Thin slices of joy

It seems to me that there’s a big crush on finding happiness these days. Lots of talk about searching for it, pursuing it. Sometimes it sounds like happiness is only the result of a gigantic hunting expedition. In reality, I think it’s all around us. We just have to see it. Admittedly, the world can be a pretty negative place. Black moods and complaints are easy to come by, but so is the good stuff. Take notice.

Most of the time we walk around oblivious to everything, our eyes glued to the screens of our mobiles, it’s no wonder we don’t see. I mean really see – notice, acknowledge. There are so many seemingly unremarkable things that pass us by constantly that if we actually took notice might be, in fact remarkable. Chade-Meng Tan, a former Google “happiness guru” describes it as capturing “thin slices of joy”. The way the sunlight shines on the brick wall outside your office window. The heady aroma in the coffee shop as you wait for your morning cup of joe. Or the sunset you caught in your rear view mirror as you were driving home after work. It’s all right there. Yours for the enjoying.

I’m not suggesting that there are not woes in the world, nor that you have to be like Parker (Alec Baldwin) in that episode of Friends where he out positived even extraordinarily positive, Phoebe. Do you remember it? He saw beauty in everything, the plates, the food, the traffic – even when they had an argument, he said yeah but wasn’t it the best argument ever? No need to go overboard, but let a little happiness in, it’s all around you. You just have to notice it.

I bet that even if your day did not go so well, at the end of it if you tried you could write down three things that were good.  Was your shower this morning nice and hot? Did the sun peak out from behind the clouds? Did your lunch taste good, even if you ate at your desk.

Why not give yourself a fighting chance at finding happiness and take notice. Notice the “thin slices of joy” that are all around you. You won’t be sorry. You may even smile.

How about you? What tidbits of joy were in your day today? Tell us what made you smile in the comments below. We’d love to hear.

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