Appreciation in the personal finance world

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Appreciation in the personal finance world has two different components to it:

  • Quantitative: increasing value of net worth and financial assets
  • Qualitative: feeling of gratitude for one’s finances, resources, and circumstance. This is not dependent on the dollar amount.

These are both important, but the qualitative is the best predictor of increasing wealth and personal wellbeing.

We are programmed by these components, which makes our brain to focus on what is wrong and what is insufficient. We tend to focus on what needs to be fixed than what we already have. When all our attention is on what needs fixing in our lives, our relationships, and our finances, we spiral into negative feelings.

Have you heard of the saying, “Most things in life as neutral?” Our thoughts are lenses through which we interpret information and create the feelings that we have. This, in turn, affects our actions and creates the result we see. Focus first on what we already have and the value they bring, for that begins to create abundance into what we want in our future.

Why is gratitude important?

  • Being grateful cultivates contentment. By practicing gratitude, you may find that you don’t need to spend money to feel happy.
  • Gratitude gives rise to an abundance mindset, as opposed to scarcity. This makes you give more.
  • Gratitude also combats the feeling of instant gratification. Makes you likely to wait to receive $5000 in 30 days than $500 in one week.
  • Gratitude also helps to soften you towards change, letting it in without fighting.

What are some ways you can practice gratitude?  I am glad you asked.

Three things I want you to consider:

1. What are your current assets? Focusing on what you currently have creates a stage from which you can be intentional with your thoughts. You control your thoughts instead of your thoughts controlling you.

2. What do you have in your financial life today that you are thankful for? Think deeply; there is always something. I will give you some examples:

  • I am thankful that I can pay my bills.
  • I am thankful that I can learn more about finances.
  • I am thankful that I know how much I spend monthly.
  • I am thankful that I am understanding this now and not 20 years from now.

You get the point.

3. Focus on the future. What do you want in three months that you don’t have today? Write down the actions you need to take to get there. These are your financial goals. Do the same for six months and twelve months. Write it down. That is how to achieve your goals and set yourself up for gratitude in the future by starting now.

Latifat Alli-Akintade is a gastroenterologist and can be reached at MoneyFitMD.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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