Most of us go through life feeling that we are just one in a crowd and that no one ever notices us nor values us. Yes it is true that parents would always have a special place for their kids but even that is often liberally sprinkled with do’s and don’ts and an incompleteness that suggests we need to still exceed their expectations. As a result, we are often trying to match up to expectations, trying to prove a point to others and do not really offer to the world around liberally of our talents, our abilities and our real self. The reality is that our individuality has much to offer that is unique and that is valued by others. It is the little things that we do, that is more significant than the convoluted efforts we make to impress others and gain approval. By being ourselves we are more natural, caring, feeling and expressive. There is always a lot of sparkle that we leave behind when we are natural not artificial, genuine not put on and when we can freely offer of our self without expectations from others.
Our natural self is often influenced by our upbringing, our family values and the inputs in our formative years in school and social settings. Our own attitudes, beliefs and thinking too have a major bearing on how our personality shapes up. There is a lot of positivity, goodness, care and concern that we are born with but these can be reinforced or negated by influences as we grow up. There is so much that we offer the world around that is valued, appreciated and eagerly sought for without us being conscious about it. So what is it that we can offer spontaneously, amply and freely that will always sparkle up our environment and the people around us?
A smile is obviously the most obvious and easiest sparkle that we can share with others. With a smile we acknowledge another person in a warm way. It is a sure way to state we notice the other person and a way to silently inform that we appreciate their presence. Very often it is also the beginning of a communication and possibly a friendship and a connect. A warm genuine smile brightens up the environment, lightens the mood and livens up the spirit.
Appreciation is something that every individual seeks. It is also something that can be easily given for there is a lot to appreciate in others. We tend to be stingy with our appreciation mainly because we are not aware how effective it is in creating a bond and building up relationships. Appreciation must not be confused with flattery. Appreciation is a genuine expression of a good sentiment towards an other. It can be simply an appreciation of the good work done by someone or your acknowledgment of something good in the other person. The best appreciation is when we respond positively to the individual concerned but we can also be appreciative of the person in a forum or setting where the person is not present.
Empathy is our ability to understand and feel a person’s pain and if possible to act decisively to mitigate it by our actions. Empathy goes a step beyond sympathy in that we don’t merely understand the others pain but we also attempt to walk with the person in discomfort and try to alleviate the pain to the extent possible. We are active participants in the process of healing for the others. This is difficult to spontaneously do because we often tend to hold back our feelings and expect others to ask us for our support.
Encouragement is a simple yet powerful technique that enables one to motivate and support others thereby leaving our little sparkle in their lives. Lots of people constantly need support in their emotional life as well as in coping with the stress of failures. Often they blame themselves for their inability to cope with the challenges they face. As a friend or well wisher or even as a bystander we can perhaps try and take a detached view and offer encouragement to the individual concerned and motivate him/ her to have fresh perspective and try again. With our encouragement we rekindle hope in them and they begin to pursue with greater vigour.
Support comes in many forms. Encouragement is also a form of support. However it is the support that we lend in practical terms like financial support at crucial times, being with them physically when they are in trouble, like when are involved in a calamity, that is really cherished. One could also support by putting in a word to influencers who can help their cause or just being with them when they are at their lowest depth psychologically and emotionally. Even if we cannot support them directly we must be able to at least guide them to find support or suggest to them alternatives to explore. Even the tiniest of support offered is the little sparkle that you offer them.
Keeping in touch has become easy nowadays because of technology. Yet, it is the personal touch that one craves for. Wishing people or expressing sympathy or forwarding messages through the electronic means has become so easy that it is done with little or no personalization or feeling. The real touch is in our ability to talk, meet, getting together and in giving surprises to those around. This does take both time and effort, but it is the time and effort we invest in keeping in touch that sets us apart from the others. The sparkle that we leave behind is the memories of those wonderful moments when personal touch actually touched the heart. The sparkle of those memories would always be cherished and would always remain priceless.
In addition to the above explore how you can leave a sparkle through the following
- Your manners
- Your etiquettes
- Your initiative
- Your impartiality and fairness
- Your tone/ language/ conduct
- Your talents / abilities
- Your wit/ humor/ presence of mind
List out the following
- Names of 2 individuals (other than immediate family) who have deeply influenced you.
- Recollect 2 wonderful moments from your life where someone played an important part in making it memorable.
- Can you remember at least 2 incidences where your involvement in some way made a person thrilled and ever grateful for your presence.
- Are there memories of times when you did not get the appreciation /support or encouragement that you sought from someone? Do you still feel bad about it?
- Do you remember an embarrassing moment/s when you backed out from offering support / encouragement to someone who placed his/ her faith in you?
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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