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12 Qualities of Successful People – #5 Appreciation

Appreciation is one of the qualities shared by successful people and is one of the simplest ways to immediately improve your satisfaction with life and boost your motivation to create a better future.

So, let’s find out exactly what appreciation is, why is it so important to success, and how you can cultivate this quality in your life.

What is appreciation?

Appreciation can simply be described as recognizing and enjoying the good qualities of a person, a situation, or a thing. It is the opposite of feeling apathetic, dissatisfied or disappointed; or being ungrateful; or taking people, things or situations for granted.

Appreciation also means feeling and expressing thankfulness and gratitude in every aspect of your life, from the big and important issues, such as good health, to the small things, like a compliment.

Why is appreciation so important?

Appreciation is necessary for success in all areas of life. Research supports the idea that feeling and expressing appreciation positively impacts on your mental and emotional state, your health, and your ability to achieve your goals.

Appreciation is closely related to happiness because appreciative people are always aware of what is good in their life, allowing them to put challenges and setbacks into perspective.

Further research has also shown long-term health benefits of appreciation such as lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, better sleep, reduced stress levels and less depression.

Appreciation is also a recognized key to success because it allows us to manage what psychologists refer to as ‘negativity bias’ – the inclination to pay attention to, learn from, and use negative information more than positive information. For example, we often focus on the negative – on what is wrong with our lives and what we don’t have – and this reinforces feelings of lack, scarcity and fear.

By choosing to focus instead on the positive and to appreciate what we do have, we realise that we have much more than we think and that we could build on that. Appreciating what you already have also opened the door for the things you would like to have.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” – Oprah Winfrey

How do you cultivate appreciation?

Fortunately, cultivating appreciation does not cost anything and it also does not take much time. Use these tips to get started.

  1. Make a decision to start appreciating all the positives in your life.
  2. Take an inventory of everything you have: material things like a home, food, clothing and transport; your health and physical abilities; the people in your life; and your work and income. You will be surprised just how much there is to appreciate!
  3. Start and end your day with appreciation – wake up thankful and count all your blessings before you fall asleep.
  4. During the day, set alarms at different times as reminders to look for something to appreciate and to say: “I appreciate…” or “I am thankful for…”.
  5. As you cultivate your appreciation, learn from the experiences of others. A good place to start is this TEDx Talk “The power of appreciation”.

You can quickly and substantially improve every aspect of your life by focusing on and appreciating what you have. This will immediately enhance your satisfaction with life, boost your motivation and improve your chances of achieving success.

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