Amazon.com Widgets

‘Personal Validation’ Alone Is a Powerful Concept: But What If You Factored in the Power of the ‘Law of Attraction’ When Leaving Everyone You Meet With a Smile Or Blessing? Wow!

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Relationships & Family

 Can You Harness Power of Validation?

About six weeks ago, as we moved into the year-end holiday season, I told you about my intent to personally take note of everyone I encountered, on a daily basis for at least 30 days. My plan was to make sure that I recognized everyone, but more powerfully, I wanted find some way to compliment each and every person in a unique and personal way.

In personal development terms, this act I was taking on is called, “Validation,” which is defined by the self improvement gurus as “an observable act and human behavior that espouses both appreciation and gratitude.”

However you want to define it, my decision was largely inspired by watching the short movie, “Validation,” which is freely available on YouTube, and, with over 426,000 views since it was uploaded, has acquired a bit of a following…

Here Are My Personal – Albeit Unscientific – Results:

During this time period, I had a lot of fun, and exercised my creativity:

  • I didn’t just offer individualized (or personalized) recognition and validation to friends and family members
  • I also offered validation to total strangers I met on my daily journey
  • I didn’t just make eye contact with everyone I encountered, while greeting them with a generic “Good morning,” or “Hello”
  • I actually made a point to personally engage each person I met in conversation, offering some sort of individualized and personal feedback; with the goal to leaving them smiling and in a more positive mood than when I’d met them.
  • Sort of like Clint Eastwood, in the movie “Dirty Harry,” I actually tried to “make their day” – (but In a very uplifting way!)

The particular attempt at validation varied, depending on the person and the situation.

  • It might have been as simple as a genuine compliment about something they had done, the impact they were having on the people around them, or the attractiveness of something they were wearing
  • On other occasions, it was a personal inquiry that showed I remembered something about them from a conversation we’d had the last time we’d met
  • And in the case of total strangers, it was a personalized comment based on my appreciation of the situation at that moment. You know, something a lot more personal than, “So do you think it’s going to snow today?”

Doubtless I will never see some of those people again. But it was still empowering to take note of their presence, and leave them with a warm feeling in their hearts.

To review a few of the dozens of people I had the opportunity to positively interact with, so you understand the scope of my actions:

  • A couple who held the door for me as I entered a store
  • Checkers and cashiers at gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies and shops
  • Waiters, and restaurant owners, with whom I might previously have exchanged general chit-chat
  • A handful of postal workers, who I see at the window and make idle conversation with on a regular basis, as well as fellow USPS customers, none of whom I’d met before
  • Of particular note were a couple of fellow customers at a gas station: one,  who saw me attempting to open my car’s hood, so I could add windshield wiper fluid to my car. One came over to offer to assistance with the latch; another stepped in to offer to pour in the fluid… Both were total strangers who doubtless didn’t know each other, and who may never be in the same place at the same time again…

They All Felt Appreciated – And I Felt Great, Too!

That’s one of the key “take aways” about validation – which you would probably best define as “a specific acknowledgment of appreciation for a task well done:” It is even more powerful for the fact that it feels just as good to the person who does the validating as it does to the person who gets validated.

But the unintended outcome was that I was amazed at how many people reciprocated my greeting by going out of their way to help me, even though I am a fully capable adult, and wasn’t seeking or soliciting any sort of assistance!

This was a total surprise which I didn’t fully comprehend until I happened to pick up and read a quick little book called Using the Law of Attraction to Get Anything You Want,” by Shawn Casey and Antonio Thornton.

You See, By My Actions, I’d Unwittingly Called The Law of Attraction Into Play…

You’re probably familiar with the concept of the Law of Attraction. Most people who’ve learned about it define it as a Universal Principal – like the Law of Gravity – that  works every time, whether you choose to use it for your benefit or not. In other words:

  • Like attracts like
  • Thoughts become things
  • In life, you will always get what you are expecting to get, because that’s what you call into action

If you haven’t seen the Validation movie yet, you should. It’s both powerful and uplifting, though a number of people also report that it makes them cry, so be warned. At a bit over 16 minutes, making the decision to watch may daunt you, of course.  But you’ll find it is thought-provoking and well worth your time…

And if you’d like to learn more about how you can use both Validation and the Law of Attraction in your day-to-day life, grab the book, too. It’s a very worthwhile, quick read.

