They say the best things in life are free. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the list below proves that statement to be true. Life is filled with simple pleasures, the little satisfying effects you never really anticipate, but always take great pleasure in. They are the gifts of life that we each subconsciously celebrate in our own unique way.
Here are 30 of the most satisfying simple pleasures life has to offer:
- Sleeping In on a Rainy Day – As the rain beats lightly against the window, you nestle your head deeper into your pillow. The sound is soothing and your bed feels like a sanctuary. There is no place you would rather be.
- Finding Money You Didn’t Know You Had – You reach into your pocket and find a $20 bill from the last time you wore these jeans. You aren’t rich, but you are richer than you were a second earlier.
- Making Brief Eye Contact with Someone of the Opposite Sex – You pass her on the street or in the subway. She glances up at you momentarily, making direct eye contact in a way that seems to communicate a subtle curiosity. For a split second it makes you think… and then it’s gone.
- Skinny Dipping – There is something mysteriously liberating about being naked in a body of water. You are naked, but it feels natural, a sense of unrefined freedom.
- Receiving a Real Letter or Package via Snail Mail – E-mail has become the primary source of written communication. Most snail mail these days is junk mail. When you check the mail and find a real letter or package from someone you know, excitement overtakes you as you tear into this rare gift.
- Making the Yellow Light – It’s one of the most common simple pleasures, the act of beating the pack. As you blaze through the yellow light you glance in your rearview to see all the cars behind you stopping at the red light. Yes! You made it!
- Telling a Funny or Interesting, True Story – One of the most enticing roles you lead in life is that of the storyteller. You love to share stories, especially those that will captivate your audience with deep curiosity and humor. There are few things more satisfying than telling a true story that others enjoy listening to.
- Seeing a Friend Stumble Over Himself – As you walk across the street with your friend, he fails to accurately address the curb on the other side. He trips and stumbles around momentarily before regaining his footing, then swiftly attempts to play it off like nothing happened. This can be a hilarious sight if the moment is right.
- Hearing the Right Song at the Right Moment – It doesn’t matter what the setting is, hearing the right song for that moment is one of those simple pleasures in life that instantly lifts your spirits. You could be driving home from work, hanging out at a bar with friends, or jogging. When the right song rattles your ear drums the entire meaning of life seems crystal clear.
- The First Sip of a Beverage When You’re Thirsty – You just finished mowing the lawn or taking a long jog. The only thing on your mind is an ice-cold glass of water. When you are really, really thirsty, that first sip of any liquid beverage is sheer bliss.
- Catching a Glimpse of Bare Skin on the Opposite Sex – For guys, it’s when the waitress bends over a little too far. For girls it’s seeing that buff guy in a Speedo. Either way, when you see a bit more skin than you were expecting on the opposite sex, you can’t help but to smirk on the inside.
- Saying the Same Thing Simultaneously – There is a moment of silence. Then all of the sudden you and your friend blurt out the same exact set of words simultaneously. This rare occurrence is something to smile about.
- The Pull-Through Parking Spot – You pull into a parking spot and are delighted to see the availability of the parking spot immediately in front of you. You pull through to the spot in front so that when you return to the car you can drive forward out of the parking spot. Why? Because driving backwards is a pain in the butt.
- Realizing You Have More Time to Sleep – Something abruptly awakens you and you think it’s time to get up. Then you squint over at your alarm clock and realize you still have 2 more hours to sleep. A warm euphoric feeling shoots though your body as you glide gracefully back to your dreams.
- People Watching – Sitting there on your bench you can see people in every direction. Tall people, small people, thin and plump. Blond, brunette, and redhead alike. Each of them has a different stride and a unique expression. As you drift from body to body you are mesmerized by what you see.
- Putting On Clothes Straight from the Dryer – As soon as the dryer buzzes, you pull out your clothes and put them on. They feel soothingly warm on your skin and emit a fresh-scented aroma into the air. A sentiment of ease comes over you as you head out to conquer the day.
- A Familiar Smell – You just pulled into your parent’s driveway and opened the car door. You haven’t been home in a long while. You smell familiarity in the air, the scent of a large pine tree in the neighbor’s yard. As you head through the front door, more familiar smells consume your senses. Gosh, it feels good to be home…
- The Feeling You Get When Your Idea Works – You have been struggling to resolve a complex problem all day and you just can’t seem to get it right. Filled with frustration, you decide to exercise one last idea before calling it a night. You’ve had many ideas before that failed miserably… but this time it works.
- Fresh, Clean Bed Sheets – You yank at the corner of the bedspread to create just enough space to slide your body under the freshly cleaned sheets. The sheets feel cool to the touch. Everything seems so clean, like nobody has ever slept in this bed before.
- A Beautiful View – As the car veers around the side of the mountain you gaze out the passenger window. It’s a clear, sunny day and you can see the entire valley below filled with wild flowers and bright green vegetation. The scenery reminds you of something you once saw in National Geographic. But here it is live, right before your eyes.
