Little Moments of Remarkable

Face it. Our world can seem pretty mean and nasty. We can quickly get disillusioned about others, our world and life if we allow ourselves to only focus on what’s wrong, what’s unfair, what’s not going our way. But with some intention, we can train ourselves to focus on the good and the amazing, the little moments of remarkable that are always around us and ready to help us see the joy in life.

Challenge yourself to Stop and Notice

  • the colors and textures in a flower or a leaf. Notice the artwork in its creation. Notice if it’s large  or small, what colors it exudes (the brilliant reds, the screaming oranges, the soft whites, the gold and yellows, the cool greens). Every speck, every line and the variety of edges are works of art. Remarkable.
  • your child. Notice the color of their eyes, the wave of their hair and that their hands look like yours or your spouses. Notice the freckles, the laugh, the expressions, the walk. A human work in process. Remarkable.
  • the food at a grocery store. Notice the colors of the skins of the apples, pears, oranges, limes and lemons. Notice the shapes of the potatoes, onions and shallots. Notice the fragrance of the herbs and the strawberries. Notice the colors and shapes of dried beans, nuts and breads. Notice how much is available. Remarkable.
  • the sky and the constant changing show of light and dark, blue and black, clear and overcast. Notice the shape of a cloud and how it moves over you, casting a shadow as it goes. Notice the sunrise and the sunset, or the way the rays of the sunshine through a storm cloud. Notice the colors of an impromptu rainbow. Remarkable.
  • the sound of the rain as it hits a roof and how it splashes as it adds to a puddle. Notice the smell as a rain approaches and after it leaves. Notice the water that remains on the leaves of plants and the patterns it creates. Remarkable.

Your world, our world, is filled with little moments of remarkable. What is required is the intention and ability to notice. We can move past them, as many of us do, or we can interrupt our mindless approach to our lives and take the time to notice. These moments of remarkable are there for us to stay calm and happy – to bring joy to each of our moments, regardless of what the world sends.

Take Action
When you feel yourself getting irritated, frustrated or aggravated about something, remind yourself to stop and notice a little moment of remarkable. Just one. Focus on something right in front of you and really notice all of what makes it remarkable. This is how to shift your attention to the great and amazing things of life and away from only seeing the negative.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading The Value of Setbacks

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Dog Wisdom

Every morning is great, never a dark thunder cloud.
Every morning starts new, with wagging so proud.
Not stuck in the past, not worried about money.
Not complaining the day is not just that sunny.
Not holding a grudge, or upset with their friends;
Not worried about fashion, Facebook or the Benz.
Not wondering if today, things will all go their way.
But present in each moment of each blessed day.

Dogs don’t need much – they all just want love,
Add some good food, and a family to be part of.
Not much more – no high expectations;
No fancy car or elaborate vacations.
They want some attention and moments to share
Their spirit, their wisdom, and how much they care.

Then, there are we humans with lives oh so rough.
All worried and nervous about having enough stuff.
We get challenged by looks, comments and frowns;
We get upset, sad and all versions of downs.
Little things upset us and lead us astray,
We get all upset when things don’t go our way.

We have our couldas and wouldas and things that we ought
From voices of others, from things we’ve been taught.
They keep us all twisted and scared without reason.
They keep us alarmed and concerned in each season.
The world takes us down with our focus on lack,
On limits and problems and meaningless yack.

We don’t see what dogs see – a new view each day,
To have fun, to live life, to be happy and play.
All around us is wisdom, of how to live right,
To live with a focus of play and delight.
Tune in to those eyes that have no conditions,
And the tails that wag without any suspicions.
Tune in to the greeting, delivered on demand.
Tune in to the love, given so freely, so grand.

There is much to learn from the Pug or the Lab,
The Schnauzer or Shih Tzu, with coats oh so fab.
The Shepherd and Sheepdog, the Maltese and Beagle,
The St Bernard, the Boxer and Great Dane so regal.
They have just one wish – to have a great life.
They have no agenda, no interest in strife.

