“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
― Maya Angelou
How frequently do you wake up every day feeling grateful for your prior accomplishments? Do you recall those moments of accomplishment for a longer period of time, or do you dwell on the next achievement and the stress that comes with it? I believe we all aspire to achieve more in life, to find our own purpose, and to live as complete as possible. Is that, however, the only way to live?
Personally, for me, I felt that it has been a chore to live like this everyday. I’m a dreamer who wants to accomplish everything, and it’s been tough for me to appreciate even little moments of happiness. Sometimes, too many objectives can lead to frustration. This is related to loss aversion effect within humans. Furthermore, I will convince myself, “Just like everyone else, they have done this before, I should feel contented and move on swiftly.” It was the cornerstone of my existence for a long time. I couldn’t comprehend how individuals could be thrilled or delighted with their own personal accomplishments. I admired how they shared their joy with those close to them. It was always intriguing to me, and their transient satisfaction perplexed me. At least, that’s what I assumed was going on.
A Small Experience
I was out for a stroll in the park. I used to go to my favorite playground near my house when I was younger, which included see-saws, monkey bars, and many circular slides. It wasn’t like those little and boring playgrounds. As I spent my days there, I recalled it being the best moment of my life. Free of anxiety and worry. As I passed by, I observed kids with a variety of positive perspectives on the world around them. This scenario provided me with an inspirational moment.
I love this amazing weather, it is so perfect to play catching!
I’m so glad that I have you as my friend, you are amazing.
Omg the wind is so good, I hope it can be like this everyday!
This playground is sooo fun, I’m so glad to be here.
The birds are chirping happily!
Mom, there is a cute dog passing by!
They were so amazed by things I had never noticed in a long time, nor will I ever bother much as it seems less important. Was I really living in the moment? I asked myself. I tried everything I could, meditation, forcing myself to practice appreciation and distracting myself from never-ending thoughts. I had no idea about how the wind was blowing. How beautiful each tree and animal was. I have never wondered how nature sounds were so peaceful to the soul.
It hit me hard at that moment. So many things were actually perfect in my life that I have grown accustomed to, without showing appreciation or attentive mindful contentment to those small moments. A shelter to live in, my family members are healthy and contented everyday, socializing with my friends and living a healthy lifestyle. No doubt, they are simple needs of everyday life. Regardless, not everyone actually has such simple opportunities in life. Many are struggling to survive. Writing till this point, I’m so glad that my family have provided me an environment to pursue a higher purpose.
I told myself, be amazed. At that moment, thousands of other thoughts were competing for my attention. My work, my goals and random thoughts filled my mind. No! I told myself. How can I ever forget this moment of clarity? I quickly closed my eyes and shut off my mind through breathing techniques and focus. Five minutes have passed, I was back in reality, with sunlight beaming on my face, I smiled.
Back to the main point
My mind devotes much too much attention to the future and the past. It reminds me of what I have yet to accomplish. It wants to accelerate time, and it rushes through those special moments that are meant to be treasured.
Clarity was accompanied with despair. When visualization and understanding of life becomes clear, we become overwhelmed with reality. My heart was broken at the missed opportunity to simply be and appreciate. That’s the bittersweet part of life, I suppose. You can’t wait until this difficult portion is finished, but suddenly it’s gone and there’s no turning back. The cycle continues as a new stage unfolds.
Nonetheless, Be delighted, be enchanted. Every now and again, take a step back and reflect on your life with thankfulness.
Every small thing matters, tell yourself that. The sounds of nature, your footsteps, the tingly feeling down your skin etc.
Time moves on in some way or another. Old becomes new, and new becomes old, and you have another opportunity to be impressed. It is not humanly possible to adore every second of life as it unfolds. Even four-year-olds aren’t always in amazement.
I’m not doing the same things as my friends, and maybe my life isn’t as fantastic as someone else’s.
What’s the big deal?
I can still feel gratitude and happiness equally, giving myself the necessary self-esteem. I learned to be grateful to 1–2 different events everyday, or even things that happened to me in the past. Start with 1– 2 in the morning, when the day is fresh. This has given me a huge morale boost. Sounds like a strange technique, but, give it a try for maybe a month or so. Tell me if you had any good results, tell me if you remember them better, or show me some ideas that has inspired you better than my current idea.
Of course, there are other methods too.
- Create a gratitude journal.
- Have a plan to celebrate little achievements along the way intentionally.
- Slow down, to be present, to allow your mind to wonder.
I may describe all these in details, but how often does one follow every advice? Starting small is the key.
Be amazed in situations which you struggled, where you found the strength to sustain through ordeals.
Be surprised by how you have time to rest and just enjoy your time.
Heck, even be thankful that you are alive today.