You have probably heard something similar to, “Live each day to the fullest, because you never know what tomorrow may bring.” Or perhaps it’s as simple as “carpe diem.” Like all sage offerings, there is an element of truth involved here.
For a lot of us, we take the days of our lives for granted. The years go swirling past in a rush of things to do, places to see, and dreams to fulfill. We work diligently, raise our families, and try to measure up to our own – or someone else’s – definition of success. For some of us, we put our heads down, shoulder to the wheel (so to speak) and forget to look up.
Not “looking up” is unfortunate. We need to take the time to savor the experiences of each day, good or not so good, because these experiences inform who and what we are. If we don’t look up, we miss the simple joy of a quiet summer evening. We miss that look of wonder on a child’s face, the first time they discover rainbows in a puddle. Our hearts forget the thrill of watching a rocket launch into outer space.
In short, we miss the opportunity to be grateful. One reader asks, “Why do people take the experiences of their lives for granted? What other than near-death experience will help each of us to live every day with gratitude? What is striking to me is that the drivers for appreciating life and having gratitude are missing from many people’s lives. How is this happening? We should not have to experience ‘misery’ to boost our insights into the value of life.”
Do yourself a favor for the next week. Begin a new habit. Before the end of each day, stop and soak in the experiences of the day. Let the smile come to your face as you remember the happy and the funny. Plan out what you will do “the next time” for those moments that didn’t come out so well. And be grateful for the time you have had to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
Opportunity awaits! Celebrate today, and face tomorrow with the expectation that something great is going to happen! That expectation creates awareness, so we won’t miss whatever wonderful things cross our paths.