The little things

The little things in life are often what makes us happiest.

Offering your train seat to someone in need, watching your dog run around for no apparent reason, reading a friendly comment on your blog post or learning something new from an article you read online.

None of these things are immediately life changing, but each of them involves another creature’s happiness. It is our interactions that make us smile, feel special and give us something to look forward to.

Last week on the train to work I gave up my seat to a woman who asked for it. I got up out of my seat straight away and she thanked me. She was older than me but didn’t look as though she desperately needed a seat, but what do I know? I watched as she took out her phone to play a game and wondered if she actually needed the seat or just wanted to play her game in comfort. Either way, I felt good about myself. Maybe a little bit cheated, but I knew I had done the right thing.

A pet brings a special feeling of joy to life. You have a special companion to come home to each day; someone who will listen to you without offering advice; someone whose mood may be lifted by something as simple as being let inside when it’s cold. Owners and their animals share a unique bond; a relationship of inspiration and encouragement.

Now I may sound a bit biased, but my dog is the best. I just watched him as he ran around our front yard, wagging his tail with his tongue flapping about simply because he felt like it. Or maybe he thought I was going to chase him. When I didn’t chase him, he didn’t mind, just went about sniffing the rose bushes and foraging in the mulch. Whenever we get the chance to take him to the beach, we run with him along the sand and he genuinely looks like he is having the best time in his life. His excitement is contagious.

It is always uplifting to receive a (positive) response to something you’ve done. Feedback is what keeps us going, keeps us energised and reminds us of why we do what we do. It propels us to excel and drives us achieve. Even negative feedback can be good, if taken constructively and used to shape future decisions or actions. If we don’t know what we are doing wrong, how are we supposed to improve?

I love reading, writing and thinking. Each day I am excited to learn what people are reading and writing about. I like to see what opinions are out there, so I scroll through my feeds and click on anything of interest (this usually takes some time). I like to see what people are doing with their blogs, what the latest ideas are, finding out who the next young entrepreneur is and reading all about their success. Reading is (obviously) engaging and allows us to view things from a different perspective.

I began by classifying these as ‘little things’ but now I’m not so sure that I would classify them as ‘little’. These actions and emotions are part of everyday life and should not be underestimated. To remain happy; to remain satisfied; it is important that we recognise the cause of our happiness, to ensure that we keep doing whatever it is that we are doing.

So, tell me, what are the little things in your life?