Posted by Carol Metzker on Aug 25, 2017

Appreciating Passion and Engagement - In France

By Carol Metzker, OWR member and co-author of “Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn
Carol in Lavender
(she's in there somewhere)
Authentic appreciation can work wonders for others and ourselves. Appreciation does more than elevate a recipient’s mood—it can change outcomes, raise the level of our well-being, and orchestrate a new future for friendships, work, family and community development. It can fuel creativity and innovation, leadership and success. Simply put, looking for what is positive in a situation and giving it recognition makes life better.
Want proof? Look to research. In an eye-popping study, student experimenters were given rats to train. Although all rats were from the same strain, some students were told they had bright rats and others were told theirs were dull. Then they were asked to train their rats to run a maze. At the end of the study, the rats labelled “bright” had learned the maze faster and went through it more correctly than the others. Believing the rats were special, students had given them extra care and attention.
While that may seem within the scope of imagination, would you believe that similar experiments with flatworms showed that the worms believed to be more intelligent were more responsive than the ones believed to be “low responders.”
Not surprisingly, humans treated with more appreciation and care in various studies rose to greater levels of “giftedness.” They bloomed because people believed they would and treated them with appreciation and care!
A side benefit of appreciating others is better health, prosperity and happiness for ourselves. While we are bringing out the best in others we bring out the best in ourselves. We breathe deeply. We relax as we smile. We derive energy as we increase it in others.
Putting Appreciation into Practice
On a vacation in France this past July, there was abundant opportunity to practice appreciation. Through the photos and stories below I invite you to marvel at what people have created, feel gratitude for the creators and their outcomes, and to transfer the energy and delight you feel into appreciating the good things in front of your nose that you may not notice any more.
Lavender field below the 12th century village of Aurel -– Consider the people who built the stone village in 12th century, and those who in the recent past planted lavender plants that are enjoyed for beauty, cuisine and skin products.
View from Chateau la Roque overlooking the Rhone Valley with our picnic of local cheese, bread, and olives on a table. The castleowner/chef noticed the distinctive wheel of soft cheese—topped with a purple blossom—and told us the cheesemakers lived less than a kilometer away. The goat-tender played Mozart to the herd each day before milking and his wife picks flowers each day to adorn the cheese. This is true engagement in life. Their work far surpasses someone who goes through the motions of their jobs… and the result is magnificent. It would be hard not to appreciate the people who baked the baguettes, picked the local olives and made the local wine. Next week, give a nod of thanks to someone who shared something nice with you.
Eiffel Tower in Paris – We know it inspires awe. But do we often marvel over the people who designed, constructed and lighted it and keep the area clean?
Enjoy these two short videos that show the charm, beauty and unique glimpses of life in France and people who love what they do:
Could make you wish for a rainy day.
     Pep’s Umbrella Repair Parapluie
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
Extraordinary passion and art in chocolate.
          Patrick Roger Chocolate
(If you cannot see the video below on your device, click here).
Please share with us a photo of the beauty where you live—whether art, food, nature, everyday objects or whatever you appreciate.
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