Image by clevercupcakes via FlickrIt costs nothing - except maybe takes a minute of your time, but can pay you back in loyalty, devotion, respect and admiration.
Would you like to know the secret that can make people your staunchest allies, those who fight for you even when you have given up? the answer is simple and plain APPRECIATION.
What is appreciation? The simple act of recognizing the efforts someone else has put in to make your life better. I cannot think of a more simpler definition.
Appreciation does not mean that you consider and express kind words only when you see outstanding work. It is just letting the other person know that you appreciate them as a person and the work that they do.
You don't have to be all flowery in language, even a simple Thank You will do, as long as you mean it sincerely, say it with a smile and look the person in the eye when doing it. But start somewhere.
As humans we are very attuned to look for faults and negative emotions. It is very easy to go through someone's efforts and find faults. It is easy to be negative, its is easy to be dismissive and not thank some one - why? because this is his/her job, he/she is getting paid for it, why should I appreciate then?
A lot of us complain that we don't feel appreciated enough, I think the best way to change that is for you to start appreciating others. After all what goes around, comes around.
Start thanking people for simple things - don't wait for them to build the Taj Mahal for you before you say anything nice - thank them for something as simple as asking you how you are today. After all that person has taken time out to ask if your doing ok, appreciate that.
I know what it feels like to work your a*** off and not get a single word of feedback or appreciation in return. It is the world's most wretched feeling. It is deepest need of the human soul - to be appreciated, to feel wanted.
When you appreciate someone, it always comes back to you manifold.
Albert Schweitzer points out the need to be grateful for the help that others have given, "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." and I would add - help light that spark in others as well.
And just to end this - Thank you for reading this :-D