“If we look at the world with a love of life, the world will reveal its beauty to us.” ~Daisaku Ikeda
As kids, we are beings of wonder. Spending hours inspecting blades of grass, hoping to discover lady beetles, rocking fairy wings or a cape at the shops because we feel like it, laughing for the silliest reasons, and finding unadulterated happiness in special treats, our favorite cartoon, or a game of hide and seek.
As teenagers, we often become too cool to find joy in the simplest things but still manage it hanging out with friends, falling in love with celebrities, and listening to that one song over and over again.
But, by the time we reach full-blown adulthood, those whimsical childhood traits may be as forgotten as an invisible friend.
As grown ups we’re allowed to do all the fun things we spent high school wishing we could do, and yet, we get caught up in jobs we hate, paying bills, sitting in traffic, and sometimes ‘just getting by.’
I know this feeling, because I’ve been there.
And then, one day, I decided it was time to stop for a second and find a way to get back to a time when life was more joy-filled. Rediscovering the beauty of life, instead of focusing on the ugliness, the negativity, or the laborious pains of just getting by.
The Beginning Of Change
Since I was fifteen, I wanted to work in film and television. I did my high school work experience at a post-production company and decided I would work there one day.
I graduated top of my class studying film and TV in high school, I was (and still am) a total film geek, I studied it at university. And then landed by dream job at the company I’d experienced five years earlier.
I could not believe it.
From that point onward, I went from contract to contract working some crazy hours (like 2PM to 2AM shifts for an entire month).
I went through periods of no work between contracts (and, as a result no money), being morally torn between staying true to myself and doing what it takes to butter people up for the good jobs, working on shows I hated, working with people who made my skin crawl, getting praised by my superiors but being ignored by those doing the promoting, and continuing to strive for a dream job that felt like it was never going to happen.
Of course, the perks of the job were fantastic—working with some great people, every day being interesting and unexpected, traveling, and working in what I still consider to be a really fun industry.
But when something stops serving you, it becomes so much harder to see the good from the downright terrible.
This all culminated when I landed the producing job I’d been working toward. Oh, what an achievement! You can imagine my excitement after so many years of working my way up to the job I’d always wanted. The celebration that followed the promotion was…non-existent.
I was earning good money. I had the job title. I was finally getting somewhere. And I didn’t even stop to acknowledge it because all I could see was that I still wasn’t happy.
A friend rang to congratulate me and I didn’t even notice.
I was so overwhelmed by the anticlimax of it all. And that’s when I knew something needed to change.
It’s Time To Do More of What Makes Me (and You) Happy
It may seem like a ridiculous notion to some, but I honestly and truly believe that when you see these habits of what feels like never ending complaining, whining, and frustration then it’s time to make some changes.
Some people are totally cool to accept that this is all there is, but not me. (And maybe not you, either).
When I realized that too much of my time was spent unhappy, I decided to do whatever I could to change that.
I changed jobs as soon as possible. I started working with people who meant the world to me in a role that was much better suited to me. This gave me room to breathe and come up for air after ten years on a career path that I decided I hated.
I started to see what I loved again.
And even if I was still trying to decide what to do, this made it easier to finally be happy. And I became aware of how I could do more of this on an everyday basis.
I set dinner dates with friends on Monday nights to make the beginning of the week oh-so-enjoyable. I took advantage of coffee runs at work and turned them into glorious sun walks. I found joy in the simple pleasure of sitting in the park on the weekend just chatting or reading.
I noticed I was changing. Sure sometimes stress still popped it’s head up and challenges arose, but I was becoming better equipped to handle the unknown because I had simply brought more joy into my life. The unexpected inconveniences became less frustrating, and the simplest pleasures became more obvious.
The power of needing to change allowed me to find ways of doing more of what made me happy.
Rediscover the Beauty of Life
I’ll be completely honest with you: this is not something that just happened to me overnight. I’m still working toward my new career path and finding what I really want out of life. I still get frustrated or upset sometimes, and I still have a lot of work to do.
But something changed the day I decided to take life into my own hands and seek out the beauty of life.
I became more aware.
I started attracting more happy moments and wonderful people to me because I actively sought them out, and what I put out came back to me tenfold.
I seek out the good stuff instead of dwelling on the not-so-good.
And, through this, I’ve learned that the more we search for beauty of life, the more we invite it in. As kids we noticed it with ease, exploring to our heart’s content but, as adults, we sometimes forget to pay attention.
We get caught up with the mundane, we focus on the negative, and we love joining in on a mutual whine-fest with others. But imagine how much we could gain from our day if we took a moment to soak in the bliss of being alive.
Lying in the grass, laughing with a loved one, being recognized at work for doing a great job, swapping out things we don’t like with things we love, acknowledging someone else and seeing their joy, and just embracing the moments that make up our day-to-day lives is the key to finding the extraordinary in each day.
It may not always seem that simple but, I promise, if you’re willing to give it a shot, try it out, and be intentional when seeking out wondrous moments, it will make a significant difference to your life. And, the more you practice, the easier it will be to see.
I invite you to be aware of what you might need to change and seek out possibilities for joy in the coming week.
Find ways to bring the fun in and keep your eyes wide open for special moments or people that can make your life even more beautiful. Or, even better, take time to be grateful for what you’ve already got.
Try it out, see how you go, and then leave me a comment and tell me how it went!
Photo by deveion acker