We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be. Nelson Mandela
Last night I spent an evening with 2 women who have always sustained me with their power of praise. These women have an unflinching belief in me, open and bold with their capacity to see this and share that belief. I am one of those truly blessed people on earth who has been surrounded by others who see something they like in you and are generous in their praise. Tall Poppy Syndrome does not exist in this world – it is regalled to that of an oxy-moron. What is it about praise that is so important and why should we be bothered with it? Isn’t it just stroking others egos? Emphatically NO! Praise is a fundamental human emotional need and something more powerful than most people recognise; it can embolden us to pursue our dreams.
I am not normally someone who buys self-help books – happily borrow from the library or read content on the internet. Last year I was very fortunate to receive a book voucher for my winning conference poster. As I perused and sought advice on a number of Anthropology texts on choice making and consumer behaviour, I saw this book’s profile and thought to myself “why not, this concept makes sense to me”.
Susan Mitchell hails from beautiful Adelaide, she has many years experience as a writer, television personality and radio host. I always enjoyed hearing her speak in her straight talking and intelligent style. So I considered if this translates to her book it should be a great read.
Indeed the book is very easy, interesting reading. It is peppered with quotes from interviews she has conducted with some of the most inspirational people of our time. They are always well considered and relevant to the discussion in the book. The concept is very simple and the few exercises that Mitchell requests us to do, are actually constructive and illustrative of the books message.
Mitchell asks us to identify moments in our lives where we have been praised by others, remember how that felt, in order to not only rejoice in that feeling but to accept it as our right. The book is not however, just about receiving praise! For myself the most important message of the book is the power that the praise of others brings to the receiver and the giver. We are inately reciprocal beings.
Now this isn’t like ‘The Secret’ concept of the universe will provide, Mitchell’s belief is that praise does in fact make us bold, in being bold we open ourselves to many new opportunities and experiences. I like that, and I’ve been experimenting with a couple of them. Funnily enough – this has been met with suspicion by my husband – which possibly demonstrates my neglect more than anything. I also see how this concept of praise can be applied to my work and study, when you feel praiseworthy you are likely to be more productive and creative.
As a parent though, I think this book delivers the most powerful message. Although Mitchell has no children herself, she taught for many years and understands what motivates kids. I agree it is vital that children understand that they have a right to be praised for good deeds and achievements. However, as a parent I also allow myself those moments of lapses in patience and maturity…oh yes, I can be just a child like as my own beautiful cherubs. Guess what works in reversing this feeling? I’m sure you guessed that praise is the answer; it frees you, it makes you bold.
So here’s a task for anyone reading my blog review today. Find someone you know and give them genuine praise or express your admiration or love for them. This is powerful stuff…just do it!
Readability 8 out of 10
Cant put down rating 6 out of 10
Recommend to others 8 out of 10
Do I want to read another book by this author – Yes, I’m interested to read her collection of interviews called Tall Poppies!