30 Days of Appreciation

reading kidsFor the past month, we have been focusing our attention on our Ask Jack calls and in this website are the topics of Gratitude and Appreciation. As we head into Thanksgiving over the next few weeks, it is especially a time to think about what we are grateful for. Part of the homework for the monthly November Ask Jack call was to appreciate 3 people a day for the next 30 days and notice what that produces internally and externally in your life. You can do it verbally or in writing. Verbally is more impactful for most people, but writing a note of appreciation is also a wonderful way to express your gratitude because people can keep the note and reread many times.

Today I reviewed a wonderful letter of appreciation from Carly Saveraid from Davenport, Iowa, in which she shared her appreciation for the book Chicken Soup for the Soul, which I completed and edited. After you read it, ask yourself, “Is there an author, teacher, co-work, employer, family member, friend or someone else who has positively impacted my life that I can reach out to and share my appreciation to them?”

I invite you to take the 30-day appreciation challenge and actively share your appreciation with at least 3 people a day. Start today as soon as you finish reading this. Make a score card where you can tick off 3 a day for 30 days. I promise you, it will impact you as much as the people you share the appreciation with. Have a great month, and know that I appreciate you for extending the circle of love and appreciation to your family, friends and community.

         Dear Mr. Jack Canfield,

        Books come and go in everyone’s lives. You might read about an adventure, and get so worked up about it, and forget the whole story a few months later. Your heart may get broken along with the main character, but you do not hold that pain with you forever. Chicken Soup for the Soul is not one of these kinds of books. When I read Chicken Soup for the Soul, the stories stick with me. Something someone might say will remind me of a story I once read in the collection. Something I may see will trigger a memory of a story that helped me get through a hard time. When I read Chicken Soup for the Soul, I can relate to many of the stories. I feel a sense of comfort with people that have had similar struggles to mind, and even a sense of hope when I see on the last page that they have overcome their obstacles. It’s so inspiring to read real life stories and realize that there are more important things going on in this world besides my new shirt, my homecoming date, or the latest cell phone. People are changing lives, and having their own changed. The stories in the collection have enlightened me about trials and tribulations, and by reading about them I have learned to cope with my own troubles, and have been changed. All you have to do is listen, and pay attention to someone’s story to learn more about yourself.

        I had a rough year in seventh grade. I didn’t really care about school, I wasn’t getting along with my family, and my friends at school never seemed consistent. It was a difficult time, and I needed to find comfort in some way. I tried many different things. But nothing seemed to comfort me the way reading Chicken Soup for the Soul did. This book taught me lessons that not even the best teachers could teach me. It made me grow up in ways I never knew I could. Just reading and reading about so many different situations, made mine not seem so bad. Little by little, my problems seem to be less and less and things started getting better. By reading about someone that has lost their mom, it would make me appreciate mine more. By reading about a child dying from cancer, it makes me appreciate the health of my body. By reading a detailed story of a homeless person, my life would seem like a blessing. I am grateful that these books have helped me grow as a person.

        These stories focus on inspiring tales of hope in difficult times. From power outages to health scares to financial insecurities, the stories remind me that I need to be thankful for my life, and value my own story.