What's a Good Life?
Marty was (apparently) wrongly imprisoned at age 17 for killing his parents. Twenty years later his pro-bono lawyer managed to have his conviction overturned and Marty was released.
In a recent interview Marty was asked what he liked best about being out of prison.
He immediately answered, “Making my own cup of coffee and watching the sun rise.”
Making coffee and watching the sun rise? For real?
That made me pause for thought. I mean, how many of us do Marty’s favorite thing every day without even thinking about it? Or how many of us do Marty’s favorite thing and resent it? (“Why can’t I sleep in for once?” “Why can’t someone else make the *&$#@ coffee for a change?”)
Marty’s response gave me a glimpse into how much we take for granted. And also gave me insight into the fact that many of life’s greatest pleasures are right under our nose.
In describing their dream life my clients usually talk about an abundance of wealth, stunning professional success, healthy families, loving spouses, vacation homes, dream cars, bikini bodies …
.. and yet, right under our nose, is probably our favorite thing that we aren’t acknowledging.
Because what we really want isn’t any of those things or people or experiences – it’s how we think those things or people or experiences will make us FEEL.
Even President Bush, when asked what the highlight of his presidency has been, said it was catching a 7.5 pound perch in his hand-stocked lake (from Lee Iacocca’s “Where Have All The Leaders Gone?“).
Are you kidding me??
Maybe our president was being funny (I don’t pretend to know), but even when I find myself listing my good news for the day, it includes little things like wearing my favorite pjs, sleeping in with the dogs, finishing a great book, laughing with my sweetie …
… simple stuff.
Feel good stuff.
Right under our noses.
Like making coffee and watching sunrises.
Which means there is no excuse for not feeling good right now. We’ve got material in our lives – TODAY – to take us to the same feelings we think all that “big stuff” will do for us.
I challenge you to put together your big 5 list of life loves. And enjoy them. Regularly. On purpose.
- scratching the dog’s head
- sleeping in my bed
- watching the birds at the feeder
- sitting in the sun
- watching the fire at night
Thank you, Marty, for giving us the chance to reconnect with what we love about life, which we may have otherwise taken for granted.