No I have’t received a few thousand acknowledgements nor have I given even close to that many. But after creating You Are videos for the past few years and seeing many, many people (though the power of video selfies) acknowledge a love one, I have learned a few things about acknowledgement and praise. Every time I do a video I learn something new so I’m sure this list will grow but here are the first round of thoughts:
- People love giving acknowledgment – You can imagine that the people closest to me have done more than a few You Are Videos for family and friends. Part of me began thinking “am I asking this too much?” and “will this annoy people”. But the fact is the more I ask, the more they like. Kids now at our school say “I want to do one, I want to do one” when we tell them that we are doing a video for a teacher.
- We got brick walls – I’m not sure what the exact number is but it takes quite a few acknowledgements in a row for people to actually believe them. We have these internal brick walls up that deflect all but the most overwhelming of acknowledgements. My guess is that we hear acknowledgement all the time (or at least much more than we think) but they just bounce off our brick walls.
- We are way more connected then we think – I’ve done videos for birthdays ranging from 8-80 and I never have trouble getting at least 20 or 30 people who have something genuine and loving to say about a person. But I don’t believe we walk around thinking “wow – there are at least few dozen people that really appreciate me”.
So what does all this mean? I can’t say for sure but my thought is that the problem isn’t that we aren’t receiving acknowledgements or that there aren’t people to connect with (like the good old days that we hear so much about), its that we don’t let people in.
Give it a try – next time someone acknowledges you for most anything, take a look a your reaction. Do you accept it or does it bounce right off that brick wall. Or acknowledge someone you really appreciate and see if they actually accept it.