I'm going to start sounding like a Tim Ferriss groupie or something, which I am really not. But he does have a nice post up on appreciation vs. achievement. Excerpt below.
Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk and zen teacher once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., has a knack for making the esoteric understandable.
In discussing what some call “present state awareness”–experiencing and savoring the present—he offers a simple parable:
Let’s say that you want to eat a peach for dessert one evening, but you decide to only allow yourself this luxury after washing the dishes. If, while washing the dishes, all you think of is eating the peach, what will you be thinking of when you eat the peach?
The clogged inbox, that difficult conversation you’ve been putting off, tomorrow’s to-do list?
The peach is eaten but not enjoyed, and so on we continue through life, victims of a progressively lopsided culture that values achievement over appreciation. But let’s get specific.
If we define “achievement” as obtaining things we desire (whether raises, relationships, cars, pets, or otherwise) that have the potential to give us pleasure, let’s define “appreciation” as our ability to get pleasure out of those things. To focus on the former to the exclusion of the latter is like valuing cooking over eating.
� Don’t Like Meditation? Try Gratitude Training. (Plus: Follow-up to “Testing Friends” Firestorm)