Friday, January 7, 2011

How to Appreciate What You Have

Appreciation. The dictionary's definition of appreciation is: the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something; a gratitude for something.

Thanksgiving season's turkey dinners, pumpkin pie and football games are simple reminders to us to appreciate all that we have in our lives. While we tend to be more appreciative of what we have during the holidays, especially at Thanksgiving, learning to appreciate what you have on a daily basis is a great way to start out every morning of your life.

Try to incorporate these steps into your daily life and appreciate what you have.
Difficulty: Easy

  • Appreciation
  1. good health
    Appreciate your good health. When that nagging knee pain is beginning to really bother you or when you wake up with a stiff neck from laying in bed the wrong way, remember to appreciate that you can physically still get around, still do things for yourself despite these little setbacks. It's human nature to complain about little physical problems in your life. Yet nothing puts all your physical problems into perspective more than when you see someone quite physically disabled in a wheelchair, so much more worse off than you are. So the next time that nagging pain becomes too much, think of those who are constantly in pain and perhaps can not even walk. By comparison, you pain may not seem so bad.

  2. Home dwelling
    Appreciate your home dwelling. Regardless if you live in a small loft three stories up, an apartment with only one bedroom or in a home with six bedrooms, remember that home is truly what you make of it, and any place can be home, as long as your loved ones are around you and your life is full of enjoyment. Visit any large city, even mid-sized cities these days, and you can often find homeless people. Appreciate the warmth of your home during the winter months. We often complain about the cold and the snow, yet most of us only deal with the bad weather one-tenth the time a homeless person deals with the bad weather. Give thanks above the next time you come in from the cold to your warm, humble abode.

  3. good food
    Appreciate the food that is put on your dinner table. We've all heard our Mothers, at sometime in our youth tell us - eat your dinner, people in Africa are starving and would be happy for your brussel sprouts. Not being a big fan of brussel sprouts, I still doubt that statement. But I understood what my Mother was trying to tell me. The only thing more worse than being without a home is being without food. Mealtime is something many of us take for granted. Say a simple thank you, to everyone in the room or to yourself, the next time you are seated at the dinner table and have a big meal in front of you.

  4. good job
    Appreciate your job. Without your job, the three appreciations above would greatly suffer. Everyone gets the Monday morning blues. "Why can't I be financially set and not have to go to work?" We often wonder. Yet when faced with a surprise layoff, most of us are absolutely devastated by the prospect of not going to that job we hated not all that long ago. Working gives us more than just money to eat and live or health insurance to survive. It gives us structure and substance. During this time of great economic distress, be appreciative of your job. Become excited to come into work on Monday morning, not depressed or maniac 'cuz it's Monday.

  5. good family
    And finally, appreciate your family and friends. Many of us are surrounded by loving family members and caring friends, and we often forget about our neighbor down the street who never gets any visitors, or a family member who is laid up with an illness. Take an extra hour out of your day to visit those who are not as fortunate as you to have family and friends that care for them and visit with them. You can't imagine how just a 10 minute visit from you will break up what can be a very long, lonely day. Even a simple phone conversation can fill the void for those who do not have many family or friends.

    Many of us have been in a position where we think we will have forever to visit a friend or a loved-one. Then the unexpected happens. That person passes away. And we spend many months kicking ourselves for not visiting with them when we had the opportunity. Appreciate everyone in your life, for we do not know what tomorrow may bring any of us.

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