“a” is for…


Nope!… not apple.

Let me explain.

Step 1.  First, think about something you accomplished recently… something that took effort and you are proud of.

Step 2.  Next, say this out loud to yourself, filling in the blanks as appropriate:

“(your name), great job on getting (your accomplishment) done!”

Say it again.

How does that feel?  Not bad, eh?  Kind of nice to hear those words.

Take a deep breath.

How do you feel now?  Do you still feel good?  Or is it over, and you’re moving on…

Step 3.  Now, think about the quality of your accomplishment.  What attributes did you bring to the effort that were unique or gave you pride?

Step 4.  Finally, say this out loud to yourself, again filling in the blanks:

“(your name), I really appreciate how you applied your (the attributes of your work you focused on, that drove success) when you completed (your accomplishment)!

Say it again.

How does that feel? Good, huh? Sits a little deeper in the soul for sure.

Take a deep breath.

And what about now? Do you still feel pride in those attributes? Yep, I thought so.


The difference here… is recognition vs. appreciation.  Two very different things!

Recognition is momentary, singular, tied to a result. Appreciation is long-lasting, tied to quality and value. 


We can nod, and thank, and “good job” our way through the day… or we can slow down and honor what we really makes a difference in the journey.  These extra moments will create richer connections with those around us, and ourselves.


So… here is my simple challenge for today:

Take time to say the following to yourself, someone in your family, and someone you interact with…

“You know, I really appreciate (or “like”) how you __________“.

Let me know how that goes… how you feel, and how others respond.

I doubt this blog will change the traditional “A is for apple” axiom.  But for at least today, “A is for appreciation”.

Stay awesome, and keep Believing in Better!


2 thoughts on ““a” is for…

  1. I love this! Language is so important & underutilized. In my preschool programs, we have language we use with children to acknowledge their contributions: “You did it! You put the blocks back in the bin so that everyone knows where to find them. That was helpful” or “You brought a friend a toy to comfort them, that was thoughtful.”

    It makes a world of difference & fosters a sense of belonging. Thank you for sharing!


    1. Right on, Annie. From a very early age, we seek validation and belonging. Building this into our daily habits can reinforce goodness and build some great bonds…. vs. only keeping score to decide who “won” in the moment.


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