The richest human isn’t the one who has the most, but the one who needs less. Wealth is a mindset. Want less and appreciate more today.
As we enter another holiday season, we will inevitably be bombarded with flashy advertisements and gift buying guides championing the latest and greatest gadgets, jewelry, cars, and more. And while I’m not against investing in new products that add value to our lives, I don’t like hearing about how people think they “need” a bunch of new and expensive things to be happy.
Truth be told, unless we’re investing in our personal growth and taking action, most of the money we spend on things doesn’t make us any happier or better off in the long run. We simply don’t need more fancy items in our closets collecting dust to find joy and contentment. In fact, we can find most of what we’re looking for by paying closer attention to the gifts we already have in front of us—the simple yet beautiful moments that make us smile…
- A quiet morning.
- A hug from someone you love.
- Sipping a warm cup of coffee or tea.
- Reading a few pages in one of those good books on your bookshelf.
- Learning a new skill all by yourself.
- Feeling the burn after a power-walk around the block.
- A child’s laughter.
- Someone special wanting your attention.
- Being able to sit with a true friend, comfortably in silence.
- Laughing at old family photos.
- The moment just after the front door shuts and you suddenly have the whole house to yourself.
- Walking around your home and admiring it right after you finish cleaning it up.
- The smell of a home-cooked meal.
- Throwing food up in the air and catching it in your mouth.
- Listening to a song that moves you.
- When you make eye contact with someone from across the room and you both automatically smile.
- Having an interesting conversation with a complete stranger.
- Finding out that others are experiencing the same problem you are experiencing, and finally knowing that you’re not alone.
- The satisfying feeling of doing the right thing.
- Looking up at the sky on a really clear night and seeing nothing but stars.
- That first hint of a cool breeze at the end of a hot summer.
- The crackling sound of a fireplace on a chilly winter night.
- Getting up quickly to use the toilet in the morning, and then slipping back under the bed covers to the same warm and cozy spot.
- Sharing an umbrella with someone else.
- The peaceful calm just after a heavy rainstorm or snowfall.
- Walking barefoot in the grass.
- Listening to the breeze blow through the trees.
- When traffic on the streets is light and you get home faster than usual.
- Realizing that you’re in the fastest moving checkout line at the grocery store.
- When a little kid gives you a high five.
- The silence in the back of your local city library.
- When a stranger offers to take a photo of you and your friends so you can all be in the photo together.
- The joy of looking at a picture of yourself and loving it.
- When an online video plays without playing an advertisement first.
- Achieving a milestone that you’ve gradually and diligently worked for. (Marc and I build life-changing, results-driven rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy.)
- Being able to tell someone some genuine good news.
- Knowing deep down that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
- The bittersweet feeling of finishing a really good book.
- Sleeping right next to someone you truly love.
- Falling asleep as soon as you lay down.
Being Present… And Grateful
On a regular basis Marc and I field questions from course students who come to us feeling extremely stressed out about the busyness of life. “What should I do next?” they ask us. We always start with a similar suggestion:
Right now, it’s time to “. . .”
That blank space denoted by “. . .” is no mistake. That space represents a present need for silence.
Silence is space. Silence brings awareness.
The more silent you are, the more you can hear yourself think, and the more you can appreciate the goodness that is already yours. Somewhere deep inside, you know this is true. Think for a moment . . .
How often have you experienced one of the 40 “perfect moments” mentioned above? And how often have you forgotten to appreciate such a moment for what it’s worth? If the answer is “too often,” that’s OK. We all forget sometimes. Let this post serve as a positive reminder.
Ultimately, the key is to leave enough space in your life to enjoy the space in between the bigger events.
Take a deep breath.
And give thanks.
Even if life is giving you every reason to be negative right now, think of one good reason to be positive.
Maybe you can’t do everything on the list above right now, but you can do some of them…
There’s always something to be grateful for!
What’s one recent moment in your life that you’re grateful for?
Do you have any other thoughts on gratitude to share?
We would love to hear from YOU. Please leave a reply below.
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Valencia Ray, MD says
Angel, this post reminds me of the simple pleasures you and Marc discuss in the Simplicity chapter of your 1,000 Little Things book. I actually have a couple pages photocopied and hanging on my bulletin board.
There was a time when I was such a busybody that I honestly never stopped to be thankful for anything. In my the midst of busyness, things were either not good or not good enough. Your book and blog have been instrumental in changing my perspective and my life for the better. Cheers to letting the Thanksgiving spirit flow!
Robert W. says
I am 63 years old, started using iv. drugs at 15 been alcoholic since 12. Got sober/clean at 53, got an Associates of Science degree at 61 am currently employed at the Madera Rescue Mission as Case Manager/Counselor. Yes I have much to be grateful for. Thank you for the material. I do put it to good use as I teach life skills (Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences) both here and in the local jail.
Gwynne Johns says
I am so impressed and so moved …from Farmington, Connecticut
Jennifer Ditmarsch says
Thank you Robert. You offer a special gift to those you are serving – the gift of having walked a similar path and finding a different way to live in the world. Peace my brother.
Love this 🙂 congratulations to you Robert. You are an inspiration!
Scott Baynes says
Reconnecting with my cousins after a few years! I’m truly blessed!
Jerome Daily says
I appreciate these gratitude reminders. They arrived in my inbox right on time.
And I really like how you ended this one too:
“Even if life is giving you every reason to be negative right now, think of one good reason to be positive.”
That right there is something I need to keep top of mind. Even when I feel beaten down, there is goodness in my life.
