This is a daily battle that plays out in my had and the only solution I have found is to oscillate between states. Spending some time in pursuit of growth and mastery and then switching back to presence and gratitude. Whilst I am reasonably pleased with this current model I am aware that it is not an ideal solution. It is effortful and requires constant awareness to prevent the pursuit of progress taking over.
I was therefore delighted to stumble across a potential solution in the recent Tim Ferriss podcast episode with Ricardo Semler. In this discussion Ricardo describes how his family have a disposition towards a certain cancer. Upon learning this, and subsequently losing several family members to the disease, Ricardo decided to find a solution to the battle describe above. He needed to keep his businesses going as there was no guarantee that he would also develop the fatal cancer yet he also needed to find a way to live life a little more fully in case his time was running out faster than planned.
Ricardo's solution is what he bluntly calls 'Terminal Days'. He simply schedules 2 days a week where he isn't working and can pursue activities that will enable him to live life fully, tick off his 'bucket list' items and develop a greater appreciation for what he already has.
I think that this idea is such an elegant solution for the problem of balancing progress and appreciation and I intend to start scheduling my own 'Terminal Days', likely once or twice a month initially, to find the balance in my own life. I encourage you to do likewise. Consider how often you can fit them in, make sure to schedule them and start planning your activities. It may be that you are doing some of these already. In which case great, though I still think the label of 'terminal days' will provide valuable context that will increase your appreciation of these. Let me know how you get on and what activities you are suddenly able to find time to start.