When you remove the segment of folks who’ve sadly never learnt – as a result of either nature or nurture – to appreciate what they have going for them, we are left with two kinds of people.
The first kind prioritize appreciation as a second tier activity. When we fall into this category, we remember to appreciate things and people from time to time – typically when we have a rare burst of free time, the odd reflective conversation, or (most commonly) after a painful experience. During these moments, we find ourselves appreciating the many good things we’ve experienced since the last such reflection.
And, since painful experiences are the most common trigger, most of this appreciation happens long after it should have happened. We remember folks we should have thanked when they were around, appreciate processes that worked without us paying attention to them, and situations where we had more going for us than we realized.
The second kind simply prioritize appreciation high enough to appreciate people and things before they are forced to. They find the time to do it every day until the practice becomes habitual.
It is a seemingly simple choice.
But, more often than not, it replaces a longing for happiness with the presence of the real thing.
PS: Something weird happened with this post on WordPress – a draft version showed up on RSS but didn’t show up on the blog yesterday. Sorry if this reappears on your RSS feed/email for the second time.