Among many other points made in the book, Shawn Casey tells of an organized personal greeting effort – similar to mine – which has been growing, worldwide. Started in Florida, this movement is called “Hello From My Heart Day.”

Seems that by invoking the Law of Attraction, and consciously choosing to validate, or genuinely greet people, you can actually participate in a growing movement that has reduced violent crime by as much as 33% according to statistics cited in the book.

Who Knew There Was That Much Value to Personal Validation?

  • Grab the book, “Using the Law of Attraction to Get Anything You Want,” learn how you can use the Law of Attraction to get anything you want – and discover how you can help reduce violent crime in our world.
  • What a deal! Especially since the book is only a measly seven bucks!
  • What’s that equate to? For the price of a fast food meal, you can get on the road to improving your life, and help make the world a better, safer place for all of us!
  • That’s gotta be what they call a “no brainer,” right?

Read the Book and Prepare to Have Your Life Changed.

And after you’ve digested it, feel free to send me a note telling me how it impacted You!

Baby Boomers Worry: Is It Possible to Keep an Attitude of Gratitude Amidst Hurricanes, Bank Failures, Foreclosures, Rising Unemployment, Lying Politicians and a Plunging Dow?

September 19, 2008 by  
Filed under Anne Holmes, Blog, Spirit & Faith

Keep and Attitude of Gratitude

As you experience the media these days you are no doubt overwhelmed with stories of doom, gloom, horror and despair.

As one normally upbeat and independent Boomer woman recently observed, chain-smoking nervously: I’m worried. All I have to my name is my home, my retirement fund and social security. If things keep going the way they are, I’ll have to take in a roommate, or marry my boyfriend, just to survive.”

With comments like these being expressed daily, it’s no wonder the Pew Research Center reported that America’s Baby Boomers “are in a collective funk.”

The Pew Report Went on to Note That Boomers See Trouble Ahead and Less Progress Over Time…

Specifically their June 28th report said:

Not only do boomers give their overall quality of life a lower rating than adults in other generations, they also are more likely to worry that their incomes won’t keep up with inflation — this despite the fact that boomers enjoy the highest incomes of any age group.

More so than those in other generations, boomers believe it is harder to get ahead now than it was 10 years ago. And they are less apt than others to say their standard of living exceeds the one their parents had when their parents were the age they are now.

Sadly, that report was written before more recent calamitous events, which doubtless have only added to Boomer’s collective angst.

But Is An Attitude of Gratitude Still Realistic, or Even Possible?

The answer, thankfully, is “Emphatically YES!”

  • As evidence, just witness this blog post from Scott W., a gay artist and recovering alcoholic from Texas, who is living through Hurricane Ike with an Attitude of Gratitude.
    • Read his thoughts, and you see proof that you don’t have to be a self help guru, like Deepak Chopra, Joe Vitale, or Jack Canfield to realize the grace that comes from living with an attitude of abundance and positivity. And that gratitude is still possible in today’s world.
    • As Scott W. quotes from Pocket Sponsor:
    • Whatever vexes you currently, imagine for a moment what could make it worse. What can make it worse than that? Again. Imagine it, feel it, and come back to now. If you can make it worse, then you can make it better. Remember this: you are not helpless before your feelings.
  • Alternately, take a look at this post on the power of having an attitude of gratitude during illness. Here, blogger Kimberly Fabrizio reminds us of the value of keeping a gratitude journal (more on that below), where you can keep track of the little things you’re thankful for, even if you’re fighting a life altering illness like multiple sclerosis, as she is. Kimberly reminds you:
    • “When I talk about ‘gratitude’ here, I’m referencing thankfulness for the little things– those times in the day where you just stop and think, ‘Hmmmm… I’m living a great life.’ Sometimes we actually have to watch closely to catch those moments. Other times, those moments are highly noticeable; they jump right out at us.”

Both authors offer you wisdom and hope from their own dark times. Wise words to hold close to your heart.

Here’s More Proof You Can Enjoy An Attitude of Gratitude During These Most Challenging Times of Your Life…

If you want to discover more hopeful stories about people who have triumphed despite overwhelming challenges; you want to read  John Castagnini‘s book (there’s a website, too) Attitude of Gratitude. It’s a series of hopeful stories shared by people who have learned to celebrate their gratefulness for the most painful things which have happened to them, including death of a loved one, cancer, rape, and financial ruin. Can you imagine actually being grateful for any of these?

