How would you like to be able to predict the future? I can. Better yet, I can teach you -- in just one article -- a sneaky trick you can use to predict the future, too.
You can use this trick to predict a certain type of result in life - like how well your child will do in school this year, or how enthusiastic your spouse might be toward helping you with a project around the house, or the type of service you're likely to receive from the waitstaff at your favorite dining establishment.
These types of results become easy to predict, because you can easily influence them to go the way you want. With just a little effort. Through the use of what we'll call "The 4 a's."
1 & 2. Awareness & attention.
Yep, this sneaky trick does require just a bit of attention. Even awareness. You'll need to start consciously watching for what's going on in your world, relative to the person you've got in mind:
- What is she naturally good at?
- What does he take pride in?
- Where does he give his full effort?
- Where does she struggle, but eventually pull through?
3 & 4. Appreciation & acknowledgement.
Notice something he naturally does well or excels at. Notice where she makes an extra effort, even if the results aren't yet completely consistent with what she'd like to produce. Notice any natural traits you'd like to encourage. Like these:
- Your 3rd grader is committed to getting his homework done without being asked.
- Your 8th grader is extra considerate of her friends' feelings.
- Your spouse always has a smile for the new puppy, even when she digs a little too enthusiastically in the flower bed.
- Your favorite service person remembers the beverage you usually like with dinner.
Then, and here's the sneaky part, appreciate her for it. Acknowledge his greatness. Draw it to his attention. Create her future with your words.
- "Sam, I really appreciate your initiative. You're a smart kid. And with the extra effort you put in on your homework, you're creating some great habits that will serve you well for your whole life. Why, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you start a business of your own one day!"
- "Honey, I know Sniffy's digging up the flower bed must frustrate you. I'm sure she'll grow out of it eventually. But it's great to see you take it in stride. After all, she is a dog. Still, maybe I'd better find the number for that obedience school Max told us about."
- "Sara, I'm so proud of you. Your dribbling has gotten so much better since last year. I know that basketball camp you went to last summer made a big difference. I noticed the other girls passed you the ball a lot more this game. Your practice is really paying off."
See how it works?
But there is a catch. The appreciation has got to be genuine. You've got to watch the person enough to notice something he or she is genuinely good at -- something he or she really does well. Extend it just a little and you'll be golden. Lie, and you'll lose all credibility.
Here's the explanation for this trick. With your words, you're creating an expectation for your kid, spouse, friend, or colleage to live into. Create with power and before long, you'll be hanging around with...
- A focused student who takes responsibility for his own learning.
- A good-natured spouse who's patient with your beloved pet.
- A kid who enjoys being active on a sports team, even if she may not be the world's greatest natural athlete.
- Or ???
Before you know it, you'll be predicting the future yourself (creating it, actually). For an observant, thoughtful person like you, this trick should be a snap to put into practice. Let me know how it goes, ok?
Elizabeth Eckert can help you explore how simple everyday choices create health — or undermine even the best of intentions. With a background that ranges from energy medicine to structural bodywork to developmental psychology, this "Stick-To-It Coach" has the experience to support you in creating the healthiest possible expression of — you!
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