PS: My wife and I are hoping to attend your next live event once the pandemic is over. We’re really enjoying watching the recordings of your 2020 and 2019 events. 🙂
Walking up really feeling rested
joshua c cabrera says
Great list but my personal opinion is it’s hard for those who are actually seeking something to be grateful for when life has really handed you a bad one. This list is assuming you have a great family you can share moments with or you have a home that a loved one is waiting for you so you can hold and that your friends are supportive and caring.
For a lot of people that are seeking comfort and trying to survive this life despite not having a good environment filled with family friends and a peaceful home where to find that motivation to just look within yourself and be content. Making the list of your own great qualities that you can appreciate and love that would include the progress although maybe a little, you are at least seeking to build a healthy State of mind on your own and then attract others to surround yourself with so then you can have those moments that are on the above list.
So yes I believe this list is great for those who are many steps ahead of others that are trying to find just one reason to look no further than themselves cuz there is nothing else and I believe that is more reality that is harder to fix than open your eyes and see all that is around you which is beautiful that’s a harder sell that many one point out cuz it’s too hard.
Marc and Angel, I love the timing of this post as we get ready for Thanksgiving here in the States. Surely we’ve had a tumultuous recent past in our country and worldwide, but despite the chaos, there’s a lot we all have to be grateful for. I appreciate the simple reminders.
After going through the first few sections of your course this past summer, I implemented a evening gratitude reflection/meditation that has made a significant difference in my attitude and contentment. By reflecting on the little daily wins in my life I’ve been able to gradually focus my energy on creating a better life for myself. And the best part is that my close friends and family have noticed too, and a couple of them have actually said I’ve been “refreshing” to be around lately.
Anyway, thank you for continuing to make a difference in my life and the lives of others.
Thank you for this post. The last three years have been filled with loss for me; my mom, my marriage, my 22 yr old daughter, my 17 yr old son (just 3 months ago). I made it my intention just last week to find some joy again, little or fleeting as it may be. I had some of these items on my own list but you reminded me of so many more and it brought a smile to my face. I will add to the list that I’m grateful for people like you in the world, that shine light with compassionate, gentle reminders of the good. Thank you.
The last one in your list (40. Falling asleep as soon as you lay down.) is my biggest dream! Ppl might think of luxurious stuff to be happy, but for me it is a peaceful night for deep & nonstop sleep till the morning.
Whenever I can sleep well, I will be happy…
Enjoy your bedtime ?!
Well said Vida,
Falling asleep as soon as you lay down is biggest dream for me also,
Thanks a lot Marc and Angel for this 40 list of perfect moments post.
In my entire life these are more precious things to me
Raymond E O'Neill says
Thank You! That’s it, Thank You!
You do make a difference with every post.
I recently lost my beloved 16 year old kitty Angel to leukemia. I knew I’d eventually adopt again but I was in no hurry. A few weeks later, my best friend showed me a photo of a kitten up for adoption. I immediately fell in love with her little face. Luna, age 6 months, is sitting next to me as I write this. She has already brought so much love and joy to my life. I will always miss Angel but Luna is helping me heal.
Your beloved cat, Angel, is waiting for you at the top of the Stairs. I’m certain she is pleased to know you are continuing to share the abundance of love that you bestowed on her. Pets bring us joy every day of their lives…except for one.
Stephanie Pick says
This list is just perfect, I love the quirky ones you’ve added in like throwing food up and catching it in your mouth. There really is beauty in the small moments. Thanks!
Perla milner says
Thank you , Thank you , Thank you for this beautiful post that so many of us appreciate with so much love!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you both!!!!????
Yesterday was my partners birthday and despite the Pandemic we decided to stick to our plan to spend the winter on the canary island, working for a family in exchange for accommodation and food.
Yesterday we went on a hiking trip to the mountains with the loveliest views over green woods and hills, the Sea in far distance. My best friend was also with us, with her husband and the two years old twins they’ve been carrying on their backs.
After having a fruit break under an old eucalyptus tree, we made our way back down the steep mountain and it started raining like crazy!!! We didn’t bring enough clothes for the babies, it was pretty windy and chilly. But instead of becoming all panicked and mad with the weather we’ve all been amazed about the fact that we’ve been just in the middle of a giant rain cloud and started enjoying this unique experience.
Finally back to the cars we turned the heating on full power, music on and enjoyed the mixed feelings of happy exhaustion, warming up and the imprint of one of the unforgettable hikes of our lives.
Oh my God, it’s number 10 for me. How were you able to get all of these? They’re so amazing!
Adrian Park says
I’m particularly fond of moments or memories that call up the times I cherish most staying with my parents.
10 resonates well for me I put it first. There were times I literary had just these pictures to fuel my zeal to succeed in my career.
I am grateful for a brand new, never lived before day. I am grateful for my miraculous body – for breath and what is breathing me, for what is causing my heart to beat, my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my heart to love.
Gratitude raises your vibration and there is always, always something to be grateful for!
Love your list!
Number 17 did the magic for me in High School. My new Math teacher
started a captivating conversation with me before I even knew he was the new tutor. Now it leaves me reminiscing how good humans are at heart. It is truly a good conversation to remember.
Luke Zitterkopf says
Hard to choose a favorite from the list. For me it is #37 Knowing deep down that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
There is something lasting about being a positive influence. It seems to carry on longer than we ever realize. Lifting other people up is one of the best things in life!
This is a wonderful post that truly made me think and realize some of the little things that are really big things. I have been trying to make my like a bit simpler and this just reinforced that.
Oh my God, it’s number 10 for me. How were you able to get all of these? They’re so amazing!
Such a beautiful list. It comprises very relatable moments, actions, and lovely experiences so much I keep reading it over and over again. Thanks for sharing this list Marc and Angel.
Many are the the memories I wish I could recall through affixed contexts and yet I never got around to it. With these numbers, you have furnished the quick reminders I’ve dreamed of!
I love this, dear Marc and Angel.