This is a book that transforms the human experience! In it, you have the opportunity to meet ordinary people and find out how they not only overcame life’s greatest challenges, they lived to become thankful for them. If you’re down and troubled by the world today:

  • If your home has been destroyed by flood, hurricane or tornado, this book shows you there is hope.
  • If you’ve lost your job or your life savings, there is hope.
  • If your heart has been broken and seems impossible to mend, there is hope.
  • If darkness seems to surround you, there is hope.
  • If no one seems to understand you or your pain, there is hope.

The stories in this book are truly amazing. Death, dysfunction and divorce abound and yet the authors – people just like you – triumphed. Not only did they transcend these tragedies, but they actually learned from them and wouldn’t change a thing. They found a greater self waiting on the other side of pain. You can too.

Grab this book now.

Sit down and read any of the one stories in it. You’ll instantly discover why some have called “Thank God I” the most significant contribution to the Spirit of Humanity in centuries. Most importantly, discover how you can be a part of it via the website! A brighter, loving, more inspired life in gratitude awaits you.

Where Were You When You First Learned About the Importance of Having An Attitude of Gratitude? Do You Remember?

I was Probably About Two Years Old When I Was First Exposed, Though As You’ll See, That First Lesson was Somewhat Lost on Me!

As I recall, it went like this:

I’d been visiting my grandmother in Madison, Wisconsin for a couple of weeks, and she’d become exasperated with my toddler behavior, though I don’t recall the specific details.

What I do remember is that she sat me up on her kitchen counter, my tiny two year old legs dangling, stared me down, and advised me that I was going to have to stay there until I’d thought about what a lucky girl I really was, and provided her with three things I was grateful for…

Well, never having heard the term, nor even being aware of the concepts of “luck” or “luckiness,” I was totally stumped. It looked like an endless day was looming ahead of me as I’d be stuck sitting up there on the counter, instead of outside playing in my sandbox

Thankfully Grandma took pity on me, and, good Christian woman that she was, tried to teach me the importance of being thankful for what we have. In the end, she even provided me with my ticket off the counter, suggesting three things for which she felt I ought to be appreciative:

  • “It’s a beautiful day.”
  • “The sun is shining.”
  • “I’m at grandma’s house.”

Anxious to Gain My Freedom From the Countertop, I Agreed These were “Good Things,” Dutifully Repeated the Mantra – And Regained Solid Ground!

Then Disaster Struck My Carefree Life: My Mother Had Been Alerted to My Newly Acquired Lesson:

Just a few of weeks later, back home in Michigan, and equally frustrated with my “terrible twos” behavior, my mother brought up the “gratitude” topic once again.

Things Went a Bit Differently This Time:

  • Mom unceremoniously stuffed my butt in a chair and pushed it into a corner, facing the wall.
  • She told me I had to stay there
  • Again I was stuck until I came up with – you got it – those darn three things I was grateful for.

WooHoo!

I was confident. This was gonna be a cinch! Freedom from the punishment chair would soon be mine… all I had to do was remember what Grandma taught me!

So I dug back into the depths of my unschooled memory for the magic words, and carefully and triumphantly repeated them to her, word for word, exactly as I had been trained:

  • Slowly and tentatively I advised my mother of my first reason for having gratitude: “It’s a beautiful day.”
  • Then, gaining more confidence: “The sun is shining.”
  • Finally, success almost at hand, and taking a deep sigh of relief, the last one came out all in a rush: “And-I’m-at-grandma’s-house.”

How Proud I was! Success was Mine! I Had Pulled That Magic Formula from the Deepest Recesses of My Brain!!

So I was Completely Puzzled When the Look on My Mother’s Face Turned from Parental Pleasure to Confusion – And Then Convulsed into Laughter.

  • What was wrong?
  • I’d had been a “good girl”
  • I done what she’d asked
  • Darn it! I’d supplied the magic words. I’d told her what I was grateful for!

Thankfully, These Days, I’m Much More Aware of the Concept of Gratitude. And Why I am Grateful.

But I have to admit that a full half century later, whenever I hear anyone comment, “It’s a beautiful day, look how beautifully the sun is shining,” my mind automatically fills in the third part of the mystic triad: “And I’m at Grandma’s house.”

