Enrich life—become a terrific person

It seems that Jeannie and Bob have been family friends for years. But in reality, I only met them two years ago.
They live in Chautauqua, N.Y., where my daughter spends summers, and she talks about them so much that I feel like I’ve known them for years.
So it was very special two years ago when they made a stop in the middle of the country en route from Chautauqua to Aspen, Colo.
Last week, my daughter forwarded an e-mail from Jeannie. This e-mail contains a quiz based on the philosophy of Charles Schulz, creator of “Peanuts.’ Try a few of these questions:
1. Name the last three winners of the Miss America contest.
2. Name two people who have won the Pulitzer Prize.
3. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
If you’re like me, you didn’t score very well.
We all strive to achieve immortality. We want to be remembered after we’re gone. But we’re barking up the wrong tree.
We expect to be remembered by our achievements, our wealth, our beautiful houses, and how important we are. But, says the e-mail, “The applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.”
Now try this list.
1. Name three teachers who were especially helpful.
2. Name four people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
3. Name two friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
That was easy, wasn’t it? You’ll never forget those people.
“The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care,” the e-mail reminds us.
People who believe in you and make you happy. Nice people. People who genuinely like and respect themselves and, in turn, respect others. People who support you and inspire enthusiasm.
Terrific people!
Just being around terrific people can put you in a great mood. And we can never have too many of them in our lives.
It makes me think of the book “Attracting Terrific People” by Lillian Glass. The subtitle is “How to find—and keep—the people who bring your life joy.”
If you want terrific people in your life, says Glass, you must become a terrific person—the kind of person other terrific people will want in their lives.
Attracting terrific people begins by respecting yourself and being wonderful to yourself. Tell yourself, “I’m a good person, I have confidence in myself, and I like myself.”
After you become terrific yourself, Glass encourages you to become a terrific person to others. “Being terrific means that you are giving, generous, helpful, caring, sensitive, kind, and empowering consistently,” she says.
Reciprocity is the key to being a terrific person. Bring out the best in others. Compliment them on their successes. Listen to their problems.
Be generous and willing to help. Forgive when forgiveness is required. You must give in order to receive. And above all, always be positive.
There are lots of terrific people in the world. Make sure you find them. And always remember the only way to attract them is by being terrific yourself!
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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