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Have I Told You Lately?

Have I Told You Lately

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In today’s noisy and often negative world, it’s easy to forget to show our appreciation for other people. We’re so busy dealing with the frantic pace of everyday life that we can wrongly assume that we’ve said what we need to, or that the other person already knows what we’re thinking so we don’t bother. This is a serious mistake.

One of my favorite songs is “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?”by Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. This beautiful melody always acts as a reminder about how much my loved ones mean to me…and how I need to tell them so! The truth is, your nearest and dearest can’t read your mind so, if you want them to know how you feel, you have to intentionally tell them often and with gusto!

Here are some ways you can give others encouragement, affection and approval in a strong, public and unconditional way:

Be Intentional

To appreciate anything in your life, you have to be intentional about it. It’s easy to drift along, presuming that others know that you appreciate them but, if you’re not vocal about it, then they are probably in the dark.  Remember – we judge ourselves by our intentions, but others judge us by our actions, so strive to be more intentional in expressing your affection and appreciation for other people.

Affirm the Ones You Love

The person who doesn’t affirm his or her affection for others is at no advantage over the person who has no-one to love or is loved by nobody. Whether it’s your spouse, kids, friends or coworkers, you can’t affirm and appreciate people enough. Give your encouragement, affection and approval liberally. And, when you get a chance, do it publicly. As Shirley Temple said, “Don’t forget to tell your favorite people that you love them.”

No Buts

There should be no buts when it comes to your encouragement of others. When you add a ‘but’ to an affirmation, all anybody gets is the ‘but.’ It acts as a qualifier and your affirmation goes from unconditional to conditional.  Often, the people around us are starving for acknowledgment. They might not have heard a good word all day, all week…maybe all month. When you encourage someone, it’s like putting courage inside them. You give them support, confidence and hope. So, affirm strongly and publicly and don’t have a but!

We must be intentional about affirming those we love. As Van Morrison wrote, ‘Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you there’s no-one above you? You fill my heart with gladness. You take away all my sadness. Ease my troubles, that’s what you do.” If you feel that way about someone, then tell them today!

To learn more, listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life”.

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