Appreciate to apprecaite: gain the right perspective on the things that matter

​Imagine for a moment that you asked me about my recent holiday to London. You would want to know what it was like, what experiences I had and how much I enjoyed it.

How would you feel if, when I answered you, I spoke only about the Airport? I talked about the runways, the facilities, the baggage reclaim and even the toilets.

You would think I was barking mad. In fact, I would be worried about you if you didn’t think that I was barking mad.

Because you understand that while the airport may play some role in facilitating the holiday, in making it possible; the holiday itself doesn’t really begin until I have left the airport.

To think and talk only of the airport would be a complete failure to dive deep into the holiday and appreciate all that London had to offer me. You would expect me to talk all about the adventures I had, the people I met, the sights I saw. Of course, you would also want to know about the pros and cons I experienced along the way.

A large part of the reason you would want to know all this is so that you could make your own evaluation. An evaluation of whether you would like to take a trip to London, or not. You understand that you cannot make a proper evaluation without getting the right information.  You appreciate all that is required for a good holiday and, you want that information before you make your evaluation.

You might be wondering where I am going with all this, but I just want to ask why you don’t require that level of information before you make evaluations about yourself or, various aspects of your life.

​Negative to Positive

​When you start to appreciate,  you allow yourself to start living a more positive life. Learn more great happiness and positivity strategies with my FREE eBook - From Negative to Positive.


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​Appreciate to appreciate – some key areas

​The following are some of the key areas in your life where, when you learn to appreciate properly, you can truly begin to see your life in a whole new perspective. A perspective which allows you to experience your natural joy and happiness.

​1. Appreciate your body

apprecaite your body

​If I were to ask you, on a scale of 0-100, how happy you are with your body; what would your answer be?

For many people, the score would be low. They would focus on their physical appearance, their weight and everything that the beauty industry and leading marketers have tried to tell us is important.

All my life, I have struggled with my weight. At the time of writing, I am about 25-30 lbs ( I don’t know my actual weight) heavier than what I believe would be my best weight. For many years, this meant that my evaluation would have been a lot closer to zero than it would have been to one hundred.  

But in recent times, I have started to appreciate deeply. What this means that rather than think of my body in a superficial manner i.e. physical beauty and weight; I think about everything that my body does for me and; everything that it allows me to do. A few examples include:

  • Pumping blood around my body
  • ​Taking care of my breathing
  • ​Fighting illness
  • ​Allowing me to move about freely with relatively little pain or discomfort
  • ​Allowing me to work
  • ​Giving me the opportunity to go out and see new places

​These are just a few of the many things that my body allows me to do or, does for me. It should be enough to help you realise that your body is far too important to be evaluating it based on something as superficial as looks or, weight.

In fact, if that is how you evaluate your body, you are stuck in the airport.

​Inquiry - appreciate your body

​Take a pen and paper and write at the top ‘Everything I appreciate about my body’. Sit quietly and pay attention to what pops up. Note it down. 

Over time, you will realise that although there may be one or two small improvements you would like to make; that doesn’t mean that your body is anything less than perfect..


​2. Appreciate your career

appreciate your career

​​When you think about how much you value your job/career, it is far too easy to start thinking about external factors such as:

  • Money
  • Status
  • Authority
  • ​Recognition

I am not going to tell you these things have no value but when you are using them to evaluate your career, you are placing your happiness in the hands of others. Think for a moment; if you value your pay packet above all else, then your happiness is determined by how much somebody else thinks you are worth i.e. how much they value you.

This is the opposite to what our work should be. Our work should be an opportunity for us to show up as the best version of ourselves and express our beliefs and values. Good work affords us the opportunity to say who we are and make the world a little bit better for our having been here.

When you think of work in terms of what you get out of it, you are selling yourself and your work short. To help you appreciate your work more, consider the following:

  • How does it help you to be more of who you really are?
  • ​Who does it allow you to help?
  • ​What does you work allow you to say (through words and deeds) that you really want to say?
  • ​How has your work allowed you to experience more of your joy and happiness?

​Of course, your work must allow you to earn enough money to meet your basic needs but beyond that point, you need to appreciate what you get to put into your work; rather than just the superficial things you get from your work.

I truly believe that we are here to make this world a more beautiful, loving, king and caring place. Any work which allows us to do that is work that is worth valuing.

