Appreciation Transforms The Ordinary Into Perfection

Compared to our not-so-distant past, we are all incredibly wealthy. Imagine for a moment a life without absolutely any possessions. You are out there in nature without any clothes, tools or shelter, left alone to find enough calories and protection from the elements every day of your rather short life. Today we are equipped with a lot more tools, possessions and wealth, yet we are also becoming more depressed than ever before. 

Appreciates having nothing

That means we humans cannot accurately appreciate the wealth and privileges we enjoy. We do not have built into us a system that objectively gauges our circumstances and adjusts our happiness accordingly. Now I want to present you with a simple solution to this problem. Practicing this technique can help you over time to become in tune with your actual experience. Your happiness will be less dependent on whether your imagined scenarios for the future manifest or if an unwanted disaster strikes. 

Appreciation is the one simple ingredient that can change how you experience every moment of your life. Sounds too simple? But actually, many of the benefits of meditation could be related to an increase in appreciation for whatever the moment presents you with. There are several ways you can practice appreciation. 

Noticing the senses

When I started practising all-day awareness around ten years ago, I noticed I would appreciate my environment much more. The technique itself did not state anything about appreciation though. It came as a natural by-product. One way to practise this is to direct more attention to the senses, over and over again. You can feel into the body and consciously take in what you see. The important part is remembering to do this. Apps can help with setting reminders in the beginning.

In this way, we are simply correcting for a human tendency. Our overactive brains create mental simulations that are very distracting and pull us out of our more neutral environments. 

Conscious recognition

Another method to practice this is by simply acknowledging what you have consciously. Recognizing consciously what wealth and privileges you enjoy is what makes the difference. And it is a practice, so you have to do this for months, probably years. But then you can look back and notice astounding changes in your happiness over longer time horizons. 

Drinking water from a glass. You have done this unconsciously many times. Actually, that is wealth. Humans had to drink without anything to contain the water directly out of streams and ponds. So why not appreciate this experience every time you drink? You are missing an opportunity for wealth to make you happy. 


Meditation is also a practice of appreciation. You are setting aside a certain period in which you are doing nothing to change what you experience. You are just watching what arises. Naturally, over time this leads to an increased appreciation for the simple fact of things appearing and disappearing. With deepening meditation practice you can find that your appreciation for emptiness itself grows. The mind becomes quiet and you notice the emptiness of phenomena itself. You become a connoisseur of the simplest experiences, down to their empty essence. I have many videos on my YT-Channel and articles on here on the details of meditation, but if you have any open questions you can also book a session directly with me to discuss them. 

The common ingredient in all these techniques is the consciousness part. Getting out of autopilot mode and engaging intentionally with experience in a certain way is what makes the difference. 

What's the alternative?

What you gain by practising appreciation is an aliveness of experience that produces deep satisfaction. You are learning what reality is that helps you let go of false beliefs which cause pain and despair. This technique does not sound fancy and that's why it does not sell for much. But this will make you significantly happier than all the fancy things that you could buy when your imagined financial goals manifest. In the end, what are people trying to do with the consumption of luxury items? They are trying to create experiences that cross their personal appreciation threshold, above which it comes naturally to them to appreciate their immediate sensory experience. 

I suggest practising appreciation is the better path. Only then will we be able to appreciate everything, in every moment, so that we can delight in the full spectrum of experiences rather than a few selected ones.