By Dr Kieran Sangha
Many of us are on the pursuit of happiness. And a lot of the time the end of the goal of happiness, is contracted to the terms and conditions that we set ourselves… It is the classic statement beginning with “I’ll be happy when…”
- I fall in love
- I have the house
- I have the job
- I finish this course
- When it ends…
If we are always seeking and pursuing happiness, we often miss the appreciation for things in the here and now. If we hit a low point in our lives, by something going wrong, we can then become overwhelmed with feelings of depression. Appreciation can become one of the hardest things to do, because we have consciously and unconsciously pursued happiness, to the point that we were no longer happy, even on the pursuit.
So how do we show appreciation? It begins by appreciating who we are, the strengths we show each and every day. Followed by appreciating the people that have helped us, and the relationships that have shaped the lives that we live right now.
It is the daily devotional to appreciation and gratitude that helps us to value and care for ourselves and our situation, whatever the weather, and will ultimately help us to be more productive in all other areas of our life, including in our relationships, work, to name a few.
One of the biggest challenges to mindful appreciation is the dreaded D word; Disappointment. Let’s face it, we live in a broken world, with pain, hurt, injustice happening all around us and through us. Disappointment is powerful when we focus our energy on what others have or haven’t done, behaviours and failed expectations, because it stops us on our pursuit to happiness. How can we appreciate the bad friend, the broken relationship, the grief?
Here is where it comes back to the here and now. Appreciation doesn’t need to be a big deal, it can be simple and small. We will always find it if we look for it, the act of seeking out appreciation and recognising the value of that person or that relationship or that situation. Commit to showing and recognising appreciation everyday in a meaningful way. Gratitude and appreciation, giving and helping, are like shining a light in a dark room, maybe that room is a metaphor for the darkness within that consumes us all from time to time. Appreciation and gratitude will always be one of your battle tools, so seek out appreciation, because it will always be there for you to hold on to.