CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Quick -- what does the cool side of the pillow have in common with finding money in a coat pocket? They both rank among the little things in life that bring us the most joy.
Sure, the major milestones leave their marks on our lives. How often do they occur though? And what sustains us between those times?
That's the accidental quest that writer Neil Pasricha set out on with his award-winning blog, http://1000awesomethings.com. "With so much sad news and bad news pouring down on us," Pasricha explains, "it's fun to stop for a minute and share a universal high five with the rest of humanity."
The blog took on a life of its own, and pretty soon readers began sending in their own versions of "awesome things" to his website. From the smell of gasoline ... to cashiers opening up new checkout lanes ... to watching "The Price is Right" when you're home sick.
Now, the blog has given way to "The Book of AWESOME," which recently came across my desk (thanks to my co-worker and good friend Dick Allowatt). I've got to say it's increased my awareness of those everyday things that bring me joy. And with increased awareness comes increased appreciation.
Who knew that hitting a bunch of green lights in a row -- or punching the elevator button, only to hear the simultaneous "ding" signaling an elevator is already awaiting you -- could contribute to the quality of our lives if we just pay attention? Talk about a whole new way to ponder "pushing our buttons"!
It doesn't count if you don't pay attention, though, or take these things for granted. Maybe you think they're all coincidences. And some of them may be. I find, however, when I acknowledge them in a playful and grateful way, more of them show up. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing.
In case you think these things happen to other people, and not you, I invite you to try a little experiment. Take time this week to stand back and be an observer in your own life. Watch what happens. When you spot one of these "joy makers," make a note of it in a little pocket journal: