The older I get, the more I believe the adage “happiness is an inside job.” Life doesn’t seem to generously dish up the thrills and emotional highs it once did when I was part of a greater social scene and professional community. And in talking with my woman friends, I’ve discovered I’m not alone. Many others are in search of what will inspire and fulfill us.
But so often we wait for the conditions to be just right – the right weather, the right person to accompany us, the perfect location – and while we’re waiting the opportunities pass without us ever stepping out to find what’s waiting for us.
In my quest for a more joyful life, I’ve found I can, with the right mindset and correct focus, not only appreciate fully the spontaneous magical moments, but create experiences that give me the satisfaction and sense of wonder I crave. No more waiting around for it to magically appear, I’ve learned to make it happen.
I think the biggest shift for me was learning to be present in the moment and to focus on the simple things that previously seemed insignificant. There is so much beauty in our every day, and many opportunities for heart-warming connection. We just need to notice and be ready to capture them.
We all have certain preferences when it comes to what we find beautiful, what lights us up and gives us that content and blissful feeling. Mine is nature, hiking through the hills or just sitting somewhere wild, listening and watching. To create perfect moments, we need to capitalize on what already interests us and indulge in it consistently.
Before beginning the day, think about what it is you want from it and notice how many ways it shows up throughout the following hours.
I awaken early and while I lie there in the dark, I contemplate the day and how I can find within it the gifts that are meant for me, be they time with a close friend, something delicious that I want to prepare for myself, or perhaps an outing with the potential to see a place with a refreshed perspective. And if there’s nothing on the calendar, I contemplate what I can do to make the day a good one.
There’s a certain exhilaration to the unknown. When we choose to push our limits and attempt to do something we’ve never done before, we experience life in an unfamiliar way and that can lead to some spectacular moments and memories. Breaking out of our routine and striving for new achievements, different scenery and engaging experiences will pay dividends in the form of perfect moments.
There are responsibilities and difficulties that may interfere with finding and having what we want, but if we are creative, we will discover ways to achieve our goals. I recently had a minor surgery that required me to stay off my feet for several weeks.
I missed hiking very much. So, one morning, my friend took me and a borrowed wheelchair to the park and I wheeled along the path through the trees with her. I found a perfect moment in that peaceful, natural setting and in the comfort of a caring friend.
A chance encounter, the kindness of a stranger, sharing an accomplishment with a young person, are all the kind of everyday occurrences that deserve to be savored. Notice them and appreciate these moments for their unexpected pleasure.
One way to raise the odds of experiencing gratification and fulfillment is to be generous in spirit and contribute to the well-being of others. Whether it be through a service group, volunteering with a nonprofit organization or helping a neighbor in need. Giving of ourselves brings connection and gives one a sense of purpose.
I love watching the light rise before dawn. I get up very early every morning, take my sweet and spicy chai and sit at an eastern facing window and wait. Some mornings are more spectacular than others, with brilliant color and birds singing, but they all give me a moment of grand inspiration. When you find something that inspires you, return to it regularly and enjoy.
Surround yourself with positive, intellectually stimulating and creative people. Join groups, reach out to those you come across with shared interests and stay in contact with those friends who always seem to give you an emotional boost. Seek out those who possess the capacity to make moments perfect with you.
Have you been waiting for the perfect moments to arrive in your life? Do you think you can instead do something to make a moment perfect? What would it take you to do that? What constitutes a perfect moment to you?