I just got back from a fantastic, fulfilling two week vacation in Spain.
But here's the interesting part...
It wasn't fulfilling because I was in beautiful Spain. Nor because everything went perfectly (I can assure you, it didn't). And dare I say, not even because I was there with the love of my life (though that made it extra special for sure).
The reason it was fulfilling and left me fully satisfied with no regrets and only fond memories, is because I (we) enjoyed the little things, and didn't wait for the big events to find happiness.
The sweet giggle of a nearby baby. The squirrel nibbling on a nut. The two old women holding each other's arms while walking down the street. The colorful bloom of a random bush on the sidewalk.
All of these things taught me an important lesson, which is that when we're fully in the here and now, we open up a direct flow of happiness within, making us feel complete. We don't need something significant to happen, like a wedding day or a big ocean cruise.
Spain wasn't great just because we were in Spain. It wasn't great just because we saw stunning sunsets or ate amazing food. It was great because we could share the littlest moments together, both pleasant and unpleasant, and find joy in them.
The sheeps grazing in the field outside of our apartment. This wasn't expected. But it was there, and it was beautiful.
On my trip to Spain, I learned that the best moments are the most ordinary ones. They are just as much of life as the big ones.
I learned that no matter where we are in life, or what we're doing, all we need is what we already have. It's what's in front of us wherever we are. If we start from that place, then we can go anywhere and do anything with a feeling of completeness.
If we only wait for the big moments to feel happy, we're missing out on thousands of small, but beautiful occurrences throughout the day.
That is, if we neglect the moments unfolding in front of us, we neglect life.
It's important to find joy in a smile. It's important to appreciate the breeze, or the raindrops, on your commute home from work. It's important to just be there and experience whatever is happening in front of you, without labeling it or thinking about the past or future.
It's important because it's life. It's now. It's all there ever is.
Live with substance!