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Right now, a lot of things have gone off the rails. The pandemic has thrown a wrench into pretty much all of my plans. A lot of projects are out the window, and a lot of progress has come screeching to a halt. It’s a challenging time, and I know that I’m not the only one who has fallen into a funk. A lot of us are struggling with the uncertainty, social distancing, and cabin fever. I’ll straight up admit that I have had great difficulty in the midst of the current situation — I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I sure as hell haven’t been at my happiest. If you’re in the same boat and I could give you one piece of advice, it would be enjoy the small things.
Rule #85. Enjoy the Small Things
We can’t always control the big things in life. In fact, we really can’t control much beyond ourselves. But when things go wrong — which they will — and it seems like nothing is going right, you can often find solace in the small things. Maybe an old favorite comes up on Netflix. Or your spouse brings you home a pack of M&Ms (my personal favorite). Or maybe you just hear a funny joke from a friend.
You have to enjoy the small things. Because the truth of the matter is that shit happens. And when it does, you can’t always control the big things. You won’t always be able to clearly see the significant things that you can and should be grateful for. But you can — and should — be grateful for Double Stuff Oreos, a good cup of coffee, a sunny day for walking the dog, or just a good book.
The small stuff can make you happy
We assume that it’s the big stuff in life that leads to our greatest happiness, but that’s not always the case. Oddly enough, happiness isn’t just an emotion — it’s also a skill. And as is the case with most skills, we get better at it when we practice. So how can you practice being happy?
By being happy.
How can you do that when things are going wrong?
Enjoy the small things.
Savoring is all about time and attention
You’ve heard the old adage about stopping to smell the roses? Well, that’s what savoring is all about. We’re a pretty goal-driven society. We like schedules and to-do lists, and accomplishing things. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but whether we like it or not, we also need to enjoy things. Savoring is part of that.
When we savor something, we stop dividing our focus. We let go of multitasking and dive into enjoying the experience. Instead of thinking about our to-do list, we simply enjoy walking the dog in the sunshine. We enjoy the taste and texture of a decadent dessert, instead of absentmindedly taking bite after bite while we watch The Office again. It’s also really paying attention to how funny The Office is, instead of just letting it play in the background while you clean the house.
Savoring is about paying attention to what you’re doing, and appreciating these little things. It’s literally enjoying the small things and research indicates that doing so will make us happier people, even if our lives aren’t perfect.
Enjoy the small things
So when things aren’t going according to plan, it feels like everything is falling apart, or you’re stuck inside during a literal pandemic, make sure you’re taking the time to enjoy the small things.