought. Holi “days” aren’t cutting it. The daily celebrations are too infrequent and don’t encourage enough of the right behaviors to last all year. In a world that is increasingly unkind, selfish and confrontational, couldn’t we make an improvement if we were to extend the meaning of the celebrations? Couldn’t we stay more focused on being kind, considerate, passionate, loving and respectful?

In my house, we wake up each morning and say either “happy anniversary,” or “happy Valentine’s Day.” Every day we celebrate our relationship as the cornerstone of our lives – a good and happy place. The message of both an anniversary and Valentine’s Day is a daily celebration.

Imagine if each day were a “thanksgiving” celebration. What if each day you made time around the dinner table to celebrate one great thing that happened. Imagine how it could change the victim and cynical perspective that our troubled world inspires. Make the home the safe place, the grateful place, the loving place that supports, inspires and protects. This prepares each member of the house to boldly go into a challenging world and be more upbeat, optimistic and caring – something the world could use more of. And we have a chance of making it happen if the thanksgiving celebration was a daily event.

I find that holidays have become either commercial events or traditions. Neither supports the true intent of the holiday. Gift giving is a great thing; it should never be obligatory. A celebration of faith and belief should not put you into debt. A celebration of freedom and of those who fought for it should be a daily event, lest we forget the degree of their sacrifice and the requirement of our continued sacrifice. Again, daily lessons, daily celebrations.

So my suggestion is to replace holi”days” with a “never miss an opportunity to…” approach – a new daily focus on celebrating what matters most in life. Here is the start of my “never miss an opportunity to…” list. What would you add?

“Never miss an opportunity to…”:

  • Tell (and show) the people you love how much you love them and what they mean to you.
  • Share a story about your life’s success and failures to teach someone else.
  • Make someone else feel important, even if you did most of the work.
  • Show your patriotism and respect for your country.
  • Show your tolerance for and acceptance of someone who does not look like you or believe in what you do.
  • Stop and appreciate a flower, a tree, the wind, a star, rock formation or any other part of nature.
  • Know yourself, your talents and passions, so you can build a life that makes you happy, successful and engaged.
  • Say thank you, hold a door open, let another person or car pass ahead of you, or to be kind to someone you don’t know.
  • Give away some of your “extras” to someone who has no “extras.”
  • Learn something new to expand what you know and your contribution to the world.
  • Make the first call even when it is the other person’s turn.
  • Share a call, thought, card or gift with someone you love or who needs to hear from you – just because.
  • Say you are sorry when you hurt someone – even if you didn’t mean to.
  • Allow another to have an opinion different than yours, and still respect them.
  • Spend more time with your pet; be kind and respect all life.
  • Develop your personal faith; have it encourage your acceptance of yourself and others; allow it to accept, not reject others.
  • Keep your planet safe for those who will need it after you.
  • Talk about differences instead of fight about them; find commonalities and reasons to get along instead of disagree.
  • Respond to natural and social tragedies with care, urgency and self-sacrifice.
  • Sing, dance, laugh, tell a joke, cry or be more human, even when others you don’t know are watching. Invite them to join it.
  • Smile at someone you don’t know.
  • Bound out of bed, excited you have another day.
  • Remember you must share the planet with others who have the same right to be here, be respected, earn a living, find love, develop their talents, create a life, share a history and make and impact.

How will you never miss an opportunity to connect the very special people in your world? And how can you make the core of our holiday messages become part of your daily approach to life?

Never miss your opportunity to celebrate and to make a difference. Your life, your choice.

Jay Forte is a motivational speaker and performance consultant. He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, The Hunt for Opportunities Success Manual and the on-line resource Stand Out and Get Hired. He works to connect people to their talents and passions to work strong and live stronger. More information at www.LiveFiredUp.com.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jay Forte on February 23rd, 2010 in Family, General, Health, New Directions, Relationships, Things We Love | 1 comment Read related posts in , , , , , ,