Sometimes the simplest things can be the most valuable. An old tyre, a couple of sticks and the open air is all that’s need for pure enjoyment.
Our lives today are crammed with more to choose from, more to achieve and just more to get done. More products to buy, TV shows to watch, rows of breakfast cereals to choose from, work and home jobs to juggle, and lots soccer games and play dates to fit in too. It’s easy for life’s simple pleasures to get lost in between appointments when you’ve got a head full of decisions to be made.
It seems the more we get, the more we expect to get. We constantly check our phones (every 4 minutes on average), can’t wait to get the next new gadget, have conversations on Facebook while we eat dinner and plan for a bigger car or house or pay cheque. Our worth is measured more by how busy we are and less by the quality of our connections.
But maybe having less really is more. Two theorists (Mullainathan and Shafit) suggest that having less options can actually make us happier. You can see this when we make the most of our last few days of holidays and cherish the hand-sewn dress our grandmother made. And we’re convinced the last chocolate in the box tastes so much better than the others.
We can create the same benefits of scarcity in our everyday lives. Rather than reaching for the next new thing, take a bit more time to enjoy what you have here, right now.
· Concentrate your attention on your next conversation – listen with your whole body.
· Slow down to really taste every mouthful of your meal.
· Plan to look at your phone only a few times a day.
· Take a few minutes to just breathe. Become fully aware of the sounds, smells and sights around you.
· Once a day, think of the things you are profoundly grateful to have in your life.
These are such simple acts, and they’re all that’s needed to really appreciate what you have right here and now. Because really, that’s all we have.