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The Keys To Happiness ~Appreciation~

Updated on September 8, 2013

One Thanksgiving I spent the holiday with a close friend and their family. Between the meal being served and a group prayer, a question was posed to everyone present.

I don't recall who sparked the chain, but we were all asked what we were thankful for.

When it was my turn to respond, I immediately replied, "I am thankful for everything." Anyone who knows me personally knows this to be true. I was not being facetious with my answer nor was I trying to be difficult.

Apparently my answer seemed too vague because my friend's sister retorted, "What do you mean, everything? You have to be more specific than that!"

Not wanting to create a scene and rather embarrassed by what I thought was rude behavior, I attempted to explain my reply by saying, "I am thankful for everything I have been blessed with; the joys and pains, the highs and lows. I am thankful for everyday and for everyone in my life."

Pleased by my ability to tactfully simplify what I perceived as already being a very simple response, I smiled.

Well, apparently my answer still wasn't good enough because she said, "Oh, she still doesn't know. We'll just give you some time to think about it and come back to you."

That was over six years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. I guess you can say I called it a lesson learned.

People will not always understand the reason for your praise, your happiness, or your thanks. Praise anyway. Be happy anyway. Be thankful anyway.
It isn't for them to understand.

This is about making you happy. Live a life of thanksgiving and you won't have to wait until the fourth Thursday of November to show appreciation

Being appreciative of what we have does not mean that we should not want more out of life nor does it mean stop striving for excellence.

What it does mean is that we must enjoy the moments as we live in them with constantly trying to improve them. Sometimes the perfection is the flaw.

Perception will allow us to appreciate thorn bushes that occasionally bring forth roses.

Appreciation of another person's life and accomplishments is a very selfless act. It shows a tremendous amount of character to celebrate and encourage another life when you have nothing to personally gain from the accomplishment.

Ayanla VanZant said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that by encouraging her and supporting her, she was actually speaking success into her own life without even knowing.

I found that to be very powerful. I use a similar concept with people who hurt me or wrong me; I wish them success and peace.

In doing so, I am speaking it back into my own life. It has taught me humility, gratitude and appreciation.

Finally, we must learn to appreciate ourselves. We must recognize our accomplishments and treat ourselves to something special every now and then.

How can we appreciate others if we ignore our own value? It reminds me of what is written in the Bible about loving your neighbor as thyself.(Matthew 22:36-40)

You have to start with self.


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