Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
If we are fortunate, over time we begin to get a handle on what’s important to us and how we would like our life to unfold. For me the big things in life are having the freedom (time and money) to do what I want, good health and being married to the right woman.
But what’s interesting is the inordinate amount of pleasure that little (almost inconsequential) things and minor experiences can add to the joy of living. The devil is in the detail they say. Life is good but I’m always looking for ways to tweak, fine-tune and hone life experiences. I want to wring every ounce of pleasure out of them.
There is no cookie cutter formula for doing this. It’s a very personal subjective process. .
I’m going to list 4 small, somewhat inconsequential things that I’m doing or plan to do that’s going to be fun and really add to my life:
READING ACCEPTANCE SPEECHES
- I love to read and have developed a pretty good system to ensure that good books come my way. Jack Gantos recently won the 2012 Newbery award (annual award for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children). Jack Gantos might just be the first Newbery Medal winner to have served time in federal prison for drug smuggling. I don’t know why these classic books are arbitrarily labeled children’s books when they give so many adults so much reading pleasure. To my way of thinking it’s a grievous error in marketing strategy by book sellers and publishers. Newbury winners are obligated to give an acceptance speech in front of their fellow authors and notable members of the publishing industry. Talk about peer group pressure. The speeches are well written, sometimes humorous and poignant, but always heartwarming and inspiring. I’ve read four so far and plan to read the rest.
- My early morning walk is when I’m at my creative best; the ideas just tumble non-stop out of my brain. I walk everyday for about an hour and fifteen minutes. To spice up the activity and to break the pattern of sameness, I’ve committed to walking a new route each day until the end of August. It works! I’m more alert and alive. I have to pay attention - new scenery, fresh faces and small decisions (do I want to turn left or right and will the walk be for the planned time). It literally gets one off autopilot. It’s such a small change and commitment but I find myself eagerly looking forward to my daily walk. It’s morphed into a small adventure rather than just being part of my healthy living routine.
INDULGING A FANTASY
- We subscribe to the New Yorker – a weekly publication on the happenings in New York City and short stories, poems and editorials by the best and the brightest. And if that wasn’t enough, the cartoons sprinkled throughout the magazine are wickedly funny. Each week they provide one cartoon in need of a caption. The readers, submit captions and they choose 3 finalists one week and the next week they announce the winner. The winner receives a signed print of the cartoon. I plan to start submitting captions and if I win or get an honorable mention it’s going free drinks for all at the local pub. My victory will be deviously worked into every conversation. Even strangers will accosted. The ego demands no less.
- A lucid dream is a dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming and the dreamer (here is the good part) may be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream. The concept really fascinates me. It would seem to me that if you could master lucid dreaming there would not be much incentive (except for the obvious bodily functions) to get out of bed in the morning. There was a comedian who was talking about superhero characters (e.g. superman) who had the power to make themselves invisible. He asked the audience if they had the power to make themselves invisible would their first thought be to use their new found power to fight crime. Why limit the power of your imagination? And if you could manage your dreams, could dreams be used as a tool to augment your conscious waking state. Since I’ve begun reading and learning about lucid dreaming, I do seem to have greater awareness that I’m dreaming. Unfortunately this just wakes me up rather than allowing me to shape or alter the dream. I would think that lucid dreaming could have as much potential to enhance personal growth as meditation and hypnosis.
You have to be on the alert for adventures and good experiences. I love to ask people what have you been doing lately for fun.