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In January the newsletter looked like the image on the right. It was colorful, and a bit circus-y. I’ve changed it to look like what you are reading today. More refined, more polished.

Would you believe I have only received 3 compliments?
And would you believe I received about 5 complaints?

I have worked for hours to “re-brand.”

Please, please, this is NOT a plea to get attention or to have you e-mail me apologies that you didn’t take the time to comment.
In the back of my mind, I’ve wondered: why didn’t people notice?

Lise Anne, a member of Religion Outside the Box, who works as a design strategist, helped me to understand this. Here is what she told me: People usually respond to design if they don’t like something about it. Good design feels so right that people often feel it was always part of their lives.”

In other words, if it feels right, people don’t notice!

Picture1Accentuate the positive!

I know that I ought to pay more attention to what is going right in my world – it’s the spiritual-religious practice of gratitude.

My teaching and parenting always do better when I compliment my students and children – and if not compliment, at least take note of neutral behavior more often. Teaching and parenting books suggest a ratio of four compliments or neutral responses for every one correction as the minimum to keep students and children from building too much resentment against you.

(Jane and I have been trained in teaching Parenting Classes. While we don’t do it perfectly, the techniques we have learned have led to a much more peaceful house. E-mail if you might want to take a web-based class called “Parenting Tools, Tricks, and Strategies.”)

Moreover, the world around me seems to multiply with blessings when I take the time to NOTICE WHAT IS GOING RIGHT MORE OFTEN.

Silence = Great!

Let me up the stakes. What if I could bring to my mind the idea that when people AREN’T correcting me they are silently approving of me? That is, if good design feels so right that it doesn’t warrant comment, maybe people are so comfortable with what I do that they don’t feel obligated to mention it?

Perhaps people in your life don’t know that they ought to be giving you four compliments for every critique? Perhaps every time they criticize you they actually had four nice things to say that they just neglected to mention.

And, perhaps God thinks that what you are doing is so seamless, so fitting and so appropriate that God just doesn’t feel the need to comment.

This week’s #wisdom_biscuit:

Give more approbation and convert the silence of others into compliments.

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