The Lure of Praise

As human beings we are all susceptible to praise. We all crave for attention and hunger for appreciation. In fact the motive for most of our actions is the need for attention and the desire for praise. The desire for success is only half the story. The other half is the desire for the fame and praise that we will get as a result of success.

Such is the lure of praise that nobody is immune to it. The craving for appreciation is intrinsic to human nature. This basic need for attention and human validation is a probably very primitive and one our most basic needs.  It is deeply ingrained into the human psyche.

When we get praise we want to strut about and when somebody criticizes us we feel crushed. We want people to acknowledge our achievements. We want this acknowledgement to come from as many people as possible.

Unfortunately we tend to base our self-esteem on the appreciation that we get from others. If none is forthcoming we feel let down and not sure of ourselves. This is not a good attitude. Ideally we should be above praise and criticism but this is difficult to do. However we should have a balanced approach  and should not based our self esteem from external validation. Our self esteem should be solely based on the targets we set for ourselves and how we achieve it.

So having understood the basic need for appreciation and praise we should consciously make an effort to increase the world’s fund of happiness by being liberal in our appreciation of good effort of others.

We must make sure that we acknowledge and appreciate genuinely from our heart even small acts of others. It will definitely make the other person happy. We need to do this often and to as many people who deserve it.  This will definitely create a cycle of happiness and goodwill among others.  The only caution is that insincere praise is not only bad but is also injurious to the other person who may end up with completely wrong ideas of himself/herself.

If we make a habit of giving appreciation where it is due we can go to bed content that we were able to increase the world’s happiness level in our own little way.

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