“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”
Mother Teresa, Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the time when most people tend to express their appreciation and gratitude. But wouldn’t it be nice to experience that level of joy, love, and appreciation every day of the year?
Appreciation is one of the highest emotional states you can be in. It is the state of abundance. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. If you are grateful for what you have already received, you will attract more for which you can be grateful.
Many people find that it requires great diligence to cultivate an attitude of appreciation. We are culturally conditioned to focus on what we don’t have rather than appreciating what we’ve already received.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Appreciate the Smallest Blessings
Activate your gratitude by acknowledging the gifts most people take for granted.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes in your closet, and a roof over your head, you are better off than 75% of the world’s population.
If you eat three meals a day, you are far better off than the one billion people on the planet who eat once a day at most. Celebrate these simple blessings.
Do you have a phone? Be grateful. Millions don’t. How about a car that allows you to travel to work or to explore the country? Is your family healthy? Do you have a computer and Internet access to stay in touch with the world, get access to education, and perform work for which you are paid? Do you have clean water to drink?
These daily conveniences are gifts that most people in the world do not enjoy.
Daily Appreciation Habits
Here are five easy ways to make appreciation part of your daily routine:
1. Take seven minutes each morning to write down all you appreciate in life. Starting your day this way primes you to be receptive and grateful for everything your day will bring.
2. Appreciate at least three people every day.
Most people enjoy receiving verbal appreciation. But written notes are also nice because they can be saved and reread. (For ideas on expressing appreciation, grab your copy of The Success Principles and review Principle 53: Practice Uncommon Appreciation.)
3. Play the Appreciation Game.
As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Look for the good in all situations. When my wife was in a car accident a few years ago, she could have chosen to berate herself or question her judgment. Instead, she focused on her gratitude for suffering only minor injuries and for the help she received from other drivers.
4. Carry a physical token of gratitude in your pocket, such as a stone, crystal, or some other small item.
As you reach into your pocket throughout the day and feel the token, use it as a reminder to stop, breathe, and take a moment to fully experience the emotion of gratitude.
5. Appreciate yourself.
We all need acknowledgement, but the most important acknowledgement is what we give ourselves.
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In addition to celebrating your big successes, acknowledge your small daily successes too. One of the most powerful ways to acknowledge and appreciate yourself is by doing the Mirror Exercise. This powerful exercise requires you to appreciate yourself for the day’s accomplishments while talking to yourself in a mirror. (For detailed instructions and guidance for the Mirror Exercise, see pages 199-201 of The Success Principles.)
It may not feel natural at first to focus on appreciating what you already have. But by faithfully practicing the Daily Appreciation Habits outlined in this article, you’ll begin to change your conditioning.
Giving thanks should be more than an occasional exercise once a year. Let it become a daily discipline that allows you to attract more of what you want from life. I invite you to experiment with this discipline over the next thirty days and watch your blessings multiply!
As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and speaks around the world on this subject. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!
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*Image courtesy of Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia.