Remember the feeling of excitement when you experience something for the first time? It might be receiving a gift, going to a place you've never been, or meeting someone new. The state of experiencing 'newness' often sparks our interest and boosts our energy level as we explore and find our way.
The energy we feel when discovering something 'new' is largely a result of being in a state of 'flow,' an in-the-moment awareness that places us 'at the edge' of time. When we are in-the moment, we're not thinking about the past or future and we can take in everything that life offers up as it happens.
Remember the first time you road a bicycle, drove a car, or flew in an airplane? Can you imagine having that feeling again when doing those things? if not, why not? Why do we sometimes find things that once excited us, not as fulfilling? If we're experiencing the same thing, why do we not feel as interested or excited about it?
As humans, we're always looking for something new and novel. Our minds enjoy a mystery, a puzzle, and a problem to solve. We love to figure things out and explore what's new. When we become familiar with something, we tend to 'check it off' in out mind as 'been there done that.' This thinking is at the core of boredom. Boredom is the state of not seeing the amazing world that is right in front of you, largely because you think you already know everything there is to know about it. How odd, given that each day, each moment is new.
If you're bored with the world, chances are the feeling is mutual.
Through repeated exposure to things or ideas, we can become numb to them. We see the same things passing through our awareness and sooner or later, we stop noticing them. We become numb to the reality around us and search for things that are 'new' and 'different.' We ride bicycles, drive our cars, fly in planes, and not only are we often not excited about it, we find things to complain about. "the brakes squeak," "the oil needs changing," "the flight is delayed." When did riding a bicycle, driving a car, and riding in a plane become work? – when you stopped appreciating how amazing it is to have those opportunities.
We take so many things for granted, and sometimes the more we get, the less we appreciate it. We turn a faucet and clean, drinkable water comes out - even hot water. We flick on a switch and light fills the room. We turn a knob and the temperature of the air changes to make us more comfortable. We dial some numbers into a palm-sized device and in a moment, we're talking to someone half-way around the world. Do we show amazement for these miracles each time we experience them? Most people don't, but we certainly are upset when they don't happen!
Think gas prices are high? Want to get more for your money? Here's what you can do: The next time you get in your car to drive, notice how amazing it is that you can actually get into a little box on wheels, press a button, turn some knobs and flick some switches, and find yourself propelled (powerfully) down the road. Remember the feeling of the first time you drove. Renew your appreciation for the current moment in which you are gifted with the opportunity to do it again and again. The driving doesn't change, only your perception of what it means.
By really appreciating the opportunities in your life, you gain fulfillment of that life.
It doesn't matter how many 'new' or 'valuable' things you chase down or capture. Someone can fill a room in their house with money and after the novelty has worn off, after they have taken their tenth 'money bath,' after they have shown all their friends, after they have looked through the door a hundred times, sooner or later it will just be a room full of clutter. It's the not the 'having' that brings fulfillment, but the 'playing of the game.'
Let things pass through your hands, rather than holding on to them. Feel the joy in each moment as life presents you with opportunities and experiences. Appreciate doing everything you do, even if you've done it for years. Experience each time like the first time. It is!
The next time you use an appliance or tool, take time to appreciate the person who designed it, the person who built it, and the opportunity you have to use it. As you work, imagine NOT having it and be grateful for it.
The next time you ride a bicycle, drive a car, or fly in an airplane, consider how amazing it is to have that opportunity. Think about what it would be like to NOT have it and be grateful. Think about all the people who made that experience possible and thank them in your own way. Live with gratitude for every opportunity you get and your life with be FULFILLING.
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