A couple in North Dakota unexpectedly became millionaires when oil was found on their property. Their reaction?

“We got enough now to buy new stuff,” Lorene said, “but we like our old stuff.”

I love that. We like our old stuff. I like MY old stuff too. Nothing saves money and generates contentment like liking your old stuff.

Maybe being perfectly happy with what you already have is an art, but it’s an art that anyone can learn. The key is appreciation. You can start out by deliberately practicing appreciation. Before you know it, it’ll happen unconsciously as well.

How do you practice appreciation?

Start by becoming aware of how you currently feel about things. Do you grumble when you get out of bed in the morning because you have to go to work? Once you are aware of that, try deliberately replacing those morning grumbles with “How great! I can walk! And I have a job!” I’m not kidding. From there you can move on to noticing and appreciating the things that you don’t grumble about.

The things we take for granted are usually the most important things. Our health and ability to earn an income are priceless. Once we realize that, and actually begin to be actively grateful for them, wanting other things just naturally becomes less important.

Did you know that there are two major definitions of “wanting”? From Dictionary.com, there’s “To desire greatly; wish for” and “lacking or absent”.

So when we want something, we’re experiencing a strong desire for something that we feel is lacking. We’re focusing on what we don’t have. And we feel empty and dissatisfied.

Focusing on what you already DO have, and really appreciating it and actively enjoying it, leaves you satisfied and happy instead of the reverse. You’ll gradually notice that there just isn’t much that you want (or lack for) at all.