As I was contemplating the difference between appreciation and gratitude, I came to this wonderful Abraham-Hicks explanation on YouTube. Below is a bit of the translation, but please follow the link as the insight is delivered with such beauty and elegance you won't want to miss the experience in the vibration.
"Gratitude is looking at a struggle that you've overcome and feeling grateful, feeling happy that you're still not in the struggle. But you are still messing with that vibration just a little bit...the difference between inspiration which is being called to who you are and motivation which is trying to make yourself go somewhere that's a similar difference. Appreciation is that tuned in, taped in, turned on...Appreciation is vibrational alignment with who I have become. The state of Appreciation is me being in sync with the whole of that which I am. Being in a state of appreciation is seeing whatever I'm looking at through the eyes of Source. And when you are in that state of appreciation you could walk down a crowded street with all kinds of things that a lot of other people find reason to criticize or even worry about and you would not have access to them because your vibration in appreciation is picking out for you things of a different vibrational nature. A state of appreciation is a sate of Godliness. A state of appreciation is being who you really are. A state of appreciation is who you were the day you were born and who you will be the moment you die. And it would be if we were standing in your physical shoes your quest in every moment...."