- Reminiscing About Old Times with Your Closest Friends – Pink Floyd once said “the memories of a man in his old age are the deeds of a man in his prime”. There is no simple pleasure more satisfying than recounting the greatest moments of your life with your closest friends who lived these moments alongside you.
- Receiving an Unexpected Compliment – It’s been an average day. Nothing really great has happened, but nothing terrible occurred either. This monotonous day has put you in a dreary mood. Unexpectedly, an older, attractive lady taps you on the shoulder, calls you “handsome” and says she loves your shirt. The day just got a whole lot better.
- Having a Good Laugh – Laughter is the greatest cure of all. Life is extraordinary in the moments when you are laughing so hard you can barely breathe. These moments of deep laughter are divine in the sense that they cleanse your mood and set your mind on a positive track.
- The Feeling After a Healthy Workout – It’s a giddy feeling of self accomplishment; the one true activity that actually makes you feel better and look better simultaneously. When you walk out the front door of the gym you are on top of the world.
- The Celebration in the Instant Something Makes Sense – Even now that it has explained to you for the third time, you just don’t understand how it works. Everyone else seems to understand but you. Then out of the blue the dots connect in your mind. You finally get it, and it feels great!
- Relaxing Outdoors on a Sunny Day – As you relax sprawled out in a lawn chair, the sun warms your skin and a light breeze keeps the temperature comfortable. Birds are chirping merrily in the trees behind you. You are at complete peace with the environment.
- Holding Hands with Someone You Love – Every time she grabs your hand you are overcome with an awareness of how much she means to you. Holding hands is sensual and physically intimate, yet subtle. There are few people you allow to hold your hand, so when it happens you can be sure that the moment is special.
- Playing in the Water – Water marvels people of all ages. From jumping in puddles as a child, to doing cannon balls in the pool as an adolescent, to enjoying a cocktail in the Jacuzzi as an adult… water is enjoyable.
- Making Someone Smile – You notice that your colleague has been under a great deal of stress with meeting a deadline, so you take it upon yourself to complete one of her indirect responsibilities for her. As soon as she realizes what you did, she comes into your office with a big smile on her face. “Thank you”, she says. You just hit two birds with one stone, because making her smile just made your day.
- Finishing What You Started – You just finished up a big project you’ve been working on for the last few months, or maybe you just finished your first marathon… Either way, you finalized what you set out to accomplish. The feeling of self accomplishment you get when you finish what you started is by far one of the most rewarding simple pleasures life has to offer.
A comprehensive list of life’s simple pleasures would be quite extensive. My list represents those which are most satisfying to a sample of people in and around my life. With a few sporadic exceptions, I believe these simple pleasures hold universal appeal.
Also, check out The Book of Awesome (Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things) to read about hundreds of other awesome simple pleasures.
I love this list. Simple pleasures like these may actually be the meaning of life.
Anonymous Prof says
This is a great list. Just thinking about each of those little things is, in itself, a little thing!
Thanks for the smile on my face.
I would add :
31: Having your toenails done.
Ummm….making eye contact with someone of the opposite sex? That doesn’t do it for me — or 10% of the world’s population.
@David, Prof, Marie:
Thanks for he positive remarks. I’m glad you enjoyed the list. I truly enjoyed writing this one. The couple hours I spent brainstorming about life’s simple pleasures was quite insightful on many levels. I know I missed some, but I think it would have been impossible to hit them all.
@Dan: I never even thought of that when I put the list together. I do apologize. With a slight modification to interpretation the list is applicable to you as well. Please, no hard feelings. 😉
Great list. I think this list can apply to most people. And, eye contact with the opposite sex can be an almost intimate thing for many. Even Wikipedia has an article on it….
Mike Rundle says
Playing with my dog ranks up there for me.
What’s with the general aversion to rain? Easily more fun/rewarding than sleeping in on a rainy day is going out for a long walk in the rain (provided you’ve the opportunity to change into dry clothes afterwards, at least–it’s nice being out in the rain, but fairly unpleasant to be soaked while inside and doing stuff).
regarding: The First Sip of a Beverage When You’re Thirsty
A few days ago at work, on a particularly hot day, I experienced a great drink of water. In that moment I realized that even though I put in a much harder day than most of my coworkers (run a landscape/concrete company), the odds were extremely low that any of them had a moment today as great as that drink was for me.
Most of us can find these 30 things in each of our days. If you take the time to notice them I guarantee your life will be that much better. Great list, and a great day to all.
These are all definitely very satisfying things! I think there are several different kinds of satisfaction. This is the type people typically think of – things that make you feel relaxed or fulfilled. There’s also the other type that my friends and I refer to that’s pretty similar but not quite the same – it’s kind of hard to describe, haha. A bit more neurotic I suppose. But it’s things like new office supplies, getting a Tetris, or petits-fours. Things that you either see or hear or experience and you’re like “yes!”
Thanks for the back-up and added insight.
