I belong to a group of people who do business around the world. At one of our meetings, one of our co-founders once spoke these immortal words:
“You can change your life from tragic to magic in a very short period of time”.
While I found this an incredibly inspiring quote I did not realize just how true those words were…until the day my son was born.
The day my son was born started out as any other day. I woke up, got ready and went to work. I had lunch with my manager during which I received a text message from my wife.
“Please call me when you appt is done.”
Doesn’t sound too urgent, right? Little did I know this text message was going to turn my life upside down and inside out. When I called her she more-or-less calmly informed me she was having contractions and that it was time to get my butt home.
To make a long story short, a little after midnight I witnessed the miracle that was the birth of our son. Unless you are a parent yourself, there is no way I can even begin to describe the feelings that course through you at that precise moment. Only one word comes to mind…magical. From that day, I have experienced more magic in my life than I ever believed possible.
So if you want to change your life from tragic to magic…go have a baby.
No, of course not. What happened to me that night was that it opened my eyes in a way that truly changed my life. All of a sudden I started seeing the small things around me that were beautiful. That were wondrous. That were positive. That were magical.
And you can do the same. You just have to allow yourself to see. Most people go through life focussing on everything bad that’s happening to them; their relationship isn’t what it was, there’s an envelope from the tax department in the mail, it’s raining, they’re struggling financially…the list goes on.
And whatever you focus on, grows. Here’s an experiment. Look around you and notice everything that’s blue. Go on, look. What’s blue around you? Dark blue counts. Light blue, too. Cyan? Sure. Everything that’s even the least bit blue. Got it? Okay.
Now close your eyes. Imaginge the room in front of you. Now make a list (you can speak out lound) of everything you see that’s…
Don’t open your eyes! That’s cheating. Come on, everything red.
Okay, you can open your eyes now. If you are remotely like everyone else, that was hard. Really hard. Why is that? Because everything you focus on grows. You were so focussed on noticing everything blue that your brain simply filtered out everything else. It was still there but because you made it less important, your brain skipped over it.
What is wrong is always available. And so is what’s right. If you spend your life focussing on all the wrong, all you are going to see more of is just that. If instead you focus on everything that is right, or beautiful, or amazing in your life, guess what? You’ll start noticing more of what is right, and beautiful, and amazing.
Is it that simple? Yes, it is.
Is it that easy? No. Not at the beginning, that is. But you do not need a dramatic even like the birth of a child to start noticing that your life, too, is magical. You just need to get started.
Here’s some ideas:
1. A “magic moments” journal. Every night before you go to sleep, write down at least 3 magical moments that happened during the day. Again, they don’t need to be dramatic. The sun breaking through the clouds after a thunderstorm just as you need to head home. The smile of a special someone (or a complete stranger) that made you feel good. The smell of coffee first thing in the morning. If you have trouble finding your moments, think of those moments that could have been magical if you really wanted them to be.
2. Start your day with 5 minutes of gratitude. First thing in the morning, even before your first cup of coffee (okay, you can do this during your first cup of coffee, too) take 5 minutes and just think about everything you are grateful for (or could be grateful for if you really wanted to be). What about your body? You heart that beats even when you are sleeping. Your eyes that allow you to see all the beauty around you. What about your family? What about all the knowledge that is available to you at your fingertips? What about friends? What about that great pub around the corner where you can hang out with your friends? What about the seasons? What about everything you have in your life? The roof over your head? The food on your table? Just think about all those things most of us take for granted.
I promise you that if you start applying just these two ideas (and I am sure you can come up with at least a dozen more) you will notice the change. You will start seeing things differently. You will start feeling differently. Until one day you realize that you life is, truly, magical.