Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller
Life is full of amazing moments. Babies laughing. Morning coffee. The sound of cicadas. The unconditional love of a dog. A cool breeze through an open window. A favorite song on the radio. These and countless other small joys were shared in a Facebook survey that received more comments than any Facebook post I’ve ever shared.
And while we are surrounded by these mini moments of joy, we are often so busy thinking about what we need to do next — after the meeting, after work, this weekend, next month — that we forget to stop and appreciate what’s right in front of us. We go about our daily lives in a routine that makes us feel in control but this repetition doesn’t inspire us to be more, see more and do more with this one life we’ve been given.
Imagine a glass of champagne, all fizzy and bubbly on the tongue. Just one sip and life feels special. But when we let that champagne sit, the bubbles settle and it tastes like just what it is — flat. Shake it up again and the bubbles return bringing back the sparkly experience that lit us up for a brief magical moment.
Life is like that too. Let it sit and it gets flat, boring, uninspiring. We get stuck. Shake it up and the tiny bubbles of joy spin and whiz creating an inspired experience. Notice I said TINY bubbles. These tiny bubbles are the tiny, almost imperceptible moments that surround us every day — moments we often miss because we’re too busy being busy. These bubbly moments go unnoticed causing life to feel flat until we make a conscious effort to shake things up again.
Stop, Look and Listen to the Bubbles
Parents teach children to cross the street by teaching them to stop, look and listen. The main goal of this three-step process is to make kids fully aware of the surroundings and the street to ensure no cars are coming and it’s safe to cross. The same concept applies when we are learning to see and appreciate the bubbles of happiness that float around us all the time. When we stop, look and listen we bring our surroundings and our life into focus which helps us become fully aware of our place in this world. This new awareness brings with it a new appreciation for the simple, amazing and powerful bubbles of joy that rise and fall around us all the time.
How can we embrace this way of thinking so these moments of bubbly happiness don’t pass us by?
1. STOP — Life is go, go, go. It’s hectic, crazy, stressful and wild. This constant movement is important for forward progress but it must be balanced out with rest and reflection. The quickest way to build in that balance is to simply stop doing what you’re doing and just be. That’s hard for must of us because we’re so used to non-stop activity and plowing through our to-do lists all day, every day. However, if we can take one-to-five minutes every hour to stop what we are doing and focus on the moment, it helps us once again notice the joy bubbles fizzing and flowing around us.
2. LOOK — In today’s technology-focused world, we are constantly slumped over computer screens, tablets, phones and video games looking at a screen. Take three minutes twice a day to look up and out at your surroundings. Notice the people, environment, animals and nature around you. Look out at the horizon line as far as the eye can reach and really look at where you’re at in this big and bubbly world.
3. LISTEN — The din of everyday life often clouds the messages that our heart and soul are trying to tell us. Build in a few minutes every day to reflect on your current life situation, your goals, your big, crazy dreams and your challenges in reaching them. As you begin to tune in to what your body, mind and spirit are telling you, the world around you will become much clearer making way for the celebratory bubbles of self-awareness, fulfillment and joy that come from living in the moment.
When was the last time you noticed and appreciated a bird building a nest, the color yellow, palm trees swaying in the wind, an extra 15 minutes when a meeting gets done early, sleeping in, stories from a senior citizen or hitting every green light? When you stop, look and listen to the world around you, these small joys can add up to an amazing life experience that feels a lot like a non-stop, fizzy, joyful celebration.
What are your favorite tiny bubbles of joy that bring a smile to your face throughout the day? Share them in the comments below.
Photos courtesy of Erin & I Photography
For more on work/life harmony and igniting your work and life, visit HappyHourEffect.com.
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