52 Weeks of Happiness

52 Weeks of Happiness: Week Seven- Greatest Compliments Ever Received

52 Weeks of Happiness: Week Seven

Today, I’m writing about list seven in the 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling for Inspiration, Positivity, Balance, and Joy by Moorea Seal. This week is all about identifying the greatest compliments and encouragement that you’ve ever received. I’m sharing my top 8 here and the one that was most meaningful for me.

52 Weeks of Happiness

 

Sometimes it’s hard for us to toot our own horn and share things that make us look good. This was a fun little self-love exercise.

52 Weeks of Happiness – Greatest Compliments Received

#8

Some of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received were from colleagues and friends about how inspiring I am. About how great of a leader I am. About how courageous I am for kicking cancer’s butt four times. I’m pretty bad ass.

#7

My kids have told me in various ways that they were so grateful for how I raised them. That is a huge compliment.

 

Elisala Family Pictures

#6

One of my dearest friends sent me an email with a list, literally, of 50 things that she loved about me. It was precious. I printed it and I kept it near me so that I could refer to it on bad days. I loved it and encourage you to print anything like this you get from someone.

#5

I had two doctors in particular that really gave me a lot of encouragement and helped me to continue moving forward despite really difficult times. One of my doctors, Dr. Moakaels said that it was our love and support in care giving and how well of a job we were doing with that, that helped my parents to extend their life and live as good of quality of life as possible the last months and years of their life. Then, another doctor of mine who did several of my facial reconstructions after cancer, said that he’d never seen a patient with a power of the mind like mine. He said with everything that I’d been through in life,  that he’d never want to go through what I’d been through, but if he had to he would take lessons from me about that. That really meant a lot to me coming from doctors in their fields who, I’m sure, have seen thousands of patients and families over the years.

#4

This is a funny one and if anybody in my family sees this, they might laugh!  A couple years ago, My Uncle Riley was visiting.  As we were having lunch at Applebee’s, he shared how he had no idea that this scrawny, little, red head kid with freckles was going to be so successful. I was like, oh, okay.  I took it as a compliment because he’s hard to please 🙂  

#3

When I was going through my fourth (and last) bout of cancer, my son, Steven, was letting his friends know about my impending treatments. In the process of letting his friends know … I had 20 text messages in a 24-hour period from my then high school son’s friends telling me how strong I was, how much they look up to me as a mother, what a great job I’ve done help raising Steven, that I’m strong and courageous, and I’m going to get through cancer. Hearing that from teenagers… from my son’s friends, 20 of them, really melted my heart. I still have these messages.

#2

 

One time,  I had over 50 people comment on my Facebook page with different attributes and things like that that they enjoy or believed about me.

 

#1 – My absolute greatest words of encouragement

The biggest and  greatest compliment and words of encouragement that I have ever received was from my dad. So many of us want our parents, especially our dads, to be proud of us, and to express love towards us. My parents grew up in an age where they didn’t connect emotionally very well. They were people of few words. I was always a daddy’s girl and I always wanted to please my dad. I always wanted to hear the words, “I’m proud of you.” 

 One of the biggest struggles I hear is that people want acceptance from their father. The father’s role in especially a young girl that in people’s lives, is critical. Unfortunately, my kids didn’t have such a great role model in that regard with their father. 

There were two moments in my life where I really felt that my dad was proud of me. I worked my butt off  in school and  when I graduated with my Master’s degree, we were all gathered after the graduation ceremony.  My dad put his arm around me and said, “I’m proud of you. Your mother and I are proud of you.” I knew my dad was proud of me and I knew that he loved me, but he didn’t always say it. That was the first time in 26 years that my dad said he was proud of me. That was a huge moment for me.

The next time  my dad said he was proud of me was in his late stage illness…when he was dying. We had been taking care of both my parents, full-time, for two and a half years. I remember him saying, “You know, Tandy, I thank you for taking care of your mother and I.”  He continued, “No parent wants to be a burden on their children and I’m sorry that we’ve been a burden and I’m thankful that you’re our daughter that you’ve taken such good care of us.”  I told him, “Dad, You’re not a burden. It’s been my honor…the honor of my life, to take care of you and mom.” This family picture below was the last one we took together. This picture was taken Thanksgiving 2011.

