At this time of year, along with our focus on turkey and stuffing, football and family; we also focus on giving thanks to God for all our blessings. It's very important to focus on being thankful to God for what He has provided in our lives as every good and precious thing comes from Him. As a teacher of communication skills, I have often shared how we should also show appreciation to the people in our lives-our family and friends who mean so much and do so much to enrich our lives. What I haven't focused on, as yet, is how we know when what we are doing is appreciated by others. Here's what I mean. Folks are busy making ends meet these days. It's a rarity when someone takes the time to dash off a note or email to someone. People just don't have the time to write a note of encouragement or appreciation, but they will take that time if it means they might get their new computer monitor fixed under warranty or if they are unsatisfied with the job their vacuum cleaner is doing. I've known people who wore a dress for six years and took it back to the store because they felt it should have been in better condition after only six years of washing. If nine times out of ten, folks will not write a note of appreciation, then nine times out of ten you may have absolutely no idea if what you are doing is appreciated-if you've done a good job. How do we know when we are doing a good job unless someone tells us so? How do we know if we should continue? How do we discern if we are on the right track? 1. No feedback Often the absence of negative feedback indicates that we are doing well! Since folks don't take the time to send feedback unless it's negative, you're probably in the clear! They probably wouldn't send an email unless it's a nasty gram or make a phone call unless it's to complain. So, if you don't get any complaints, you might assume you're doing well! 2. God tells you Even though you may not get an "At-A-Boy" (or girl) from someone, you just feel God telling you He is pleased with you. Sometimes you just know you are following His path for your life. If you are following where God leads, how could you be doing a bad job? 3. A smile Occasionally, you might detect a smile. Have you caught someone smiling at you? Did their voice smile when you talked to them about something you're doing? Did their eyes smile? Did you read an email that sounded as if it was smiling at you? That's probably telling you, you are appreciated. 4. Been attacked lately? I know this sounds crazy, but if you are in God's Will, you run the risk of being attacked for it. Often this feels as if you are getting beat up. Getting verbally beat up doesn't leave you feeling like you are doing a good job! However, if what you are doing is directly in His Will, you are going to meet with resistance. This may mean you are doing exceedingly well. If you feel better about the job you're doing, even if nobody said thank you, I am truly thankful to have been able to help you discern that. If there is someone you know who isn't sure they are appreciated, send them this blog link! And if there is someone who was especially a blessing to you that you forgot to thank this year, you might make it easier on them and share that with them this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving from Art of Eloquence!