Then I laugh inside, and thank my mother and grandmother for their early efforts at teaching me the importance of maintaining an attitude of gratitude!

Do You Have an Attitude of Gratitude? How Do YOU Prefer to Express It?

If you haven’t been practicing an attitude of gratitude, take a note from my grandmother, and start by looking for the little things that you’re grateful for, as your day progresses. Then the big things will fall into place by themselves

  • Make a habit of looking for the positive angle in everything that happens to you. View obstacles as opportunities for you to appreciate.
  • Make mental notes throughout the day of the opportunities for gratitude which you discover. Notice how feeling gratitude actually shifts your mindset to the positive.
  • Focus on the wonderful things in life to attract similar encounters in the course of the day.
  • Use positive energy as a magnet to draw even more positive energy.

You’ll Want to Help Yourself Celebrate and Remember These Moments By Writing Them Down in Your Gratitude Journal.

A gratitude journal is a fantastic way to consciously call attention to the things for which you’re thankful, on a daily basis.
By focusing on gratitude, you become aware of these things, you shift your thinking to the positive and you gain a whole new outlook on life.
You can keep the gratitude journal in just about any format. Most people write theirs down on paper or online, but there’s no reason you can’t keep an audio or video journal. Here are a couple of easy ways to keep a gratitude journal:
  • The Gratitude Tracker is a free downloadable tool that resides on your computer. It’s easy to use, and a gift to the online world from Terrie Wurzbacher of Getting Unstuck, LLC. She believes it is the only Gratitude Journal with its own integrated sticky note program. The cool part about this tool is that whatever you write on your sticky note is automatically transferred to your journal. This means you can quickly upload thoughts of gratitude as they come to you, as long as you are online. Once installed, the sticky note pops up every time you open your browser, reminding you to practice an attitude of gratitude on a daily basis.
  • ButterBeeHappy is a free happiness journaling website launched early this year and dedicated to “pollinating populations with Happiness.” Developed based on Harvard research, it promises users that they will be happier by simply jotting down five happy thoughts a day.ButterBeeHappy.com doesn’t claim to fix all problems, but our users do claim to feel happier after keeping a journal of gratitude and happy thoughts,” says John Brooks Pounders, 22, a student at the University of Alabama and founder of ButterBeeHappy.com.The internet doesn’t have that many truly happy places for people to go to. I am trying to change this, five happy thoughts at a time.”
  • Create Your Own Journal: Start with a blank notebook or journal which you keep by your bed along with your writing tool of preference, so that it’s easy for you to write in it nightly. Why use this instead of the online tools or a pretty book with five lines a day? Well, as you get going with journaling, you’ll find that the five daily items you are grateful for become, seven, ten – even 20. Gratitude journaling is so transformational that once you get into the habit you find that you become grateful for everything! Which means you need more space to write – an actual blank book journal or notebook.  Look for:
    • spiral-bound notebook that opens flat for ease in writing works well, as does a three ring binder.
    • Lined or unlined paper, of any size or color, according to your preference.
    • Space to personalize your gratitude journal with drawings, clippings, photos, quotes or verses you find in magazines, like you might do with a vision board

How Do You Begin Writing Your Gratitude Journal?

It’s best to keep it simple, so you actually make a habit of doing it. Try this:

  • Write down five things you’re grateful for just before you climb into bed.
  • To get your thoughts rolling, review your day and include anything – however small or great – that you realize was a source of gratitude for you that day.
  • These sources might be as simple as the memory of an inviting aroma that came from a bakery you walked past, the colors of the sunset, a kind word or smile from a stranger, even a song you heard on the radio.
  • Make sure your list is personal.
  • Write just a few words about each of the five benefits or blessings.
  • You may be brief at first, but feel free to increase the length of your posts as time progresses.

Remember, If You Can’t Think of Anything Positive to Write, Here’s Help:

Begin by reading John Castagnini’s inspirational book “Thank God I…,” or if you’re in a hurry to get your grateful thoughts down on paper, just start by writing down my original mantra:

  • “It’s a beautiful day.”
  • “The sun is shining.”
  • I’m at grandma’s house.”

After you stop chuckling about “grandma’s house,” you’re sure to come up with many things you’re personally grateful for!

Try it and see!