He got emotional ( I can count on one hand in my entire life when he did that.) For him to acknowledge me and to say, “Thank you for taking such good care of us”… that meant the world to me. I carry those memories  in a special place in my heart.

This week, I encourage you to write out or type out your favorite compliments on a sheet of paper or print them. Last week, when I asked my community what  the biggest compliments they’ve ever received,  I received a ton of responses. It’s amazing how many awesome qualities everyone has.

Once you have them written out, embrace it, FEEL it,  frame it or tape the list somewhere to remind yourself to choose happiness and self-love.

 When was the last time you accepted… really received a compliment? Many times, we deflect compliments or otherwise turn the situation away from us.  When you can just truly accept compliments and encouragement for what they are, which is a demonstration of love, then you can be comfortable knowing that you’re choosing happiness and self-love.  

I’d love to hear your greatest compliments and words of encouragement that have helped you over the years and throughout the course of your life. Which ones have meant the most to you? Please share below!

 

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Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to lead their business like a rockstar CEO. Tandy has studied, taught, led, coached and spoken for over 30 years in the fields of leadership, human resources and life success. She helped the University of Phoenix grow and scale from 13k - 480k students while saving millions in costs and having one of the most highly engaged team across the organization. Tandy spent 25 years as a corporate executive, 10 years as a faculty member and successful entrepreneur and did all this while kicking cancer's butt 4 times. Tandy is spiritual woo-woo with a 5-point business plan wrapped into one. She is a 6-time bestselling author and a mom. She believes to expand your impact, legacy and influence, you must learn how to scale as you grow, lead high performing teams and lead yourself. This is key to making more money, saving precious time, having creative flexibility and serving the world the way only you can.

Tandy lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her three kids and amazing angel dog. Order Tandy'sbooks at http://www.tandyelisala.com or www.amazon.com.

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26 replies
  1. sherry Richert Belul
    sherry Richert Belul says:

    I love this post!!! I think it is such a healthy habit to keep the compliments we receive on some kind of form. I have a secret Pinterest board where I post photos and screen shots of compliments. I also keep a beautiful box filled with cards and letters that contain compliments. #6 particularly grabbed my attention, because one of the things I am always encouraging people to do is to create Love Lists for people in their lives. You can send an email list, like your friend did for you. Or, you can make a Joy Jar and put each compliment on a slip of paper. You can put them in fortune cookies or in plastic Easter Eggs in a basket for your children. The ways to present them are endless. This is a powerful post to remind us to not only receive compliments, but to give them freely to others! 🙂

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Hi Sherry! You raise such a great point about the joy jar. I have a 2 gallon glass Happiness Jar that I do just as you suggest! It’s truly empowering. I like to write down one thing that went well each day and put it in the jar. Then, on or around New Year’s Eve, I have a self-love fest:-)

      Reply
  2. Rachel Lavern
    Rachel Lavern says:

    You have some great memories to treasure Tandy! I think of genuine compliments are powerful little gifts of love to tell a person that we notice. I know that I receive them too but my mind is running blank right now since I have a deadline to meet today.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…Why You Need a Business PlanMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Hi Rachel! I understand completely… When I’m on deadline for projects, it’s difficult at best for me to slow my mind down enough to think straight sometimes!

      Reply
  3. Katarina Andersson
    Katarina Andersson says:

    Good idea to write down the greatest compliments. 🙂 And it is always a wish to get compliments from your parents, though that is not aways such an easy task…perhaps…

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      You are right about getting compliments from parents, Katarina. It’s not always easy… Because I grew up with parents that didn’t share much emotion or compliments, I have worked hard to do the exact opposite with my kids as they grew up.

      Reply
  4. Joyce Hansen
    Joyce Hansen says:

    Love the idea of 50 things to write about for friends. This can be a wonderful gift when you’ve run out-of-ideas of what to get them for a birthday. But, what a wonderful expression of love to receive and give. As I read the part about your father being part of the generation of not showing emotion, suddenly explained why I felt so incomplete when my own father died. I was waiting to hear that he was proud of me, but that didn’t happen.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…Finding Your “Bang for Your Buck” PriorityMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Oh dear Joyce, my heart hurt when reading about how you felt so incomplete when your father died. I am certain that he was VERY PROUD of you and wishes he could have said so. I’m glad my article could help you:-)

      Reply
  5. Lisa Swanson
    Lisa Swanson says:

