Friday, November 7, 2008

Let’s Appreciate the Gift called – Life

"Is there anything that has been taken away from you, only to realize how much you appreciated it after it was gone? "

Many would say ‘Yes’ I am sure. It’s common for us to take something or someone for granted. We sometimes realize the true value of person or situation only when the thing/person leaves us.

I met someone who’s dream of playing professional football ended abruptly after a serious injury. He’s 25 right now and has been practicing football for the last 19 years. Imagine – 19 years of hard work gets blown away in a single day! It’s now; this person admits that when he looks back on his nineteen years in competitive football, he has a regret – He pushed himself so hard that he had forgotten to enjoy the game. He was so focused on overcoming his weaknesses and ‘making it big’, that he never took time off to appreciate what he was doing along the way.

We habitually waste away our time and energy focusing on what we don’t like, what needs to be done or what we’re worried about. Unfortunately we live in a culture obsessed with “bad stuff.” Just read the newspaper, turn on the news, listen to the conversations of people and negative attitudes is effecting everybody.

Now let’s look at The Power of Appreciation in our Life
· What if right now we promise ourselves to stop this negative obsession and start focusing on appreciating the good things/people/situations of life?
Imagine how this simple but thoughtful shift could transform our lives, our relationships and quality of our work. Remember - Our experience is a function of what we focus on. With every moment we have a choice about where we place our attention.

I am not suggesting that we run, deny or avoid the issues, challenges or even the pain in our lives or around us. What is essential is that we face and deal with these difficulties strongly, yet comfortably. In other words, we don’t have to be obsessed about the bad stuff and let it run us. We each can consciously choose to focus on the good happenings in our lives, with others, and most importantly towards ourselves.
There are great things in your life and around you all the time - if you choose to look for them.

Here are some values that can guide us on Living a Life Filled With Appreciation:

· Be Grateful – Let’s start focussing on the many blessings in our life and all that we have to be thankful for. If we are thankful for everything, there would be no complaints left from life. Here’s a simple prayer that I recite every night before going to bed.(I leant it when I was in prep school and have been using it till now)

Thank you God for food we eat,
Thank you God for world so sweet,
Thank you God for birds that sing,
Thank you God for Everything

· Create/Choose Positive Thoughts and Feelings – Make a conscious decision to transform your unconstructive and wasteful negative thoughts and feelings into ones that empower you.

· Use Positive Words – Pay attention to the words you use with others, about things, and in speaking about yourself. Speak with the most optimistic words possible as our words have the power to create, not just describe.

· Acknowledge Others – Concentrate on what you appreciate about the people around you and let them know. Be true and let others know the positive impact they have on you and your life.

· Appreciate Yourself – Don’t ever forget to celebrate who you are, what you do, and the many gifts and talents you have. Self-appreciation is not arrogance; it’s the awareness of your own power and the key to self-confidence, success, and fulfilment.

When we truly focus on these values, our world transforms and we are able to see and experience the great fullness that our life has to offer us.
We don’t have to wait until everything is handled. We don’t have to wait until we get it all perfect. And, we don’t have to wait for people to do things exactly as we want them to. We can start appreciating life, others, and ourselves exactly as we are, right now.

Don’t wait till it’s too late!


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Richard Kendall said...

nk you, Nitima for your touching thoughts on appreciation of life. Please allow me to share a few of my thoughts on the subject: I find myself in a position to appreciate when I am well centered: If I know I am on the right course, taking the correct action, of sound motivations and with realistic expectations; when I am nurturing myself physically, emotionally and spiritually; when I am meeting my obligations to others…then I can appreciate the world around me in a pure sense without bias, fear, lust, greed, envy or any other altered perspective. Wow, this is deep. I guess it simply comes down to enjoying life as it comes to us one day at a time and finding goodness in the dish we are served even when nothing about it resembles what we expected. Have a great day! Richard