Today, I want to share a story with you about appreciation. Appreciating people, events, experiences or things appearing in my life has become really important to me over the last months.
For me, appreciating what I notice in any given moment, no matter how small it might be, has become key to my general well-being and happiness. But, let me share a recent story with you to explain what I mean.
This last Wednesday I woke up all excited to get to work. I expected a response that day from a company that I wanted to work with on a really cool project. It sounded all really promising and I was eager to get started and had reserved some time in between all my other projects.
The morning became afternoon and I still hadn’t heard from them. I started debating with myself whether I should call them again or send out another email asking what’s happening. I was getting angry as to why they were not getting back to me like agreed. I as went on, I found more and more reasons as to why they seemed to be very unreliable.
At about 5pm in the afternoon, I decided to take a break. I couldn’t take it anymore. My hopes had been so high in the morning and now my mood was way below zero, in a very negative space.
I went on YouTube to watch a few music videos, just to focus on something else for a change. The problem was I didn’t really tune into it. The chatter was still running in the back of my head.
And then it hit me. “Hey”, I kind of said to myself, “you’ve been writing in your appreciation journal regularly now for the last months. Right now, you are not feeling well, so how about getting that journal out and get into appreciation mode?”
And that’s exactly what I did. I took my journal and my pencil, sat down and started writing. At first it was difficult. I couldn’t think of so many things I appreciated in that moment, especially about this particular project in question. But then, one observation came into my head which I noted down, and then another one appeared and another one… After about 10 minutes, I had written down 25 things I appreciated about this particular project.
Then, I took the time to re-read every single one of them. And my mind was going, “What are you upset about? It all looked pretty good until the moment when you decided to get grumpy. Look at all the things you have achieved, people have helped you on the way etc. What was the reason again why you are upset?”
This realization put me into a complete different state of mind. I no longer had a real reason to be upset. I decided to give that company (and myself for that matter) “some space”, and to reduce my expectations a little bit.
And this just turned around the entire evening that was about to start. I was no longer angry, on the contrary, I started to smile. I was gaining positive momentum again and felt like the guy in the picture to your right. Now, that’s my story about shifting back to a positive state of mind through appreciating the little things.
Does this make sense? What is your experience with those type of situations? What do you do? Let us know in the comments!