    In a course I took one time, for homework, we had to ask business associates and/or family and friends what they thought was unique about us. What great responses! I was very uplifting to hear how others see you. Something that should be done more often

    Reply
  6. Beverley Golden
    Beverley Golden says:

    This was a very lovely and vulnerable sharing of some of your memorable compliments, Tandy! I think for me, the most memorable compliments are the ones that come unexpectedly. I think I take for granted many of the things I do naturally and it is always lovely to hear how they are appreciated by others. This comes in the areas of my writing and how I express myself and how others both appreciate it and at times find it thought-provoking. Also in the. area of sharing my own personal health challenges and how I have helped people just by sharing my knowledge and intuition with them. Just yesterday Roslyn told me that she finds the comments on make on people’s posts much more expansive than what other people do and how people wait with anticipation to read my comments. That was a lovely compliment. On another note, I remember how my mother always told/tells me that I’m “too smart for my own good” and although on the surface that might not sound like a compliment, I think it is lovely to know my mother thinks I am smart…and she tells me how beautiful I am too. 🙂
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Curcumin — Good for Body and MindMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      How beautiful, Beverley. I would definitely take your mother’s comment about being too smart for your own good as a compliment :–)) Roslyn is spot ON about how incredibly wonderful you are about giving full, solid feedback on blogs. You really are a shining example of how it should be. I appreciate how much love and energy you put into everything you do, Beverley. You are appreciated more than you know!

      Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Right on, Kristen. You are so inspiring to others. Some ways, you’ll know about and many more, you’ll never know just how much you’ve helped someone.

      Reply
  7. Candess M Campbell
    Candess M Campbell says:

    Beautiful story and powerful message. Most of what I teach is our body/emotions respond to our mind. It is so great to hear what powerful control you have of your mind! Like most girls, I too wanted my dad to be proud of me. I went to college “at” my dad. When I got my Masters my dad called me Doc and I understood he didn’t have a clue about education and my soft vengeance helped me get a degree, but I missed the mark with dad. By the time I did get my doctorate, he had passed. Today I connect with him on the other side.

    Although I love getting testimonials from clients, thinking back on compliments makes me blush. This would be a fun exercise to do with a friend.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Aaawwwww, Candess. The story about your dad calling you “Doc” is so sweet. I know and believe your dad was with you when you earned your doctorate… smiling and beaming from ear to ear. You raise a great point about getting compliments from clients. I love receiving that too.

      Reply
  8. Apolline Adiju
    Apolline Adiju says:

    These are beautiful memories to cherish. I loved the one that a friend sent you an email with 50 things that she loves about me. That is soothing to get that from a dear friend.

    Reply
  9. Alicia
    Alicia says:

    Wow! This was such a powerful writing and inspiration. This touched on so many important levels and truly invites us to honor, respect and appreciate all of our life. The people in our lives are gifts to us and vice versa. I’m so touched by this writing in so many ways. You are such an encouragement, a change agent and an inspiration to the world.
    You represent the epitome of inspiration. Continue to shine your light, spread love and live life to the fullest.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Wow, thank you so much for this, Alicia. I am glad this article touched and inspired you. Go forth and embrace your own complements and inspiration!

      Reply
  10. Tamuria
    Tamuria says:

    What beautiful memories to have and to share, Tandy. I think your friend who wrote 50 reasons she loved you is awesome. I’m going to do that for one of my friends, it’s such a great idea. I’d have to spend some time thinking about the greatest compliment I’ve had but earlier this year I was really touched when we were invited to the wedding of one of my son’s friends, who we hadn’t seen in years. At the wedding, his Mum told me what a huge impact I had made on this man’s life when he was a teenager and she really appreciated that and me. It was truly lovely to hear and so unexpected.
    Tamuria recently posted…HOW TO DISPLAY KIDS’ ART, AND WHY YOU SHOULDMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Oh my, Tamuria. This is very touching. I felt that way with my son’s messages to me. To tell you on this young man’s wedding day what an impact you made for her son must’ve definitely been a highlight for you. What a great mom you are!!! Isn’t it interesting how we impact our kids’ friends lives in ways we may never know.

      Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Me too, Susan! I did this for a friend and really enjoyed doing it. I’m going to write a few more letters to my friends with this appreciation list:-)

      Reply

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