Yesterday was a crazy day. I had a ton of work stuff going on, a ton of stuff all coming to a crescendo at the same time. As an added piece to my overwhelming pie I got into an email altercation with a competitor in my field. The argument escalated to the point where some names were called. Then I sat back and thought about the situation, I said to myself, how can calling names lead to anything good? So I apologized for my role in the argument and my competitor wrote me a long email response explaining how this got out of hand. In the end of the email he wrote... "I just wanted to let you know that we all know what you do for our industry. We also know you don't ever get credit for doing what you do, and we wanted to let you know that there are people out there who see and truly appreciate all your efforts."
This meant more to me than anything has in a long while. After all this fighting, him ending the conversation like this changed my entire outlook on the day.
Then it made me think, maybe I need to take time out to tell the people in my life how much I appreciate what they do. I think a little thing like simply saying to someone, 'hey, great job.' could change a person's whole mood. Say thank you to the guy behind the counter, tell him you appreciate how hard he is working. Tell your son that you are proud of how hard they are working in school, tell your daughter you appreciate her positive spirit, tell your mom that you notice how much she does for the family. I think you will find this to be a truly gratifying encounter for both you and the person you told.
Sometimes when a long time goes by without being recognized for the good we do we start to get discouraged and depressed, we start to look at things from a negative point of view. Sometimes a simple statement of appreciation could refuel that persons positivity for a good long time.
On a side note - I also learned from this altercation that sometimes being humble, turning the other cheek, apologizing, could take your relationship in an entirely different direction then if you were to continue your argument.