How to Practice the Art of Appreciation: A Practical Tip

During my missions effort equipping ministry leaders in Guam, it’s my privilege to feature this guest post from my good friend and mentor Richard Savidge, President of Ministry Coaching International. I first encountered him through this post from Michael Hyatt. Check out his weekly blog here, his awesome coaching and retreat adventures (Savidge Adventures), and follow him on Twitter andFacebook.

When was the last time that you encountered a person whose life seemed to exude joy?

Their countenance was joyful.

The lilt in their voice was joyful.

The gleam in their eye was joyful — and, maybe, even a bit mischievous.

Did you ask them about the source of their joy?

Often we miss that opportunity to learn from the joyful soul that is next to us. When we do ask the question and look for the lesson, we often discover a person who takes nothing for granted but in everything gives thanks.

What It Means to Appreciate

As I have reflected on the art of appreciation I have started to see that truly appreciative people take nothing for granted. People that take nothing for granted start to see wonder in the mundane. They start to see that even the hot water that flows from the spigot is a luxury and a delight. They see that the air they breathe is a gift they are given. They say thank you.

At some point in the journey of learning the art of appreciation, we start to understand that the lack of appreciation robs us of joy and kills relationship. When one is not appreciated, one is taken for granted. It hurts to be taken for granted! Our lack of appreciation is the very essence of taking someone or something for granted.

The great sadness is that we often take those for granted whom we love the most. That unfortunate fact is especially true of my relationship with God and with my family.

Practical Tip to Practice Appreciation

To counter-act this tendency, I have started the 10/3 experiment.

At 10am & 3pm each day, I put “TWH,” Time With Him, into my calendar. I also program my watch (Vibralite) to vibrate. This serves as my reminder to stop and reflect on the last 5 hours.

I review what has happened to that point and how God has been uniquely present. I jot a few notes, and I say thank you. Then before I go to bed, I review my day, I check in with Him, and I say thank you.

I believe that practicing the art of appreciation has amped my joy, transformed my relationships, and given me a greater reason to get out of bed.

Why not join me in the 10/3 experiment as we journey together in this great adventure?

What do you think of this practical tip to help us practice the art of appreciation? What other ways have you found helpful to cultivate appreciation in your own faith walk? Leave a comment below to help us all grow.

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About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and speaker who empowers people to live an authentic life with abundant faith. A former pastor, Christian school leader, and master teacher, he is the founder of FaithWalkers (Faithwalkers.com) where he equips Christians to live an authentic life and a blogger on faith and cultural issues at Patheos and TheResurgent.com. He is the author of several books including A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life, What God Wants You to Do Next, The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth, and multiple collaborative books including his latest with co-author Erick Erickson — You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe (Regnery, February 22, 2016).
In addition to his own writing and speaking, Bill helps other people and organizations tell their own story in effective ways. He comes alongside authors as a collaborative writer, handcrafts engaging materials as a content creator, and creates an effective brand strategy as a platform developer with his team of creatives and digital technicians. (BillintheBlank.com)

  • http://www.friendship-bc.com Alajemba

    Amazing insight! Appreciation is an art, which when it’s practiced brings joy and enhances our relationship both with God and others. When we show and express our appreciation, it liberates us from being negatively critical of others and it helps us to think positive about and pray for them. When we practice the art of appreciation to God, it helps us to focus on His blessings rather than on our burdens. Thank you for the tip. It’s really very practical.