The Art of Appreciation
Throughout my many jobs, one thing has always rang true: “celebrate the small victories.” This is how I’ve survived. Instead of dreading everything that could go wrong, I celebrate every time something goes right because often times, it’s the small things that really make a difference in the long-run.
This notion has quite literally become my life motto. And I have turned this motto into something that I think everyone should learn: The Art of Appreciation.
Things like having a job; liking who you work with; believing in your company; and being respected by your coworkers may seem like guarantees to some people, but not to me. No matter where I am, I always remind myself that these aren’t guarantees, and they can disappear at any time.
Here are 5 ways you too can practice The Art of Appreciation:
I’ve always struggled with living in the moment. Sometimes, you just have to stop, take a breath and collect yourself. Being present can mean a variety of things: checking things off your to-do list; looking up the soup of the day at your favorite restaurant; or even jamming out to some new music. Whatever you do, make sure it helps you stop worrying so much about the future so you can simply enjoy where you are in the present moment.
Count Your Blessings
While this may sound cliche, it’s really important to do if you want to truly appreciate your current situation. Small things like free food, forgiving supervisors and bring your dog to work days may seem trivial, but as soon as they’re gone—you miss them...bad. So, whenever I’m frustrated, I remind myself of these little blessings and tell myself that at the end of the day, things could really be much, much worse.
Forgive (But Don't Forget) the Past
No one likes to dwell on the past, but sometimes, it’s important to remind yourself of what you’ve been through and where you’ve been to be genuinely grateful for your life. It also serves as your blueprint for success because you’ve tried, failed, tried again, and then eventually succeeded. These mistakes may have sucked, but they’ll guide you the right way as you navigate new obstacles to overcome.
Be Kind to Yourself
While treating others well will definitely benefit you, you have to treat yourself well first before you can ever truly appreciate your situation. Think about it: you could have an amazing job, an amazing family and an amazing client roster, but if you beat yourself up every day for the tiniest mistakes—will you ever really care about any of that? Love yourself. Forgive yourself. And most importantly, believe that you deserve to be where you are.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
I still remember being at one of my first jobs in college and hearing someone say, “everyone’s replaceable.” It may not be what you want to hear, but it’s true. If you aren’t grateful for your job, there’s millions of other people who would happy to take it off your hands. It may not come naturally, but try to picture yourself unemployed, living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make rent every month. No one wants to live that way, but for many people, this is their reality. Remember this as you complain about your less than an hour lunch break.
While I have not been in the “real world” for very long, I’ve noticed that a lot of people forget that circumstances never last forever, for better or for worse. So, live in the moment; count your blessings; forgive (but don’t forget) the past; be kind to yourself; and put yourself in other people’s shoes. These things may seem small, but in the grand scheme of things, they will often save you from saying and doing things you’re bound to regret.