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How to keep evolving and celebrate small things in life

This post will answer the prompt 28 (Achieve) of Reverb10. Join us and reflect on your year 2010…

Prompt 28: Achieve

What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

(Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

{Future tool: Gretchen Rubin’s Start Your Own Happiness Project (and be sure to visit the Happiness Project Toolbox!). For the next 4 days as you round out your year, we’ll share one tool each day to help you plan your year ahead.}

Let me start with three big goals I want to achieve in 2011. The first goal is to launch an e-book in April. The second goal is to win at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championship (Mundial) in June. The third goal is to have a location independent lifestyle in Latin America. There are sub-goals for these big goals, which I will need to achieve in order to get closer to the big goals. Also, while having a healthy lifestyle is not exactly a goal, I want to have a healthy lifestyle so I can get the most out of my life.

Now, if I think about it, these three goals do go under another bigger goal: Keep evolving as a man. This is somewhat tricky, because it’s a constant thing rather than a fixed destination. This goal moves forward, as I move towards it. Although I could take the three goals above as the requirements for me to achive this goal of constantly evolving as a man, it’s also possible to say that as long as I do something that helps me achieve these goals, I am on the right track in achieving this goal as well. The beauty of this goal is that I could achieve it everyday of the next year (or for the rest of my life, rather), as long as I’m clear about this intention and work on it.

Let’s say I achieve this goal and keep evolving. What will I feel? Perhaps I will feel content about my life and feel like celebrateing it. There’s something that intrigues me here. While my achieving this goal will make me feel that way, it’s probably the case that if I feel happy about my life and celebrate my life anyway whether or not I succeed in achieving sub-goals or bigger goals, I will achieve my goal and keep evolving as a man.

But how do I celebrate my life (and how can you celebrate your life)? You might feel grumpy today. You might be sick. You might have a lot of worries. Your day might turn out to be the worst day of your life. I occasionally have those days as well, and sometimes it’s hard to feel positive about things and to celebrate the beauty of life when you are facing miserable things.

It’s easier said than done, but I’ve come to think that tough situations can be like tough opponents you need to fight in order to declare your celebration of life. That though opponent throws you a sneaky punch and hits you hard, and it hurts you. You could get knocked out or give up or decide to fight.

Unless you want to get knocked out or to give up, the first thing you could do is to decide that you are going to celebrate your life anyway. Once you’ve made that decision, be aware of things around you that catch your attention. If you get pulled towards the negative side, you might notice a lot of defects and things to complain about. So, don’t be pulled away. Make up your mind and celebrate wonderful things around you; they can be tiny – indeed, you must understand that these tiny things can be significant sources of hapiness.

Let me think of 10 things that I want to celebrate right now, right here – at the time of writing this post and at the place where I’m writing it.

  1. It’s warm here. I’m sitting in Ben’s Cafe in Tokyo. It’s cold outside, but it’s warm in the cafe. I can write this post without getting distracted by the cold weather or frozen to death.
  2. The coffee I had was great. I had a cup of latte and enjoyed it. Ben’s Cafe makes proper latte, which you can’t usually get at the majority of cafes in Japan.
  3. Someone will be reading this post. This is a thought that came to my mind just now. Yes, you are reading it, and I’m grateful that you are spending your precious time reading this post.
  4. I like the vibe in this cafe. There are a number of people right now at the cafe and they seem to be happy. Happy faces make me happy.
  5. I feel hungry and I can have something to eat later on. Eating food is one of the best things we can do in life. I’m not going to eat anything at the cafe, but I will do so elsewhere. Given that there are people who die from hunger, how lucky am I to be able to eat food… delicious food.
  6. I just got a mobile phone message from a great friend of mine. It’s simple, but it makes me happy.
  7. The number 7 is supposed to be a lucky number, and I have no idea what to celebrate right now, which means I will celebrate the beauty of nothingness. Even if you don’t have anything to celebrate, you can celebrate that you have nothing to celebrate.
  8. Celebrating nothing gave me some time to think of things to celebrate next and I only have three things to celebrate, including this one, which I’ve used up now.
  9. I’m listening to my favorite band One Last Wish now. Their songs make me happy.
  10. The guy sitting next to me happened to knock down his cup, but it didn’t fell off the table or it didn’t contain any liquid and didn’t make a mess. It’s like being relieved from a suspense and it feels good.
  11. I can actually think of other things to celebrate now even though my original plan was to write down 10 things. For example, the pictures exhibited in the cafe are pretty.
  12. This cafe has a free wifi connection! (Rare in Japan. There’s usually no connection or you need to pay for it.)

Pay attention to what’s around you, and notice small things. If they catch your attention, maybe there’s something about them that you want to celebrate. It can be trivial like my list of things I want to celebrate.

None of the things above may directly contribute to my big goal of evolving as a man, but these tiny celebrations set me in a great mood and I can feel positive about other things as well. That’s a great achievement. That’s how I get closer to this goal.

How about you? Even if you haven’t paid much attention to previous Reverb10 prompts, you might want to try answering this prompt. Also, make sure to read Tara’s post on what this prompt is all about. (Hint: It’s about achieving your goal today.)

Don’t forget you are living now.
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What’s your thoughts on this prompt? Tell me, because I’m curious. If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the like button or the tweet button below. You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: D Sharon Pruitt

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