Introduction: This is part of series I am entitling, “Stoking the Fire by Using the Rainbow Bridge.”  The general idea is that the colors of the rainbow can be used like stepping stones which help people cross over from a lackluster life to living life fully alive. 

Fanning the Flame

The Yellow Stepping Stone

Once fuel is found and the spark is ignited, the third stepping stone, over the rainbow bridge, is to fan the flame.  All flames need oxygen, the breath of life. This can be done through cardiovascular exercise and through receiving positive affirmations for our efforts and talents all of which increase our self esteem.

Challenge: Ask yourself–How often do I create time in my day for cardiovascular exercise and/or receive positive affirmations for the skills, talents, and efforts that I put into the home, workplace, and/or community?  Is there anything I need to incorporate more of in my day (or week?)
Note: What goes around, comes around.  If you do not feel as though you are being recognized for your efforts, start recognizing the efforts and talents of others and watch how what goes around will come back around to you.  Here is a list of 10 things to consider when it comes to showing others how awesome they are:

 

  1. Start slow and low and increase over time – If you are not used to giving compliments, start with one once a day (or week) and increase it from there.  Write it down as a goal or in your appointment book if needed.

2. Take note – if you notice someone went to putting some extra effort into a project or their appearance, tell them you noticed.

3. Make it personal – Perhaps you noticed that someone around you has a specific talent that you appreciate, weather it is humor or pays attention to details, is creative or anything else.  Point out to that person how their particular talent impresses you.

4. Make it public – Give someone a shout on social media.  Many social media sites are making this exceeding easy with reminders to post a happy birthday or a friendversary.  People like to be publicly acknowledged.

5. Make it one on one – Just as much as people like to be publicly acknowledged, they as also like individual attention. Invite someone out for coffee or tea, each lunch with someone you normally wouldn’t.  You may be surprised how much your effort will also benefit you just as much as it benefits them.

6. Make it a learning experience – Use your skills to enhance thiers and visa versas.  We all have gifts and talents and strengths and weaknesses. During a social activity or project, find out how each other talents can off set each other’s weaknesses and learn and grow from each other.

7. Praise often and be proactive – As the old saying goes, honey attracts more than vinegar.  AS a teacher I set my students up for success by telling them what they are, “You are the best. You are academic.  You are successful. I know you will be respectful when someone new comes into our room.” And when they follow through on my expectations, I reward them with more praise…”I am so proud that…”  As well as gift them with small objects once in while.

8. Make it unexpected.  While people like consistency and like to be in control, a little unexpected praise or prize or time adds some spice to life that makes it worth living.  

9. Make it authentic – Don’t fake it.  People can tell if you are being genuine or not.  On the other hand, if this is new for you, then I’d say it is okay to fake it until you make it.  The effort is appreciated, over not trying at all.

10. Ask someone to pay it forward. Weather it is a quick nice note, a gesture to buy someone some coffee, or a piece of chocolate left on a desk, ask someone to pass the favor forward.  The more we all recognize each other, the easier and more natural it becomes.