No. 60

Do you remember how you felt the last time you did something special for someone else and they took the time to say "Thank you" or even wrote you a note to express their appreciation? This happens millions of times each day in our country and it enhances the lives of both the one who sends the note, as well as the one who receives it. This wonderful feeling is also the basis for a natural law called The Law of Appreciation. If you recall, a "natural law" is a series of events in nature that has been observed to occur with unvarying uniformity. In other words, if the conditions and circumstances are exactly the same in all respects, then the results or outcome will always be the same.
It should go without saying that the proper understanding and application of this law will help any person to achieve a happier and more successful life. The reason this is true is because one of the strongest hungers in human beings is the desire to be appreciated. Everyone wants to be liked and to be made to feel important. No one wins the esteem of another quite so quickly as the one who feels and shows sincere appreciation with "sincere" being the key word here.
Before I move on to another aspect of this law, I want to suggest a way you can prove this to yourself, and if you are not already doing this, I can guarantee you that it will change your life for the better. In your mind, just see an invisible sign on every person you meet that has the letters "M.M.F.I.". These letters stand for "Make Me Feel Important." If you will take the time to make every person you meet to feel like they are the most important person in the world, you will find more open doors and more opportunities to be of service than you ever dreamed possible. Just remember, this law will make things better in every area of your life. To earn more money, apply this law to your customers, your business associates and those you serve. To have a better spiritual life, home life and social life, apply it to your family, fellow church members, your friends, neighbors and anywhere else you wish to be more successful.
Now, apart from this aspect of the law of appreciation, there is also another consideration that must be completely understood if we are to profit from this law. Here is an often misunderstood paradox: if we expect appreciation from others in return for what we do for them, we will be sadly disappointed. No doubt you know people who do for others because they expect something in return. In reality, this is a very shallow way to live, because it goes against a fundamental trait of human nature. All too often, we see people who are not appreciated for their good works and they withdraw or become bitter and this doesn't produce success. In most cases, it produces failure and the root cause was a lack of understanding of this great natural law.
Here is the essence of the law of appreciation in clear, understandable terms. When we are sympathetic, helpful and give sincere appreciation to other people, we are using this great law to our advantage. It is equally important that we never count too much on the appreciation of others, because in many cases we will be greatly disappointed. We should remember what others do for us and forget very quickly what we do for them.
Whether or not you believe or understand this law is not the issue. The only thing that really matters is that you use it. Incidentally, if reading this column made you feel like you were back in school again, just remember, we all need to stop and sharpen the ax once in a while. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)