​Inquiry - appreciate the opportunities

​Take a pen and paper and write at the top ‘​How can I be more of me in my career?’ Sit quietly and pay attention to what pops up. Note it down.

Over time, you will realise that ​your career is a perfect vehicle for expressing more of who you are what you value.

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​3. Appreciate your relationships

appreciate your relationships

​Relationships are probably the most problematic area of life. But they are only that way because we look at them from the wrong point of view. We value relationships based on what we can get out of them.

We have a complete misunderstanding about what relationships are really about. A great deal of this is fuelled by the nonsense which is pedalled by Hollywood and television producers across the world.

The real value of any relationship, intimate or otherwise, comes from what we learn about ourselves; not what we receive from the other person.  Relationships are vehicles for growth, for both parties.

When I was in my early twenties, I was in a relationship with a ​girl from my town. Every time that I was unhappy, I would identify everything that I didn’t like about the way she was treating me. On several occasions, I told her how she made me feel like a second-class person.  As you might imagine, this caused a few problems.

The truth is that one person in that relationship was making me feel like a second-class person, but it wasn’t her. I had struggled with depression for many years and I was refusing to deal with it. The relationship was simply serving as a mirror for me to see that I had a major problem that I needed to deal with. I didn’t love her; I just loved the idea that somebody thought that I wasn’t entirely worthless because that is what I thought of myself at that point in time.

It was a while after the relationship ended before I finally accepted that I had a major issue that I needed to deal with. It took a few years to deal with it but interestingly enough, the better I became; the more I appreciated that relationship.  When I was willing to see the lesson and accept the opportunity for growth, the relationship became much more valuable to me; even though it was long over.

You cannot truly value a relationship until you are willing to see and accept the lessons that the relationship offers us. The world would be a much happier place if we were taught, at a young age, that relationships are a beautiful opportunity for learning and growth. If this happened, rather than be angry with others, we would simply be grateful for what they have taught us about ourselves.

​Inquiry - appreciate the lessons

​When you are having difficulties in any relationship, take a pen and paper and write at the top ‘​What is the key lesson(s) that I can learn from this experience?’ Sit quietly and pay attention to what pops up. Note it down.

Over time, you will realise that ​when you identify the lessons and, implement them, the relationships becomes a richer experience for both parties.

​Negative to Positive

​When you start to appreciate,  you allow yourself to start living a more positive life. Learn more great happiness and positivity strategies with my FREE eBook - From Negative to Positive.


Get Your FREE Copy Here



​4. Appreciate your happiness

appreciate your happiness

​​The pursuit of happiness is one of the most noble aims in modern life except for one slight problem – why on Earth would you pursue something that you already have. As one of my favourite authors says:

​‘The greatest cause of unhappiness in this world is our search for happiness’ - Robert Holden

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​When you are searching for happiness, you are searching for something you already have. You were born happy but this world has continuously tried to convince you that you need something else to be happy.

Almost every advert on tv is aimed at making you feel that there is something missing in your life and, you will not be complete until you have filled that need. Of course, in an amazing coincidence, the one thing that is missing just happens to be the very thing that they are selling. Isn’t it incredibly kind of them to take the time to inform you?

Of course, these advertisements are designed to pray on the biggest fear that exists within each of us i.e. that we are imperfect and incomplete. The secret to happiness is to realise that you were created whole, perfect and complete. There never has been and never will be anything wrong with you.

Sure, there may be some circumstances in your life which you would like to improve but that is not a reflection on you as a person. You will learn to be truly happy when you realise that your happiness is not dependant on external circumstances. Your happiness comes from an honest realisation and appreciation of who you really are. The more time you spend being the person you really are, the happier you become. That is not a coincidence.

So, stop looking outside of yourself for what you think is missing and; start looking inside and appreciating the magnificence of who you truly are.

​Values Based Living

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​Conclusion

​Too often, we set ourselves up for failure in this world by looking outside of ourselves for the answers. We are so busy looking for answers we don’t need that we fail to realise that we already have the answers. We are the answer. You were given everything you need when you came into this world. If you want a happier, more successful life, the first thing you need to change is the way you look at your life.. When you do so, you start to appreciate everything you are, everything you have and everything that is done for you. From there it is just a matter of putting more of yourself into your life and that is when the magic really begins.