By Wayne Hoover
A fundamental key to being happy is knowing how to appreciate what you have. Without appreciation no amount of anything can make you happy.
For my birthday party an amazing group of musicians were gathered at my apartment most of which play the hung drum- which is in my biased opinion the most beautiful instrument on the planet. As I sat in my bean bag chair listing to the impromptu music circle play these very pleasing instruments someone passed me an extra hung drum to play with. As the hung drum sat in my lap I couldn’t even begin to make it sound like my friends were so effortlessly doing- its at this moment that I realized that no matter what you have- even if its the best- if you don’t have appreciation for it you can’t be happy.
See I appreciate the hung drum so much because I am blessed to have friends that play it beautifully. But if I just had a hung drum in my house and I didn’t know how to play it- even though it is one of the most highly sought after instruments around- if couldn’t play it it wouldn’t really bring me much happiness- the happiness comes from my appreciation of the beautiful music not from the hung drum itself.
This example might be a tad obvious but I see many people forget that the object doesn’t make one happy its the appreciation of the object or the appreciation of the skill of using the object that makes one happy.
For example what happiness is gained from having the best car if you don’t have the appreciation for its craftsmanship or the skill to drive it?
It’s far more important to ask for appreciation and even more rewarding to develop skills- because without appreciation for what you have or the skills to create something that makes you and others happy what use is what you wish for? Again we are shown that a change internally is far more useful and long lasting than a change externaly.
The key building blocks that creates a happy person are dedication- patience- skill- and the ability to appreciate.
Wishing for external things are ok- they can increase your quality of life- so it’s fine to want a porche. But if you wish for a porche make sure you also wish for courage and appreciation and skill- or else it will become just another thing to take care of. With every wish for something new externally wish for the ability to appreciate what you already have- and what you will receive in the future.
Develop your appreciation- gratitude- happiness- and skills- because this is what really makes things better in your life otherwise external things will just be as they are now. What use is a guitar if you can’t play it? Just because you get a guitar doesn’t mean your life is going to change and you are all of a sudden going to become a rock star. Wish for dedication and skill these internal developments will eventually make you a rockstar.
Similary wishing for a lot if money probably won’t change your life much- wish for the ability to know how to invest and manage large sums of money. Make wise choices in your purchases and learn how to find high quality products- learn to appreciate fine culture or else you’ll just end up spending the money the same way you spend it now and nothing much will really change.
So learn appreciation- because appreciation will bring you happiness. No matter what you have if you arn’t grateful for it you can’t sustain happiness.