When I ask who or what is important in your life, what do you think of? Your parents? Friends? A roof over your head? Grandparents? A phone? Many people will probably answer at least one of those things, and that's a good thing! But have you thought about how you spend your time with them?

Just recently, I attended a funeral for my mom's aunt, a woman I had never met. I'm not very good with a lot emotion all in one room, nor have I ever been to a funeral at all. I'll be honest, I was very weirded out at first at the wake and at the funeral, but something clicked in my head when I was hearing the priest talk about my great-aunt.

She enjoyed life, she studied what she loved and was very close to her family, and that's the kind of person I want to be; close to my family, enjoying life, following my passion. I didn't think much of my thoughts after the funeral, but it still lingers in my head after we returned home. How can I enjoy life when I'm always worrying about how to look or how to act? How am I supposed to be close to my family if I don't spend time or talk to them often?

I know that, for starters, being on my phone all the time is no way to grow in my appreciation for the people in my life. Don't get me wrong, having a nice phone is something that I'm very thankful for. My parents could've gotten me a basic phone, one that maybe could just call and text, but instead they gave an iPhone where I can be on social media and connect with friends. All I'm saying for my phone is that I really shouldn't be on it when I'm with family unless you're taking the occasional selfie!

I also think that if you want to appreciate a lot of things in your life, you must appreciate yourself too. I may not be the best-looking person in the world, but I'm healthy. I may not be the best athlete out there, but I know that I give it my all to improve my skills. I may not be the smartest student at school, but I study hard and keep a healthy balance between school and having fun. It's easy to find the negatives in ourselves, but we must keep a positive attitude if we want to find the things in life that we're thankful for and can appreciate.

For the rest of summer, I plan to challenge myself and I want you to too! This summer, I'm going to write three things every day that I appreciate and why they're important to me. It's an easy task to keep reminding yourself of what you're fortunate enough to have. I also recommend "Life of Gratitude," by Lori Roberts, which is a small daily journal that gives your short prompts to write about. When I did this journal consistently, I noticed how much happier I felt for the things I have in life.

Appreciating the things and people we have today is important. Something in the future may take it away from us and we'll have regrets for, as an example, not spending time with them more, not taking the full advantage of our health, wishing that we had something else when we already have something amazing. It took me long enough in life to figure out that this is something I need to work on, because living in a material world can make you think that you always need better things or look a certain way or be friends with certain people.

This is something I think everyone needs to master. If every single person learned to appreciate what they already have, then the world might be a happier place, starting with yourself.