GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
9. Every time you need to buy something and you have the money to purchase it, feel pleasure and gratitude that you have the necessary money. (Yesod Veshoresh Hoavodah: tzavaah, no.32)
When waiting in line in a grocery store, instead of focusing on how slowly the line is moving, focus on how fortunate you are that you are able to buy the food you need. Prices might be high, but at least you have enough money to purchase the basic necessities.
10. Every time you need to use any utensil or instrument and have it, take pleasure and feel gratitude for having that object. Most likely you will be able to do this scores of times a day. (ibid.)
Some common examples: pens, spoons and forks, cups, keys, watches, chairs and tables.
Techniques for gaining appreciation
The Midrash (Braishis Rabbah 14:11) says that with every single breath we
breath we should express our gratitude to the Almighty. As an exercise set a five minute period to be grateful for each breath.
2. If you master the ability of imagining your life without all that you presently have, you will appreciate what you have to such a degree that you will live a life of constant joy. If you were lost in a wilderness without food and water and then found some bread, you would enjoy that bread more than you usually would enjoy the most sumptuous meal. Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm wrote that he personally had such an experience, and it was living in paradise. You will always be able to feel that joy if you train yourself to use your mind wisely. (Chochmah Umussar, vol. 2, p.74)
Spend a few minutes imagining what it would be like if you had absolutely nothing: no family, no friends, no possessions, no money at all, no knowledge, no eyes, ears, hands, feet – absolutely nothing. Continue this until you actually feel it. Then picture yourself obtaining what you presently have, one item at a time. (based on Pirkei Emunah, p.20)
APPRECIATING WHAT YOU HAVE