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    JOHNTJ1   67,939
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"Thank You" Is Only The Begining


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Larry’s been out of school for twenty years. He told me the last class he remembers was his PE class two days before he graduated from high school. You can imagine the adjustment. Larry was struggling with, English 101. Larry had to write composition after composition and it was weighing him down. As Larry told this story, I shared my philosophy of writing. I believe that writing is like any other process in our lives. It requires dedication and practice. I usually write for thirty to forty minutes each day. Some days I just don't feel like writing but I do it anyway. Larry looked at me and said: "Well you are a really good writer."

"Uh-oh," I thought. "Here comes the moment that involves the plastic smile and a modest thank you."

I was quite surprised, however. My reaction was genuine and sincere. I felt very calm, very peaceful, very focused; as if Larry's recognition validated many things I have been working towards. My” thank you” to Larry was a sincere one. I have a hard time accepting sincere and genuine thanks and praise. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I was raised in an environment that taught me to ferret out every bit of good and positive achievement and offer it up for some souls languishing in an alleged place between heaven and hell. Never mind that I was good at what I did, that was not the point. The point was that people who took credit for what they did were guilty of false pride and arrogance. I have to practice what I preach. I have to work very hard to live my mantra: "I am worth all the effort I put into myself." My confident acceptance was a validation of that effort and hard work.

How many of you, feel you’re overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy because of something terrible you did earlier in your life? How many of you feel that no matter how hard you try you are never going to achieve and accomplish the things you really want to because unfortunately, you are just one of those people who's not supposed to get what they deserve? I am not proud of it, but I was one of those people. There was no sense, and there was no use in trying to improve myself because I just had the odds stacked against me. "Pity, party of one, your table is now available."

So often, people would genuinely complement me for something I had done well. My face would flush, my heart would beat rapidly, and I'd find some words to discount or negate the complement. After all, if they only knew all the mistakes I had made my life and all the attempts I had made to reach my goals, only to fail they wouldn't be heeping all this praise on me. That's a tough way to live your life. You work very hard, and truth be told you probably don't fail anymore or any less than any other person; it's just that your successes are so far and few between that you never seem to notice them.

Whether it's health and fitness, whether it's writing, knitting, hitting a golf ball or running a marathon if you don't believe you are worth all the effort you put in to your activity no matter how much you tangibly accomplish deep down inside you will never feel as if you were successful. My” thank you” to Larry yesterday was heartfelt and sincere and just between us friends it felt really good. I enjoy writing and I believe I write well. I am proud of my writing and I enjoy sharing it with other people. My writing in many respects may be considered my way of "paying things forward." There's no arrogance and conceit in what I say. My “thank you” to Larry was simply a beginning. That's where it all starts. I have a choice to build on that strong feeling or to simply replaying my mind repeatedly and let it wither on the vine.

What about you? What do you do well and how long have you kept the wonderful talents and amazing things you have to share a secret? You and I have heard repeatedly that a good house is built on a strong foundation. My health, my fitness, my overall sense of well-being doesn't come from a lot of self-discipline but from the pure, clear fountain deep inside my soul that tells me I'm worth all the effort I put into my success, and so are you. Some days it seems that the harder we work the further behind we get and then we have that moment when a Larry looks across the table and tells us something we know is true.

If I can do one thing really well then there's no limit to the things I can accomplish when I believe I am worth all the effort I put into myself. You see, my "thank you" was really just the beginning.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MSV2UU 4/29/2012 2:20AM

    Thank you for sharing!!

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TERRIJ7 4/29/2012 12:28AM

    I think that accepting sincere praise is difficult for many of us. It makes us self-conscious and even self-deprecating. Learning how to sincerely accept such praise with humble gratitude is a very good thing. :)

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JAMER123 4/28/2012 11:53PM

    emoticon Very insightful & true for many people!
emoticon and emoticon blog!

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LOGOULD 4/28/2012 11:35PM

    emoticon blog! Thank you for sharing, not only your talent, but also your insight. I think many of us struggle with those same deep seated insecurities and it takes changing more than just our diets to change our lives. Your guidance will help many of us discover what else we need to be looking at.

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CLAYARTIST 4/28/2012 11:11PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 4/28/2012 11:02PM

    Part of our evaluations where I worked addressed our gifts and how to develop them so most of us left with an idea of what are strong points were.

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JENNIFERSTAM 4/28/2012 9:57PM

  great blog

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WHITEANGEL4 4/28/2012 9:46PM

    Thanks for the great blog...... emoticon

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CORINA-MOMOF4 4/28/2012 8:39PM

    emoticon

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ISABELLE31 4/28/2012 6:04PM

    emoticon

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AYLEA56 4/28/2012 6:04PM

    emoticon Very Well said and I appreciate that you shared this.
emoticon

Have a Wonderful Day!

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PATRICIAANN46 4/28/2012 5:40PM

  Very well said!!! emoticon

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NO_SNOW_BODY 4/28/2012 5:36PM

    great blog

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CICELY360 4/28/2012 5:21PM

  Thanks for the blog.

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HEARTS116 4/28/2012 4:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PMFISH 4/28/2012 4:47PM

    I had a young girl that could never just receive a compliment or a gift. I asked her how she felt when she complimented some one else or gave them a gift. She replied that it made her feel good. Explained you cannot take away someone else's feel good when you can not enjoy the compliment or the gift. It made her view things quite differently. I was taught from an early age, I was not better than anyone, but no one was better than me. It has served me well!

Thanks for sharing John.

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WISDOM73 4/28/2012 4:22PM

    Hello John and thank you for sharing that wonderfull blog! Have a great day. Thank you again.