There are just some days that I am really seeing
That dogs are way smarter than we human beings.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading See the Bigger Picture

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Thank You For What Didn’t Happen

Sometimes we are grateful for what happens. A beautiful day. A flight with no delays. A quiet and relaxing evening. A holiday with friends and family. A plate of great mac and cheese.

And sometimes we are grateful for what didn’t happen. The change to your schedule that kept you off a highway with an 8-mile backup. The party that was rescheduled to a Saturday with perfect weather. The stomach bug that got everyone in the office or your school except for you and your family.

But is it possible to be grateful for something you wanted to happen that didn’t? You wanted the job promotion, but they chose someone else. You wanted to play piano but there wasn’t the money for lessons when you were younger. You wanted to leave early to avoid the traffic but didn’t. You want your manager to be supportive and encouraging but he isn’t. You want your kids to get along better but they don’t.

It may be easier to say “thank you” when things go our way than when they don’t. But, in the moment of having something happen that you identify as not wanted or unfavorable, could you find something in it that is worthy of gratitude? Could it bring you a lesson you need, a new perspective or just the awareness that you choose to be happy or unhappy in your moments, regardless of what is going on? Consider this: the events of life are neutral – we are the ones that add the value to them.

I am not a believer in the phrase “things happen for a reason.” Instead, I believe it is up to each of us to create value in what happens. Whether things go or don’t go our way, it is up to us to remember that life is this way. You take the good, you take the bad; this is the only time you have.

So, in each moment, stop and notice what is worthy of appreciating because there is something there if you really look. Sometimes it will be easy to find; other times you will really have to search. Both make you better. Both remind you that this moment is up to you to decide how to be in it, whether things go your way or not.

Take Action
How can you develop gratitude in any moment – the ones that go your way and the ones that don’t? How can you train yourself to be grateful, happy and content no matter what?

We get to decide how to be in each moment. Our habits may need some redirecting, but we do have the ability to be grateful for whatever happens, whether it is for the good things that happen, or for the things you wanted to happen but didn’t. Opportunities and greatness exist everywhere.

By Jay Forte

Consider reading How Your Memories of Childhood Can Improve Your Future

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Not the Same Old Thanksgiving Post

By Jay Forte, Coach, Author, Educator

I love to read all the reminders to be grateful that come out this time of year. The holidays are really a remarkable time to help us refocus on the value of celebrating the people and events in our lives.

Because the being grateful theme is so pervasive at this time of year, I thought I would do something different: I challenge each of you to improve what you are grateful for.

Let me explain. As you pause at this time of year to notice the things to be grateful for, shift from noticing to taking action by asking yourself this one important question: “What could I do to make this better?” It is one thing to be grateful, it is another thing to make the things you are grateful for better.

In my programs, I share that I come from a large Italian family, and larger families often come with a lot of rules. Rules about homework, chores, how to treat each other, pets, neighbors, sharing… the list seems endless. Though I wasn’t always keen on all the rules, my Dad had one rule that was exceptional. He told us that as we come down the stairs each morning, we must tune in and pay attention to the things around us, then ask ourselves this question, “What could I do to make this better?”

So ask yourself this question in every aspect of your life. For example:

  • You say you are grateful for your relationships. What could you do on a daily basis to make them better, more authentic or more supportive?
  • You say you are grateful for a country with freedoms and liberties. What could you do on daily basis to make our country better?
  • You say you are grateful for the food you have. What could you do to share more of what you have to make another’s life better?
  • You say you are grateful for your health. What could you do to help others have better health and well-being?
  • You say you are grateful for your job and the life it provides. What could you do to make your workplace better, more inclusive and more supportive?

Making things better doesn’t mean they are bad and therefore need to change. It is just a new realization that with some intention, we can shift our gratitude to action.

So, as you sit around the table, look at the people at the table and be grateful for them. Then ask yourself, how can I make my relationships better? How can I be more generous with my resources? How can I be more supportive and helpful in my community, nation and world?

Think how many new things to be grateful for will emerge with this approach.

 

Consider reading Try This Instead

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