Life brings about many a twist and turn, sometimes steady and relatively easy, other times testing our inner resolve to the full.
I’d say currently it’s the latter for me. And it’s at times like these, that I fully appreciate the love and support of others, to get you through it.
For most of us reading this, if we compare ourselves to much poorer countries, we actually have it good.
A home to shelter, food on the table, support from our close network of friends or family and we feel ‘safe’.
The famous Maslow, who looked at humans ‘hierarchy of needs’, would say all these things, cover our basic requirements.
After this, he felt that we required our psychological needs met. A sense of belonging and love from family friends and those that know us well.
Obviously as individual humans we can have rather complex and diverse needs, some needing more help, others not. And yet when things go wrong, it’s often an intense time of reflection and often where you find out those that are there for you (or not).
As humans we have a baseline level of happiness which we tend to gravitate to, or away. Each of us have life experiences that can peak at that level of happiness, and then others that make it drop below.
One of the factors that I have found really helps keep my happiness level ‘topped up’ is conscious appreciation. This is an active appreciation of those around you and your life.
If I use my middle daughter Ella as an example, currently, whilst she has all her basic needs met, with glandular fever taken a big hold on her, her health and wellness is suffering. She might compare that to her base Level of health, wellness and happiness, and find it’s definitely below par.
When she compares that to how she was, she fully appreciates what she had prior. This can then make you action positively much further than before, afterwards.
Quite often, it takes a change in our status quo or a big life experience, to move us onwards beyond our baseline.
Whilst it can be quite destructive to always compare yourself against others, when you look at the early stages of the hierarchy of needs, if you have got the basics, you actually have it pretty good!
At Christmas time when extra stresses are upon us all and it’s such a busy time, it can often be a time we take people for granted.
Having conscious appreciation can really lift you because you really appreciate what you have, and it also makes that person have increased esteem and accomplishment. Maslow highlighted this as next in that hierarchy of needs.
I want to say here too that my beautiful wife Lisa, has very much fulfilled many of these needs for me recently.
For me she is a total rock that helps stabilize me and helps keep me sane. She supports me in immeasurable ways and I really do truly appreciate that, from the bottom of my heart.
When life gets tougher it’s easy to lose that conscious appreciation, but today I encourage you to take the time out, to not only appreciate what you have, but let others know what it means to them.
Do this and you will be amazed at how it improves not only yours, but others lives. Using Maslows theorem, it can be one factor helping you feel more fulfilled and accomplished, to what he called self actualisation.
Even without the ‘sciencey’ stuff behind it, whilst you are getting busy towards Christmas, try a little conscious appreciation and see where it takes you!