Do you remember in elementary school when teachers used to give out gold stickers for a "job well done"?
I remember just how proud and accomplished I felt. Those treasured gold stickers were for triumphs based on academics or strong character. What great things to be congratulated on??
The gold stickers were not given out for being the best dressed, for being teacher's pet, for having the newest technology, for being pretty, for being tall, for being skinny, or for any other superficial reason... NO. Those stickers were given for exhibiting strong moral character or succeeding academically!
I want you to take a second to reflect.
Think about the last compliment you gave someone else.
Think about the last compliment you received.
My guess is that both were superficial, and I don't mean that as an insult. We all do it! I'll be the first to tell another woman I love her hair style or her outfit. I am not saying to STOP giving those types of compliments because people still need and crave positive reinforcement in any form they can get it.
Instead, I am challenging you to begin giving substantive compliments for actions and traits you notice in others that your elementary school teacher would award a gold star!
As humans, we have this incredible power to make someone's day brighter with a simple compliment. We should use this power more often and more intentionally! I guarantee the person you give a validating compliment to will reminder the compliment and YOU more than a superficial compliment.
Try it out!
Tell your co-worker you've noticed their dedication to a project and are impressed by their work ethic.
Tell your friend you have noticed their commitment to health and are inspired to try following in their footsteps.
Tell your professor that they bring life to a subject in a way that is captivating and educational. Tell them you are thankful for that.
Tell your significant other you've noticed how considerate they are when they take out the trash or buy your favorite candy.
Tell your busy friend you are impressed with how they are able to juggle so many obligations and that you are proud of how determined and tenacious they are in accomplishing so many tasks.
Compliment people on the deep stuff.
Usually, whatever it is we are working the hardest on and putting the most effort into is what we crave validation for. Give that to someone you notice putting in the work! You won't be disappointed.
Go make someone's life better today!