For the last few years, I have been pushing myself to work harder and more efficiently than I have in the last several years before that. The real estate market has been tough and there’s overhead to pay and commitments to meet.
Most recently I have been unappreciative of my accomplishments. I have crossed off some smaller goals along the way, but the largest goals have yet to be reached. The interesting thing is that although I have managed to accomplish some of my goals, I don’t feel as if I have accomplished anything. I know that I’ve done so much, yet I can’t appreciate the accomplishments that I’ve made and instead I focus on the fact that I have not yet reached my ultimate goal and it’s disheartening.
Not appreciating what you’ve accomplished or what you have is common. It’s something that all people experience from time to time, if not regularly. I mean think about it, we had to create a holiday in order to remind ourselves to be thankful for what we have. Not appreciating or under appreciating what we have is just as much of a bad habit as it is a curse.
Think about it this way, what other way is there to be happy other than to appreciate the experiences that you have, the people in your life and the memories? Simply experiencing, doing, buying, consuming, sharing, talking, living isn’t enough to be happy. It’s not the sensations themselves that bring us long term happiness, it’s the way that we think about and view these things, the way that we appreciate them that brings us happiness.
I believe that as we grow older and wiser, we will inevitably slow down of our own will. There’s only so many things that you can do and buy before you realize that such things in themselves won’t make you happy.
We can’t go on overloading ourselves. We will either slow down or learn to appreciate the things that matter, the things that we already have and have accomplished, or we will be miserable for all eternity. Focusing your thoughts on nothing other than future goals, experiences, and dreams, will lead to you working towards a new goal until the day you die. And then on your deathbed, you will look back and regret not taking the time to enjoy any of it.
You can’t take your life experiences, memories or material possessions with you to your grave. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s it. Lights out. Curtain drops. It’s actually quite frightening if you think about it. It’s possible and there surely have been people in such a situation who have lived an entire lifetime without appreciating anything along the way. It’s possible never to take the time to appreciate the person you love, to appreciate the things that you have accomplished, to appreciate your friends and family, to appreciate all the good times that you had.
What makes good times good times is going back and revisiting those memories. Thinking about the experiences that you have had, the people you know and love, even the things you own, in a positive light. Living in the moment has a huge flaw, people aren’t meant to live solely in the moment nor solely focused on the future. What makes our lives worthwhile is looking back and appreciating our past and learning from it.
However, this is easier said than done. There is just so much that we want out of life that we don’t think that we have the time to bother with anything that isn’t in the present or future. We want progress and growth. There’s almost a fear that if we were to stop moving, we’d stop living. Maybe it’s actually the contrary, not until we learn to stop moving can we start living. So how do we learn to slow down and appreciate what we already have?.
As the saying goes, you won’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. As people we respond to changes in our environment, not the environment itself. We are programmed to pick up on and process things that move and change and to ignore the things that are stagnant or part of our background.
This helps us focus on the things that are most important to our needs. Although we notice when something first appears, we quickly forget about it after it has been part of our environment for a longer period of time. Also, just as we notice when something enters our lives, we also notice when something is removed from our lives.
This is the key. If you want to learn to appreciate what you already have then you must use your imagination and think about your life without it. How would your life be if the things you don’t appreciate, don’t pay attention to, were taken away from you forever? How about one step further, how would your life be if those things, experiences, people never became a part of your life, your history.
What kind of person would you be? How would you feel? Would not having it make you want it? Make you appreciate it? Take some time to think about how you imagine your life to be if some of the things you know you under appreciate disappeared. Really consider the emotions that you would experience, your day-to-day living, your overall happiness or lack of, and your life as a whole.
Do these things make your life better? Do they add to your life and serve a purpose? Should you appreciate them more and pay them more mind? Do yourself a favor and think it over. It won’t take long and it won’t hurt. If anything, you just may be left with a better, clearer perspective on life and what is important.