The Impact of Expressing Gratitude and Appreciation

By Jaychrist Teves

The last month for the year 2018 is already here. What have you learned throughout the year? Take a time to reflect and let me know What are you grateful for?

It’s been a while since I wrote something personal but, I’m glad to share some awesome experiences and updates about the works that I’ve been putting consistently out there for the last 10 months.

I started The Design Life Show (TDLS) last March as my passion project. I’m crafting episodes consistently every week for my podcast with a guest or on a solo format. Now, if you ask me what are the benefits of doing it? I’d tell you these. I’m grateful that I started it because it really works wonder for me and it really changes my life. So, hopefully, I can inspire you as well to create something new or start the idea that you’re passionate at, especially this coming year of 2019. Can you do it? How? Keep reading.

Let me tell you a story first before, we dig into the know-how of changing your life using the impact of expressing gratitude and appreciation. This crazy mission of helping everyone grow, to live a meaningful and creative life was really started in 2015. I was a full-time in-house designer back then in a respective digital design agency here in the Philippines.

Stressed-out overworked and stretched to thin with the works that I don’t find myself growing. So, I decided to design the life I want not only for me but, for my family as well. I don’t really care how hard it is at that time that’s why I just do it and said to myself that I’ll just get this shits done.

Long story short, I decided to create my personal blog, and write every week. I don’t have any experience at all on how will I do it. Good thing that there’s an internet, people who really care about you and tons of courage (internally) to pursue it on the side while working a full-time job. I did that for over 3 years consistently until I found my unique voice, Learned to craft my personal stories and convert it through visual and writings. So, that’s where my passion for design and writing overlap with each other. Since then, these two things are my best arsenal for my personal growth, professional career, and business.

Until the day came where I have the opportunity to jump ship from my 9-5 job to and be full time as an independent designer. Since I have the chance to have a freelance job on the side since college (2010). I build trust with my clientele and worked with them for different projects. I earned 3x compare to my full-time job.

That’s basically, the roots of what I am right now. Now, my newest venture is this podcast of mine which I believe the best way to pay it forward to the creative community who helped me shape, give me courage and inspired me to design the life I really deserved.

I’m really grateful for all those experiences and I’ll never stop sharing those stories even I have a child or grandchildren. In that note, for me, that’s the impact of expressing gratitude and appreciation. It may motivate you to help others in any way you can and that’s the best part of the success of your journey.

What are you waiting for?

Too often, we wait until there’s someone that will help you in some way to say kind words, or we don’t give appreciative feedback at all. This should not only the reasons to express gratitude and appreciation. In fact, every day is always a great day to be grateful. You just don’t want to give any attention to those positive things around you. People nowadays are focusing more on negative things rather than into these small things that really add value to the life we have.

The impact of appreciative feedback

A few months ago, I’ve been invited to do some workshops, or be a resource speaker for a couple of events in the field of design and innovations. On these seminars/workshops I ask series of questions for the attendees to find the patterns in frustrations, pains, hopes, and dreams of aspiring creatives, seasoned creative professionals and other creative individuals. What struck me is the common answer that I get.

“I don’t even know if I’m doing a good job.”

When I reflect on the moments in my own career at different timeframes. I realized that I’ve received meaningful appreciative feedback. That feedback helps me to gain the right attitude and creative confidence to do the work I love doing. So many people cared deeply about doing well and we’re trying to do our best, but we heard this over and over again.

We are used to doing the job in which we only leave comments pointing out things that are wrong, or ways in which the job doesn’t conform to the standards or guidelines, with maybe a quick comment at the end to say “thanks for doing this!” Imagine what would it look like to work in that culture in which sharing appreciation and gratitude in the moment were as secondhand as checking our email, or showing up for daily stand-ups? For me, that sounds really awesome.

So how do we make that a reality?

When I first started mentoring a year ago, I learned the mentoring skill of “acknowledgment” — noticing something and appreciating it out-loud about the other person — was the most difficult for me. It felt awkward, inauthentic, contrived.

Positive feedback in the form of “good job” felt like a pat on the back. But, we shy away from it, hoping that people already know what we appreciate about them.

I’ve found that more specific prompts guide me and make it feel more systematized:

– What quality do you see in this person, that they might not see in themselves?
– What is the most noticeable change you’ve seen since you started meeting with this person?
– What qualities do you most appreciate about this person? –
– What is your favorite memory of this person?

The other learning from the different timeframe of my career is that if you want this type of feedback, ask for it. Three years ago I don’t know how to write in my entire life. But, when someone who really care about your growth (in my case it’s my beautiful wife.) It changes me to an introverted person, sometimes a really shy individual that afraid of sharing his ideas to everyone. That’s simple positive act change me to a more confident, creatively driven individual and now helping others to pursue their own passion.

“When you are grateful for the smallest things in life. The universe aligns itself.”

Stay awesome,


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