The importance of appreciation

I found the following list while going through some old documents on my Google Drive the other day. It’s interesting to reflect and see something that I wrote down 4 years ago.

20 Things to be grateful for in 2012

1. Having a wonderful & supportive wife whom I can share everything with -> Still true. Phew! :p 🙂

2. Having a great family and circle of friends -> Still true.

3. Starting my journey with bio-energy healing and continuous self-improvement -> Yup.

4. Travel to Taiwan, Denmark, and Italy -> Have traveled to other countries with Mrs. T since.

grand hotel taipei

5. Living in a wonderful apartment and having all the necessary means -> Still true but we now live in an amazing house.

6. Being able to donate money to Greater Vancouver Food Bank and other charities like Red Cross. -> Still true.

7. Having good health and good spirit -> Yup.

8. Being able donate blood 7 times -> Still donating blood regularly. 4 times in 2016 so far. 47 in total since I started donating blood. 🙂

9. Having the opportunity to become an author by getting our first cookbook published -> Published our second cookbook since.

10. Learning about passive income vehicles -> Dividend income, booya!

11. Having families come to Denmark and celebrating our Danish wedding together 

12. Having close family friends hosting us in LA and spending time with them

13. Learning about personal finances and investing and applying these knowledge & skills daily -> this is the main reason why I’m writing this blog, so I get to share my knowledge with my readers.

14. Having a fulfilling, enjoyable yet challenging job and having great co-workers on my team -> Still doing what I enjoy.

15. Adopting T. Cat from BCSPCA -> She’s one adorable cat!


16. Having the means to invest and getting started on my road to financial independence -> Reaching financial independence in 2026? Possibly earlier? Life is full of excitement.

17. Getting over $2000 in dividends -> Hard to believe that we receive over $2,000 in dividend income in less than 2 months in 2016.

18. Spending holiday in Cinque Terre and enjoying the wonderful food and wine with Mrs. T -> Would love to go back one of these days.

Manarola Italy

19. Continuing with the budget, reviewing it with Mrs. T and agreeing on the budget -> Increased our net worth by 250% in 5 years? Yup budgeting does work.

20. Having regular hygge with Mrs. T to enjoy life

I don’t recall why I wrote down these things at end of 2012. Whatever the reason was, I am glad that I did. It’s important to be appreciative. If we don’t appreciate who we are and what we have right at this moment, how are we suppose to enjoy our lives?

Too often we forget to take a step back and appreciate what we have already. What we have already might seem insignificant when we compare to a celebrity. But to someone living in a developing country, what we have today is often considered as a luxurious lifestyle to them. It’s all about your point of view.

Your car may be 8 years old and has been reliable and worry free. Instead of dreaming or buying a new car, wash your car and give appreciation to your car. You may live in a small apartment and want to move to a bigger house. Instead of dreaming a bigger house, buy some flowers and decorate the apartment to give appreciate to your apartment on how it has been able to provide a roof over your head. Simple gestures like ones mentioned can bring happiness and calmness to your life. You can also do the same to your friends and family. Stop being on your smartphone all the time and actually have a conversation with your friends and family. Practice saying thank you from the bottom of your heart to people that have helped you.

We all need to take time and enjoy the small things in life. People that don’t take the time to appreciate life may never be satisfied. This only leads to more wants and the never ending cycles of buying more stuff. Ever wonder why there are so many people in debt and have too many unnecessary stuff? Learn to appreciate what you already. This will make you a happier person in the long run. Stop trying to show off to other people. Stop caring what others think about you. You’re perfect the way you are.

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  • Reply
    Apathy Ends
    July 19, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Pretty cool that you are able to reflect on those memories and have kept doing all the things that brought you joy 4 years later.

    Tawcan’s own mini time capsule!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2016 at 10:37 am

      It’s pretty neat looking back and realized that we’ve accomplished a lot in 4 years.

  • Reply
    Physician on FIRE
    July 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    You (still) have a lot to be grateful for. You and Michael from Financially Alert were on the same wavelength today.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Definitely have a lot to be grateful for. I started saying thank you to my bed every morning. 😀

  • Reply
    July 19, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    “Your car may be 8 years old and has been reliable and worry free. Instead of dreaming or buying a new car, wash your car and give appreciation to your car.”

    – Really funny that you wrote this! This past weekend I actually cleaned out my 10 year old car (with 127k miles) and it actually did make me feel better. I am so close to just getting rid of it and leasing, but then I think about having another $400/mo bill

    • Reply
      July 20, 2016 at 10:37 am

      That’s totally awesome you were able to treat your car and give appreciation to it. 😀

  • Reply
    Our Next Life
    July 19, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Love everything about this sentiment. Thank you. 🙂 I completely believe the quote “It’s not happy people who are grateful, it’s grateful people who are happy.” And you just proved that point!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

      That’s a beautiful quote, loved that. I’m sure I’ll use that quote for one of my blog posts one of these days.

  • Reply
    Mike Drak
    July 20, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Gratitude brings balance back to life. I’m amazed at all the things you have been able to accomplish over a short period. I need to focus more on managing my time.

    • Reply
      July 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

      I’m pretty amazed myself too, just to show that when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish a lot. 🙂

  • Reply
    Dividend Diplomats
    July 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    That’s so cool Tawcan, amazing. I love how you took the time to put that list together over four years ago and so much of it still holds true. It serves as inspiration and shows that you can focus on the things that make you happy and do the things you love. I’m sure if many people performed a similar exercise the results would be quite difference. Also, think of how far you have come in terms of investing in four years? You were happy just to hit the four figure a year club and look at you now, four figures a month!


    P.S. My wife and I are currently working on a puzzle of the place photographed between points 18 and 19.

    • Reply
      July 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Hi Bert,

      It’s really cool to see how our dividends have grown in 4 short years. Can’t wait to see what it will be like in 4 years (2020). That picture was taken in Manarola where we spent part of our honeymoon. We had a fabulous time. You could see our apartment in the picture. 😀

  • Reply
    July 21, 2016 at 4:35 am

    So true: enjoying small things in life is important! What stands out is that the list is not all money focused. There is a lot on experiences, family and health. A good balance

    Good to ready that some of your 2012 goals/ambitions are realised and still ongoing!

    • Reply
      July 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Hi ambertreeleaves,

      It’s definitely really cool to see that my 2012 goals/ambitions are realized and still ongoing. It will interesting to look back in another 4 years and compare to our current state.

  • Reply
    Harmony Smith (@CMK_Harmony)
    July 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    So true! We may be working hard to pay off debt, but there are so many little luxuries to be enjoyed along the way. I strive to never forget how far we’ve come and all of our blessings 🙂

    • Reply
      July 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Harmony,

      Definitely need to enjoy things along the way. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    This is a great reminder, especially when the pursuit of financial independence can be so exciting at times. It reminds me of that old adage, money doesn’t erase your problems, it only amplifies them.

    Developing a great sense of appreciation and gratitude early in your life will continue to serve dividends down the road. That is a great list you had in 2012 and glad to see the progress since!

    • Reply
      July 30, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      It’s been amazing to look back and see how much we’ve accomplished in 4 short years.

  • Reply
    July 26, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I recently sold my original blog, but one of my favorite things to do was go back and see all my old posts about things that were going on in my life. It was actually one of the reasons I had such a hard time selling it.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      That’s really cool that you sold your original blog, congrats.

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