Happiness Tool #1: Appreciation

Happiness Tool #1: Appreciation
by Jackie Foskett, CH

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.

If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.

–Lao Tzu

The authors of What Happy People Know say that appreciation is the fundamental happiness tool. I couldn’t agree more. By expressing appreciation or gratitude, we direct our focus to what already exists rather than what we may perceive as lacking. At the same time, it opens up the heart and allows the “doors” for receiving to be unlocked.

This makes perfect sense. After all, how can we truly be happy when we consistently focus on what we lack? This kind of thinking produces an unsatisfying feeling of heaviness. This doesn’t mean we can’t have goals or desires, but it does mean when we change our attitude into gratitude, as author M.J. Ryan says in her book Attitudes of Gratitude “the world is suddenly transformed into a beautiful wonderland, in which you are invited to play.” Doesn’t that sound great?

Why is the invitation to play so appealing? When we play, our energy changes; we are filled with a much lighter feeling. When we feel lighter, we are naturally attract what we desire in life–we find solutions more easily, we intuit the appropriate actions to take, life just flows.

So, if appreciation is a tool for happiness, how can we use it? Take a look at the simple exercise below.


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