Yesterday I was listening to a podcast (how many of my blog posts begin from listening to a good podcast? Plenty because we draw inspiration from around us) with the author of the blog 1000 Awesome Things, who went on to compile his blog into a book which became, like his blog – a best seller.
Happiness is a choice and an intentional habit. That isn’t Pollyanna’s theory – it’s a simple truth. Happiness is more about noticing an experience than it is about the experience itself. Because we often miss the experience due to distraction.
Happiness is available to everyone, rich or poor. It is the one thing that the poorest people on earth, and the richest can all share, because it doesn’t require money.
The best things in life are truly free.
Yesterday afternoon, I took all of my phone, watch and other chargers out of my room and into my office. I parked a little notebook beside my bed instead to record my first few thoughts. This morning I woke up to no phone. I wrote in that notebook, three things. What I was letting go of today, what I was focusing on, and an awesome thing. Then I went and grabbed a coffee. I still didn’t look at the phone. Instead I sat down and wrote three A4 pages full of awesome things. It was effortless and energising.
In writing those three pages I fed my brain a series of happy thoughts, and it fed them back to me as fast as I could write. Things like:
walking into a brand new hotel room and finding the view is amazing
suddenly hearing a favourite song
dancing with my sons
A big relaxing breath
A big relaxing stretch
Lamplight and a good book
jumping into bed in winter and the electric blanket is on
fireplace and a good book (good books are an awesome pattern for sure!)
my dog when she is all comfy and sleepy in her bed
my dog when she dances towards me happy to see me
snorting laughter with my best friend
a great joke
when that song comes on
There is no end to awesome things, and once you get started, it’s really hard to stop writing. Try it.
Noticing the great experiences and moments in life is so easy to do. It is easier for some than a gratitude practice and to be honest, it is easier for me to recall highlights in the past then it is to notice the good things right now.
In the present moment, our brain can be focused on looking ahead for pain and trouble; it is how we are wired. But when you send your mind on a search mission for all the awesome things you love, you suddenly realise – those awesome things didn’t happen in a parallel universe – they happened in our everyday life. We can become more adept at noticing them every moment, recreating them every moment, and appreciating them, every moment.
reall good soup and fresh home made bread
going outside at night and noticing the stars
a full moon rising
lemon scented gum leaves after you mow
the smell of lawn clippings
Sunshine on my shoulders in winter
Seeing family smile, feeling it light up my heart – bloom
reading a beautiful line of poetry that resonates
creating a beautiful line of poetry that explains exactly how I feel about something
watching a poddy lamb drink from a bottle, it’s little tail squiggling in delight
holding your freshly bathed and sleepy child
reading them a book and hearing all the questions
that smell that recalls a great memory
Life can then become incredibly rich and enjoyable.
We simply have to notice that it already is.