A Tool for Reinventing yourself and Pursuing your Passion: The First of the 5 C’s of Acknowledgment, “Consciousness”

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Judith W. Umlas

Aging Well /


I felt I needed to reinvent myself to change a condition in the world I couldn’t tolerate, which was the unwillingness of people to acknowledge each other when it was deserved. I now had a new mission, purpose and passion: to have people in every walk of life feel valued and appreciated!

In order to get people on board, I developed the 5 C’s of acknowledgment: Consciousness, Choice, Courage, Communication and Commitment.

Let’s start with the first “C,” for “Consciousness.” We all have acknowledgments floating around in our minds all day long. For example, the barista who knew your order before you even gave it to her and served you your coffee with a broad smile – you undoubtedly said, “Thanks!” but did you tell her what a difference her smile made to you as you walked in sleepily, heading into a day of non-stop  activities? Watch an incredible example of this kind of positive behavior that I was a witness to: http://www.gratefulleadership.com/a-random-act-of-acknowledgment/

Can you see how this could change a server’s whole day?

Another example… My husband asked me how he could make my day better when he heard I was having a bad one. “Write me a love letter,” I quipped, sure he would never do it. But he did.  “I’m thrilled,” I said, “but I never heard any of these acknowledgments before! Where were they?” “I think those kinds of things all the time,” he said, “but just don’t bother to get them from my brain to my mouth!” I suggested he write me a few letters a week, to get in the habit. He agreed, and 12 years later, he’s still writing them. Here’s a link to what he wrote after reaching 1,000 love letters: http://www.gratefulleadership.com/why-ive-written-love-letters-to-my-wife-twice-a-week-for-10-years-thats-over-1000-letters-by-very-special-guest-blogger-bob-umlas/

A participant in the midst of a webinar I led on The Power of Acknowledgment texted this message to all: “I’ll be right back! I have to acknowledge my boss!” and soon after, “I DID IT!” Our conversation had brought his boss to mind, to Consciousness. He turned the great thoughts he had been having about him for months, or even years, into a heartfelt acknowledgment!

So what can you do in your daily life by being Conscious of the difference people make to you? Reinvent yourself and the world around you! Read the poster of the 5 Cs on a daily basis. Show appreciation.

And stay tuned for the second C, on “Choice”!


Categories: Aging Well, Reinvention
About The Author
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Judith W. Umlas is Sr. Vice President and trainer at International Institute for Learning, Inc. She is the author of the ground-breaking book, The Power of Acknowledgment  and two other books which have been credited with changing workplaces and lives.

Judith delivers inspiring, motivational and transformational keynote addresses, course and webinars on Grateful Leadership and The Power of Acknowledgment all over the world. Grateful Leadership and The Power of Acknowledgment are Judith’s passion, mission and her purpose!

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