Take time to remember the little things
Little things. Gosh. It seems that a lot of us have forgotten what it means to take pleasure in the little things, because let’s be honest: we’re constantly fretting about the BIG things, the massive job promotion that we have to work overtime to get, the way too expensive for our own good but amazing apartment in LA that is calling our name, and how about that epic dream of making it big in Silicon Valley. Sometimes, it is a rejuvenating feeling to step back, calm down, and repeat to ourselves that it will all be fine, and that these big things will work out. But, what all too often ends up happening, is that in our quest to solve our BIG problems and achieve our BIG life goals, we actually fail to appreciate the LITTLE things in our life by simply not devoting enough time and attention to them.
I will admit to you that there are colors of walls in classrooms I have sat in for a good year that I may not be able to tell you because I was too busy focusing in class to ensure I was well-prepared to ace the test. In our race to the top, we lose focus by sacrificing the little things that have the potential to evolve our perspective in incredible ways. Do I think that knowing the color of the walls of my classrooms would have changed my life? No, perhaps not, but identifying this little thing may have given me a greater appreciation for the beauty that is all around us on a daily basis that we totally and completely ignore because we are too busy glued into the microcosms of our own lives.
Traveling is truly the best way to remind us of the importance of appreciating the little things. There are 3 habits I have observed each time I have visited France, England, Switzerland, Austria, India, etc. that I think we would do well to put into practice to remind us to maintain focus on the little things:
Genuinely engage people in conversation with passion and energy
The happiest people are those who are able to engage others with a genuine curiosity and passion. I am sure I am not alone when I say that I am not a fan of people faking interest in something they actually don’t care about. If we can just take the time to indulge in genuine interactions with others, we would notice that we are respecting them by understanding their complexities, fears, dreams, and in turn, gaining a deeper appreciation for humankind. This is the first step to taking the time to remember the little things.
Dedicate a block of time each day to outdoor activities such as biking, walking, or running
This is a very interesting habit I have seen practiced in many countries around the world. Those individuals who are very much in touch with the little things are those who are physically very active since being outdoors is a great way to connect with nature. There have definitely been times that I was rushing to get to the next place, the next competition, the next event that I sort of looked out the window of my car with glazed eyes, not really truly experiencing nature. This is why biking, walking, and running are wonderful methods for us to get in touch with nature and appreciate the luscious beauty that surrounds us every day that we may not even have taken the time to notice in detail before.
Practice expressing 5 words of gratitude each and every day
Gratitude is paramount to success. We all have been blessed with so much more beyond what we may believe to be true. I think we will find that we have a renewed appreciation for our lives and for what we have been given. This is a habit I have recently started practicing as well, to begin and end each day thinking about what I am grateful for in my life. And, I can honestly tell you that we have much more to be grateful for than we may even realize. It is important for us to reflect on this because reflection and introspection are really key to understanding ourselves on a deeper level.
Promise me that you will take time to remember the little things now?