You are certainly braver toast than most. 😉 You’re right though… At times, playing in the rain can be fun.
Wow… that’s a remarkable story. If we all maintained that level of optimism through life, we would surely lead happier lives. Thanks for sharing.
I know there are numerous simple pleasures I missed. Thanks for the additions.
yeah of course, cause you KNOW we LOVE seeing guys in speedos… LOL
Nah… you forgot the best one…
Stepping into a warm shower on a cold morning – that feeling of the hot water running over you is tough to beat.
Good list though…
Bruce Lewin says
A cracker from your rear… possibily. 🙂
You made my day. 🙂
Regarding 11 – Speedos? No thanks. Most girls don’t like seeing buff (or not) guys wearing panties. It’s a bit of a turn off.
Other than that, good read.
Can’t believe they left off walking barefoot in grass whilst smoking grass.
Rob Chapman says
An insightful list.
This may seem slightly silly, but the one on your list I really like was nice, clean sheets.
There’s nothing like climbing into bed and feeling crispy-clean, snuggly-soft, dyer sheet-scented sheets.
Great list, but I think cleaning your ears with ear buds should also be on the list.
There’s nothing quite like waking up to someone you love 🙂
Luke M says
Seeing your child’s [insert your small person here] face light up and having him/her rush to greet you when you pick him/her up from wherever. That smile and glad cry of “Daddy!” [insert your joyous greeting here] makes life worth living.
Thanks for the great additions to my list of simple pleasures! Some of them are just fantastic! 😉
Thank you for these. I Identified with all of them, some stronger than others. It’s amazing how different we think we are and yet we can feel so much pleasure from these simple things. Like another reply says, just reading them was a pleasure. Thanks for the gift.
finding an old love letter which someone once had written to you.
so so so true!!!! I loved the list! YOU HAD ME AT HELLO , from the top to # 35! I dont know how i got to this list but U ARE SO RIGHT! THE FEELING IS MUTUAL!
böcek ilaçlama says
30 title is for me. especially I love sleeping in a rainy day
So true. It’s the little things.
Yay nr 14!! The best feeling in the world!
Sometimes I even set up my alarm clock 2-3 hours before our normal wake up time on purpose, just so I can tell my honey that we still have that much more time to sleep. He LOVES it 😉
#3 is actually pretty annoying…
I’m single, and being taunted by eye contact from the opposite sex (who will mostly be flirting with guys that aren’t me) is actually pretty frustrating.
I agree with the one about finding a solution though after failing a million times, and bare skin that I actually see in public instead of the internet 🙂
Great list, it made me smile while reading this. I would add this too: That delicious warm aroma clothes get from being dried in the sun. That smell is so hard to describe, but so nice!
I love this list. I read it whenever i’m having a bad week 🙂
My favourite is number 27. Holding hands with a loved one. Nothing beats that..
I just wrote a story about Life’s simple pleasures.
You should add singing in the shower.
making snow angels,
lying in the grass looking at clouds
giving money away to somebody
turning on the radio to the beginning of your favorite song
and being with family.
Love the list. Just gotta add, I’m attracted to men but do not find a guy in a speedo the least bit attractive….I suppose a glimpse of skin, unintentional, just as you described with the waitress, would do just fine for most women as well.
14. I woke up today, my mom making noise in the kitchen, and thought I had to get up for school. The time was 3 am and upon realizing this, I proceeded to have some kind of insane, apocalyptic dream that was a weird mix-up of Lost, Watchmen, and the Michael Phelps pot scandal. It was awesome! 😉
trading in some time off work to watch the sunset.
and that feeling after a long morning run
Speak for yourself all you who do not like to check out hunks in a speedo! Mercy–talk about a special joy!
Tyrese Everett says
By far the BEST review I’ve read on inspiring videos on youtube.
Martha Ketchum says
Thank you for the free enjoyable things in life, it helps you atune to the zillions of other enjoyables things of life.
Here is one: when you wake up feeling that you had a very good night’s sleep.
Two, when you feel you made someone very happy.
Can we make a list that can go around the world?
thanks a million
great list….really you made my day!!! 😀
ManVs.Debt told me about this post. Love it. Am linking to it in my post tomorrow on the “things money can’t buy.” Fresh clean sheets is a *great* feeling:)! The smell of fresh cut grass. The first smells of Spring/summer. etc. etc. There are so many!
Great list you have! I seem to always hit the red lights. I started a blog on pleasures since I have an annoyances blog already. I got some good stuff. Loads more to put on though.
Barb H says
Great list…I am doing some paintings of simple pleasures…there are so many. Ice cream cones on a summer evening come to mind, too.
The best list I’ve ever read. It’s so true and we should notice every little thing that make us happy. You made me smile, I’m gonna have a great day now. You are my hero…because you know what is true in this world.
Thanks from France, you make me feel good when I’m sad, when I’m desperate.
Thanks, I love this.
I can identify with most of them
good to know i’m not alone in this world