Saturday, February 4, 2012

A little appreciation works wonders - Aasthik's Theory of Gratitude

It’s been long since I wrote about gratitude and the various things I learned from the great book by Dale Carnegie called "How to win friends and Influence people". I think its time now that I share my experiences about it.

When people have a look at the title "How to Win Friends & Influence People", depending on the kind of person YOU ARE, you'll form a perception about that book. A few examples of assumptions people may have are:
1. The book will give me tricks to win friends. I would be able to impress that special friends!
2. Ha! Another book trying to tell me to be diplomatic?
3. Another book on human relations – it is really not my type.
4. A personality development book? Hell no... I don't read them. Get me a J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown.
…and so on and so forth.

However, the book is something different altogether. Its about psychology, its about social behavior, its about our own conscious and sub-conscious activities. Its about who we are. Its about us!

The book was written in early 1900s and is relevant still today. I have used the lessons learned from the book and applied in my life. It has changed me so much. I will say I still have to completely adopt it. I have been able to adapt only 60% of it but the rewards are astonishing, Old habits die hard and sometimes it does happen that I fall into the old habits and patterns. But every mistake I make stops me from making the next one.

The book talks about a lot of things. But one of the main lessons is this - Do not ever criticize ever. Keep appreciating the people with an open heart. This will boost the confidence of others and their productivity will improve. They in turn will behave well towards others. This is a never-ending chain!

Benjamin Franklin put it this way - "I will speak ill of no man, and talk the good I know of everybody." When people like Benjamin Franklin talk - you listen, and you apply their principles in your life.

As an example, I was having a very usual day at the office when suddenly I saw two bugs registered by the testing team in a particular mobile phone. It did not really seem like a bug and the behavior was same in all the Mobile phones so far developed. It was an additional feature that was supported in all phones. The request from testing team was to disable the feature. Also, it did not really matter if we disabled the feature.

Following the normal procedure I pinged the tester along with the tester's project lead in a conference chat. However I was told that the feature should be disabled as described in the guidelines. I checked the guidelines and indeed it was not to be supported. However, all the phones did support the behavior till date. This was a catch-22 situation. Finally the seniors decided to have a talk with the Design team. After some discussion, it was decided to disable the feature.

Things would have ended then & there. But God had some other plans. An idea started urging me to write an e-mail to the tester & CCed the e-mail to the tester's project lead - appreciating the effort. And so I did and voila; wonders did happen. The tester's project leader was really happy with this. I got a reply from them and they too then appreciated the testers efforts. Not only that, they forwarded my e-mail to the whole testing team and even the Project Manager, then wrote an e-mail appreciating the tester and specifying that this is what he expects from everyone in the testing team!

To my knowledge this had never happened before. It was a proof of the Aasthik's theory of Gratitude; which states - Gratitude of the Universe is always increasing. [It is just like entropy in thermodynamics ;) ]. So express your gratitude towards others and see for yourself the Gratitude of content of the universe increase.


  1. I completely agree, Vishal. Little appreciation works wonders. And the Dale Carnegie book is a gem of sorts. I read that when my fellow conterparts were learning the mathematical tables. It gives you a whole new perspective. :)

  2. You were lucky that you got to read that book so early in your life. Its bu God's grace that I developed the habit of purchasing books during my train/bus journey. I had never heard of it before, but liked the title so bought it. It changed me & my life completely.

    Another book by the name "Success is never Ending.. Failure is never Final is another gem". But nothing beats "My Experiments with Truth" by Mahatma Gandhi :)