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LUVS2BIKE101 4/28/2012 3:58PM

    My face turns red, too, whenever a compliment comes my way. I'm just starting to say "thank you" because as you have written so eloquently, we worked hard to improve our lives and we are worth it!
emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 4/28/2012 3:47PM

    Wow, John, just an excellent topic and one so well written...by wonderful talented you!
Love & hugs,
Mary

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MORNINGWALKER 4/28/2012 3:29PM

    emoticon

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GAILRUU 4/28/2012 2:54PM

    I have to use a timer to keep me working on jobs that I procrastinate doing. It is amazing how much sewing I can get done in 30 minutes, or even 15! The point is to start and sometimes it turns into even more than planned.

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JENNY421 4/28/2012 2:45PM

  thank you!

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MOMOSG 4/28/2012 2:39PM

    Thank you for putting things into perspecitve. Those were beautifully written words!

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MARJORIEWRIGHT 4/28/2012 1:17PM

    Thank You for sharing!!

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COOKI3123 4/28/2012 12:32PM

    Perfect timing! Thank YOU!

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CAMAEL100 4/28/2012 12:27PM

    Sounds like my upbringing "Pride comes before a fall" Praise the ass (donkey) and he is sure to fall" These are the lovely sayings I remember from my childhood!! Being humble and as you say, doing things for the great good as opposed to doing it for myself were considered great virtues.

When we were a little older, I remember a teacher trying to teach us to receive compliments well, like just saying thanking you very much and accepting the praise. I thought she was a bit 'full of her own importance'

Thankfully I am getting over it. I surround myself with positive sayings and thoughts. Now easy to surround oneself with positive people always! But that is why I like Spark - I come on here to meet people like you who are refusing to accept things as they are and are working to change themselves!




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RONNIEHUEY 4/28/2012 11:58AM

    Thanks!

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MOMMY445 4/28/2012 11:20AM

    i also have difficulty accepting compliments,too. thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog!

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SUPERSYLPH 4/28/2012 11:19AM

    I can completely relate. I was raised the same way. Thank you.

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CHOOSE2BELIEVE 4/28/2012 10:59AM

    emoticon

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WILDHONEYPIE1 4/28/2012 10:56AM

    emoticon I have trouble taking a compliment as well. (and any type of help, and, and, and....) And I'm also working at not blowing people off, and being sincere in both my thanks and my acceptance of the compliment. Because here's the thing, it feels good to make someone else feel good about themselves. And if I deflect a compliment, I'm not only denying myself a little sunshine, but the person who paid the compliment as well. emoticon

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FLUTTERFLI 4/28/2012 10:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 4/28/2012 10:44AM

    emoticon

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SUSANK16 4/28/2012 10:42AM

  I also have difficulty accepting compliments. I think it is more a trust issue rather than a confidence issue....I always am waiting for the other shoe to drop

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LAINYC 4/28/2012 10:41AM

    emoticon

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ELSAROO 4/28/2012 10:41AM

  Thanks for nailing this one down. It's easy to confuse being proud of yourself with being prideful. I never quite know where the line is, myself & have often been accused of not being able to take a compliment. For me it's been a 'fake it 'til you make it' process. Giving out enthusiastic thank-you's until they began to sound genuine. I guess everything in life takes practice! Thanks again!

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LDRICHEL 4/28/2012 10:35AM

    Just came off a business trip and this is such a great lesson to learn. There is nothing more mature and professional than humbly accepting thanks/compliments for something you have worked very hard to accomplish.

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SANDYLH1 4/28/2012 10:31AM

  emoticon

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GINGERVISTA 4/28/2012 10:11AM

    Have been told I've had difficulty with compliments. It's nice to know that 1) I'm not the only one & 2)I think I'm getting over it.
Thanks for always sharing your truth. emoticon

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LDMCNIEL 4/28/2012 10:10AM

    Thank you. I love reading your blogs, they are so inspirational.

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KNEWMETODAY 4/28/2012 10:00AM

    Thank you. One of the biggest things I've learned at SP is that I'm not alone, that, while our experiences are not identical, there is commonality. It's fun now to identify some of the kinks and try to root them out!

Kathy

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GIRLINMOTION 4/28/2012 9:56AM

    Like SparkPeople, saying thank you is priceless.

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DIETER27 4/28/2012 9:49AM

  Once again your blog has inspired me. It was just the thing I needed to help me inmy weightloss journey. After reading this it made me even more determined to stick things out. You are a emoticon and you have motivated me so I say emoticon emoticon

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SCHECK5 4/28/2012 9:44AM

    Love your blog it was very inspiring for me.

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THEFLORIDAFAIRY 4/28/2012 9:37AM

    John, I so enjoy your blogs. Thank you for your insight and wisdom, and for bringing those thoughtful questions to our minds......

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MAXXIZ20 4/28/2012 9:31AM

    Always well written. You express what so many of us are thinking but cannot or do not say. Nice to know I am not alone in these similar feelings. I look forward to reading your blogs. Thanks!

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POLSKARENIA 4/28/2012 9:18AM

    Great blog! Why is it that so many of us are brought up to think it's uncool to succeed or take a pride in success???

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BARBWEST3 4/28/2012 9:15AM

    you are a wonderful writer.

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JIBBIE49 4/28/2012 9:10AM

    emoticon So wonderful to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. You are certainly a emoticon You have so many people following you, that now YOU are the inspiration for them. emoticon

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CYDNEYLEECH 4/28/2012 9:06AM

    Your posts are always inspiring. Thanks!!!

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