“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” — Henri Nouwen
Don’t you love it when really amazing things happen to you? Those moments may seem few and far between but, if we take time to notice all the treasures we encounter during an ordinary day, we’d be amazed at how great our lives actually are. In my last article, Are You Living in the Moment, I wrote about the importance of truly living in each moment. When we are fully present and accept where we are right now, we open ourselves up to experience more of life’s goodness. We come to appreciate life and feel the transformative power of gratitude.
In Neil Pasricha’s “The Book of Awesome” he describes everyday moments that are actually sources of delight and joy. Here are some of the simple things in my life which I would describe as “Awesome”:
- The feeling of Friday night at 5pm…Awesome!
- When a song you really, really love and haven’t heard in a long time comes on the radio and you crank the stereo (and sing….and you don’t care if the other drivers think you’re a fool because you’re rocking out and darn it all, you work hard and you deserve this moment of craziness!)…Awesome!
- When you leave your purse at a store, return half an hour later, and it’s still there and nothing has been taken….Awesome!
- When you can share your dreams with your close friends, and they encourage you and tell you, “Of course your dreams are possible!”…Awesome!
- The feel of the sun warming your skin after you’ve been inside at work all day….Awesome!
- Green lights…Awesome!
- The feeling of sand between your toes at the beach….Awesome!
- When another driver lets you in the lane in busy traffic….Awesome!
- When you speed past a cop and for some reason they don’t pull you over even though you deserve it….Awesome!
- Working with people who genuinely care about you and make you laugh; in fact, you call these people “friends” rather than “co-workers”…Awesome!
- Driving with your windows down, the wind blowing through your hair and the warm summer breeze against your skin…Awesome!
- Sleeping in on a Saturday morning….Awesome!
- The feel of fresh, clean sheets on your bed ….Awesome!
- When someone says, “Thank you”…Awesome!
- Watching the sun set into the water and still being amazed at the indescribable beauty of it all… Awesome!
- Having an afternoon nap …Awesome!
- Kittens, puppies and babies…Awesome!
- Free food samples at the grocery store…Awesome!
- The fragrance and warmth of your clothes when they come out of the dryer…Awesome!
- The delightful sound of the wind blowing through the trees…Awesome!
- The feeling of accomplishing something which years before you thought would be impossible….Awesome!
- When a cute stranger smiles at you…Awesome!
- Being able to call your parents up at any time knowing they would do anything for you and are happy to hear your voice…Awesome!
- Laughing so hard that you cry…Awesome!
- Knowing that you are blessed with so many of these amazing things every single day that it would take you forever to write them all down…Awesome!
Take hold of the power that lies in recognizing the joy that is hidden in everyday moments. I urge you to start your own list of “Awesome” things – you can even do this as a family. Once you get started, you’ll find it hard to stop. This exercise is particularly effective when you’re having a bad day. Maybe you’re in a tough place right now, and it’s hard to find anything that’s good.
Be like Groucho Marx who boldly declared, “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I — not events — have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”