You may have noticed if you’ve had any big accomplishments, success or wins in your life that it is easy to experience the joy of that moment. But have you ever sat with the joy or gratefulness or satisfaction of the small moments?
One of our team members, Adam (who is also the voice you hear on the Intro and Outro of the podcast) just submitted his last assignment for a Masters Degree in Business Administration. It’s a huge accomplishment for him and he sent out a group message to all our team thanking us for supporting and encouraging him. As we congratulated and celebrated with Adam, Jared gave him some really important advice: remember to stop and smell the roses. What he meant was to stop and let the moment wash over him, to stop and sit in that moment. To savour the moment.
Maybe you can think of your biggest accomplishments or significant moments: getting a good grade on an assignment you’ve worked really hard on, or being offered a job you really want, or getting married or having kids. It’s easy in these big moments to experience the joy and satisfaction.
It’s not only in the big moments that we can experience this joy or satisfaction. It can happen in little moments too. Sometimes we just rush through these moments. We can experience the joy, but skip quickly into the next thing. Or it might feel like a small or insignificant moment compared to the other big things we need to get done that we don’t allow ourselves to experience that small win. We might feel like we don’t deserve to enjoy that little moment because there are other more important things to be concerned with. We can enjoy the everyday interactions: a good class, a quality chat, a scenic drive. These moments are worthy of satisfaction.
This might seem contrary to the message we often hear, that to be successful you should never be satisfied. Yet research has shown that high performers do have success because they do savour more. It makes sense that when you’re happier you perform better and it follows that if you perform better you can achieve more. If we keep looking for the massive celebration moments, we can overlook the little moments and miss opportunities to savour.
Quick note: savouring and gratitude are different. They are both positive practices. The difference is that gratitude is about looking back or looking forward on a moment to remember or foresee that positivity, as well as being thankful for opportunities and other things in your life. Savouring is about prolonging the positivity of a moment. For example, Dave’s family practice gratitude at dinner time, where Dave, his sons and his wife express thankfulness for something that has happened. Savouring, for Dave in that moment, is sitting with and feeling the warm and fuzzies as his sons share their gratitude right there and then as it is happening.
This is really simple to do. For Dave, savouring that moment with his sons doesn’t require him to start meditating but simply to be really present in that moment. To fully allow himself to experience the joy or pride or positivity of hearing what his sons are thankful for. Try not to turn that moment into something bigger, simply give yourself 20 seconds, breath deeply and allow the moment to circulate in you.
The long term effects of savouring a moment for just 20 seconds can actually change your brain and rewire it in a way that allows you to be more positive. This leads to greater satisfaction, fulfilment and confidence. It actually becomes easier for your brain to go to a positive place quicker and more easily. Its like when you’re looking for new shoes or a new car - you start noticing that shoe or that car everywhere you look. Your mind becomes more attuned to it. Savouring has the same effect, you become more attuned to positive moments. Your enabled to be more positive.
Challenge for this week: set a reminder in your phone to go off every morning that says: “savour the moments”. Let it remind you when you experience a moment of joy to sit with it for just 20 seconds.
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