A little appreciation goes a long way
Posted on 6th September 2017 at 07:30
A couple of weeks ago we posed a very simple question – “What’s the most important thing you should do every morning?” – and seem to have inadvertently ruffled a few feathers in the process.
All the comments we received went along much the same lines.
Didn’t we understand how much people had going on in their lives?
That they didn’t have the time to be grateful for the simple fact that they’re alive.
And what with Brexit / the economy / winter approaching / their work / family / fill in the blank what did they have to be grateful for anyway?
You get the picture.
The sad thing is that most people completely missed the point we were making.
How precious life is because it’s finite. And we never know how finite until it’s too late…
And, yet, it’s the one thing we seem to place no value on and take for granted without a second thought.
When we mention taking time to appreciate what you have to clients, we’ve noticed that they tend to focus only on the big material things. Houses. Cars. Careers. The latest “must have” gizmo. The “big” holiday. And then on relationships, whether family or friends.
With nothing ever being “quite right” in their eyes – in other words, perfect – no wonder they find it so difficult to find things to truly appreciate.
This is why we ask them to focus on the SMALL THINGS THEY HAVE TO APPRECIATE – and be grateful for – TODAY. Which is normally greeted with a completely blank stare.
What do you mean things I can appreciate today?
Well, here are a few of the examples we give to get them going:
That you woke up this morning (!).
Perhaps being brought a drink in bed before you got up.
The hot shower.
Your dog – or cat – welcoming you as you came downstairs.
A good breakfast.
For a song you love – and hadn’t heard for ages – on the radio.
The kind person letting you into the queue in front of them on the way to work.
The joke from a friend.
The lovely photo of a family member.
Now it’s over to you…
We find that the best way to play this game is with a friend or family member. That way you can bat things back and forwards, often making each other laugh in the process. Particularly with those people determined to focus on all the things currently “wrong” with their lives.
One word of warning though, no negatives are allowed, as these are still focussing on the things you don’t want.
“It’s not raining today” would be “It’s dry today”.
“My boss wasn’t grumpy” would be “My boss was fine today.”
You get the picture.
By starting small you’ll quickly find lots of other things to appreciate. To be grateful for. And this applies whether your life is currently “sunshine and rainbows” or more “dark clouds.”
Either way you’ll instantly feel happier, regardless of what else is going on in your life. Even better, you’ll suddenly find it much easier to find bigger things to appreciate.
Perhaps you don’t have the house of your dreams – yet (!) – but your current home keeps you dry and warm. You love the garden. Your neighbours are great. There’s plenty of parking. It’s convenient for the shops / work / school. Your focus has changed from all the things you don’t like about it, to all the things you do. And can appreciate now.
Life really doesn’t need to be complicated. To be a series of dramas, one after the other. It’s here to be enjoyed – and regardless of what else is going on right now – there are always things to appreciate. You just have to start looking for them.
As always, the choice is yours.
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