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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Mitchell

Power of Praise and Gratitude

Now to begin this conversation, I want to touch on the word itself, PRAISE. Praise comes from the word in Latin "pretiare" = to value, prize.  When something appreciates in value, it goes up.  When something depreciates, it goes down. 

Gratitude is praise and is the law of increase, complaint is whining is the law of decrease. Please note, I am not saying that "venting" is the same as complaining. If you have read my other posts, you will know that allowing yourself space to get out negative energy in variouus ways is a good thing.

I know you are probably thinking that you have heard all about the power of gratitude and praise a bajillion times. I hope I can add something from a different point of view.  I will use stories to show how each of the principles above work with PRAISE. 

Before I go into each of these points, I want to point out the actual science of which I speak. The HeartMath Institute does scientific studies and measurements on the actual physical and emotional heart with its effects on the human body.  They study the actual frequencies of the heart and brain.   ​One of the studies shows this:

Is that not crazy or what?  Everyone instinctively knows that our energy that we feel and put out there can be felt.  Women know when men are creepy, business investors get an idea when there is something that does not add up about a potential partner, car buyers know when a dealer is being shady, its from their energy! This practice is more about how to make your energy, your frequency more influential with using the power of PRAISE.  Its not just what you think, its what you FEEL in your heart that drastically changes your frequency of which you bring into a room, a situation, or relationship. ​ With that said, Lets start with the first concept: If you want to increase anything in your life, you have to praise it.

Bob Proctor talks about how he did an experiment once with a restaurant group.  The business was a mid to upper class type of restaurant and they had been in business for over 10 years.  They knew how much an average waiter/waitress would make on week days and week nights.  They came to a point where they had Bob come in to help them increase their business.  So Bob did the following with them: He took one group of half of the food service team and told them to do everything the same that they usually did, provide good service and be friendly. He then took the other half of the service team and told them that before they actually spoke with the customers and while they served them that they just had to THINK and FEEL thoughts of praise towards the customers.  They were to think in their minds and feel genuine gratitude in their hearts while saying,         "I praise you for being here. Thank you for coming to eat."  They were NEVER supposed to say anything out loud, ONLY in thought. At the end of the night, they measured both groups tips and amounts of which the customers bought.  In one night, the second praise group, did 50% more in tips and food sales than the other group and the other thing they did different was praise the customers in thought. This is where PRAISE makes a measurable difference, not just a fuzzy warm experience for the waiters, it actually increased their pay and the money the business brought in.  If you want more of something, PRAISE IT.  IF you want more money praise your customers. If you are on the phone with them, praise them before and while you talk in your thoughts.  ​IF you want your employees to respond to you more, praise them.  Same with kids, spouse, partners, or whoever.  PRAISE those who you want anything more with.  Just try it as an experiment and see. :) Now the second concept: ​Praise is and always has been the "alchemy" of life, shifting negative situations, relationships, or actions into positive

So I already gave an example of how PRAISE brings in more or increases.  Now I want to talk about how praise can SHIFT energy... how it can literally change negative situations into positive ones. From his book, Prison to Praise, Merlin Carothers talks about how he uses praise to help let go of situations and he states how things ALWAYS change whenever he praises it.  He talks about how as he was a pastor in the army and he had a young man and his wife come in and talked to him about the young man's dad.  His dad was an alcoholic and the young man had prayed all of his life to have his dad cured.  It never worked and he was at the end of his rope.  So he came in to talk to his pastor about it.  Merlin then asked him if he had ever praised the Lord and his dad for being an alcoholic. The young man was perplexed and asked why he would ever praise something so horrible?  ​Merlin pointed out that praising does a couple things, 1-It helps you be non resistant against negative situations, 2-It helps you literally step into the shoes of God and accept someone for who they are no matter how sinful or bad they may be, and 3-It helps you become more loving and accepting of yourself.

So they started to praise his dad for being an alcoholic.  Saying something like, " I am grateful that my dad is an alcoholic, thank you for everything you have taught me from this situation." Now within a week, his dad came to the son and announced he was stopping his drinking.  Within a few months he asked his son about his Christian faith and soon after was baptized.  A few years after, the son wrote Merlin and told him how his dad had been clean for several years and their relationship had been better than it ever had been before.

Let me give you one more example from my own life.  I at one time served a mission for my church on the Navajo reservation.  While I was on the mission, we were always to have a "companion" that was with us 24/7 as we went around. I had a companion that was especially challenging.  Obnoxious, would not work with me no matter what I did, and just did not care to be there, but he was there to please his parents. My sweet angel mother wrote me a letter (pre internet days) and told me to praise him and love him inside and out.  I begrudgingly accepted the challenge and then began to praise him every time we were with other people.  So if we were at the gas station, I would say every time when he said something to the clerk that bothered me,  I would say to the clerk out loud and I meant it genuinely... "Don't you just love this guy?" When we were going out and chopping wood for service hours for others and he would not be working as hard or be obnoxious somehow, I would repeat it "Can you see why I love this guy? I am so grateful for him" I would say that out loud to people and I did not say it sarcastically, but I meant it!  I also would repeat it in my mind, I would say "I praise you for being here with me and I choose to love you as a brother" Funny enough, within a week, he went from being annoying, lazy, and obnoxious, to one of my favorite companions and friends.  We used to fight all the time and now we got along great and he was no longer obnoxious, lazy, or annoying to me.  He was someone I genuinely liked to be around and loved as a good friend. Our relationship shifted because I shifted, I praised instead of criticized. My challenge to you in this section is to try it out.  IF you have a difficult relationship, in your mind and your words out loud to them, praise them.  ​IF someone does something that bothers you, or holds you back from them, whether its family, friends, co workers or whoever, praise them in mind and word.

Praise is a key to influencing others and leadership.   My last point is to leaders of any kind.  Whether in title or in influence. If you want to learn the power of influencing others, praise them, praise their work, praise their thoughts, contribution, and their efforts. Think about it from your own perspective, when you have a leader, manager, or some authority at work, when they are critical, micro managing, or negative with you, does it have an effect on your happiness and fulfillment in your job? Absolutely!

The great Dale Carnegie said the quote here, "People work for Money, but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards" How often do you praise your employees? Your co workers? Your friends? Your family? ​ And this isn't just praising to praise, this is being SPECIFIC in your praise. 

My challenge to you is this, regardless of your position at work.  IF you want to become more influential, PRAISE and RECOGNIZE those around you.  Make it a point on a daily basis to say out loud to someone around you, something specific you noticed that they did that you admire, respect, appreciate. 

I promise if you do that for one week, you will make a lot of friends and people will want you around for your opinion because you notice them. 

I did this with my own boss and try to on a regular basis.  Not to kiss up, but to genuinely bolster the relationship.  I do this with my friends as often as I can, I do this with my parents and family.  The only reason why I do it is not to manipulate, but to influence, to show them I care about and notice them.

IF you are up to a challenge, take these two.

Choose one person that means a lot to you, praise them in your mind and point something out daily that you admire, respect about them.

Choose one person that you cannot stand, who bugs or annoys you, praise them in your mind and point something out daily that you admire, respect about them.

Take notes and see how after a week how much your relationship with each changes.

Notice how you feel towards others, I promise that energy is noticed and felt even if it is not communicated.  Take control of your frequency and energy by putting out grateful, praising thoughts.

PRAISE my friends is truly the "alchemy" of change. It shifts lead into gold in your relationships, situations, and your life.

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