Do you remember this happening in school while growing up? It may have been in the classroom…the school yard…on the school bus…while walking home. In fact… It was also likely to occur at home. And it has to do with that one kid… You know, the kid that others would make fun of…laugh at…and in […]
Sometimes it’s one of the easiest things to say, but difficult to do.
And then other times it’s very easy to think about, but difficult to follow through on.
As easy as it does seem at times, it can be hard to find just the right words to say in the right moment.
But no matter how you look at it, you’ll realize how valuable it is for you.
What I’m talking about is showing your appreciation. And this includes showing appreciation for yourself, other people, situations you’re in throughout your life, and everything else in between.
So what makes showing your appreciation sometimes easy to say and difficult to do?
What makes it sometimes easy to think about but difficult to follow through on?
How come it seems like sometimes you just can’t find the right words to say at the right time?
Or does all of this just seem that way and not the case to begin with?
No matter how you look at it, the all important question still remains…
What does it mean to appreciate your life?
…And the answers you come up with dictates how your life plays out.
1. Checks and balances
During your life you’re given what I like to call “tests.” This is also known as the challenging moments you face in your life. And no matter how much you want things to always go your way, and no matter how much you want other people to always support you, the fact is that these “tests” of life are necessary and unavoidable.
And the reason is because it’s yet another way of learning how to appreciate your life.
Now you may be thinking, “Well how can something that I didn’t want to happen in my life help me appreciate my life?”
Let me share a personal example with you.
As many of you know I have a fitness background. And this led me many years back to getting involved with someone who had an existing training studio in California. This person asked me to be his partner and so I drove out to California, gave this person $30,000, and after 2 weeks had a funny feeling and backed out.
I never got the money back. I ended up moving back to New Jersey. And when this was all said and done—the legal fees, driving across the country and back, moving costs, and living expenses— it ended up costing me over $50,000.
On the surface it looks like a situation most people would regret and wished they could do over.
If I had that mindset it would be running my life. Not only that but I wouldn’t be doing what I love today. I wouldn’t have met all the wonderful people I have as a result.
The most important thing that came out of this was and continues to be a greater appreciation for my life…
Because I experienced both sides of life in the process. The pain and pleasure.
The giving and taking. The nice and mean. The happy and sad.
This in turn has helped me learn how to make “big” decisions in so called “pressure” type situations.
And this was yet another step involved in living a fulfilled life.
When you take a look at your life, it is wise to check and look for the balance in those negative moments by looking to see how it benefited you…
As well as to check and look for the balance in those positive moments by looking to see how they were a drawback to you in your life.
By doing so, you’ll be more fulfilled and have a greater appreciation for your life.
2. Midlife blessings
I’m sure you’ve heard about people having a mid life crisis. Whatever that means to you, the fact is that people have this “midlife crisis” for various reasons. It can range from getting older to their children growing up to their own physical health…it can be anything. It depends on the person.
Now since you can’t have a crisis without a blessing, then of course you can’t have a midlife crisis without having a midlife blessing.
So if you feel that you’re having a midlife crisis, what is your midlife blessing?
Better yet, what are your entire life’s blessings?
And if you’re not sure of what they are, start looking for any crisis in your life. Look through your entire life right up to the current moment and for each crisis look for the blessing…
Because when you do, you’ll discover yet another way of how to appreciate your life.
Here’s something else very important to be aware of…
Many times you’ll have the tendency to want to change places with someone else that you feel is getting a better deal or has a better situation in life. Let’s use age as an example.
If you find yourself having that midlife crisis (which again isn’t a bad thing at all) because you feel you’re getting older, the tendency will be to say, “God I wish I was young again.” In the process of doing so you may wish you were in your early 20’s like your friend’s daughter for example.
Think about this for a moment.
What would happen if you could change places with that person and be “young” again. It may look like the thing to do on the surface but would you really want to do that? Is there something perhaps you felt you didn’t do back when you were younger? Are there any regrets?
While the thought of it can be tempting, it is wise to appreciate the time you had during those experiences.
And just as important, appreciate what is currently going on in your life.
Because whether you’re talking about now or back then, there were just as many benefits as there were drawbacks. They may have changed over time in how they look but they’re still there.
As for the age issue…
I like to say that you can’t get old without getting young. You get older in wisdom and younger in vitality.
This is yet another reason to appreciate your life.
3. Appreciate it forward
You’ll hear many people speak about appreciation and appreciating your life. But do they know exactly what that means? What does that mean? As far as you’re concerned, “What does it mean to appreciate your life?”
No matter how you look at it and whatever it means to you, what you appreciate appreciates.
And this involves those “little big” things in life. The often unseen acts that plants the seeds for those results you do see with your eyes.
Taking those extra few seconds when you have a bunch of things on your mind to help someone else out…
To hold the door open for someone at the store…
To give them the right of way when you’re driving…
Being patient with someone who may not be in the same situation you’re in…
Truly listening with a caring ear to someone that is going through a very challenging time…
Giving more of your time for a cause that’s important to you…
And the list goes on and on.
Whatever those “little big” things are, they are yet another way of appreciating it forward…
Because whatever you appreciate appreciates. Some people call it good karma. I personally don’t believe in karma because when you’re truly grateful, thankful, and appreciate yourself for who you are and for all the people and situations you’ve come across in your life…
And you’re able to see both sides—the so called “positives’ and “negatives”—of each person and situation equally, good karma and bad karma doesn’t exist.
What does exist is the appreciation of both sides of who you are and what you’ve experienced in your life.
As a result you uncover the magnificence and brilliance of who you are…that’s been there all along throughout your amazing journey in life.