I see appreciation as a ‘maximization practice’ – a practice where you seek to maximize practice time over the course of a day.
The biggest obstacle to any practice is forgetfulness – like in Nolan’s film Memento, we can’t help forgetting what’s important and we need to metaphorically tattoo our body with it.
One way to remember and structure the practice is to create a checklist made up of appreciation prompts – the most powerful things you can appreciate moment to moment.
In practice, it can look something like this:
It’s a sticky note I have on the desktop of my computer. Based on what I want to focus on at any moment, I make the corresponding appreciation prompts bold to make them stand out.
The stack of unread books that will humble you and remind you just how much there is still to learn (Ryan Holiday)
A reminder of everything you don’t know and an ode to everything you want to explore. (Anne-Laure Le Cunff)
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“Antilibrary is such a beautiful practical concept.”
“What’s the practice?”
“Make a list of all the books you want to read. I use Google Spreadsheets because it’s free. You could even name it ‘Antilibrary’. Whenever you discover a book you want to read, add it to the list.
Look at your Antilibrary every day, and whenever you do, bring to mind Socrates’s wisdom:
I know one thing: that I know nothing.
You’re thus practicing Humility.
Moreover, express heartfelt Gratitude for having access to this wealth of knowledge.
You’re thus practicing Appreciation.
You can also turn it into a memento for why you want to read them. Whenever you look at your Antilibrary, bring to mind your Quest for Wisdom and Mastery, or whatever your motivation is.
You’re thus feeding the Fire of Motivation.”
P.S. You can see my antilibrary here.