How to Find Beauty in Everything
Beauty is one of the most powerful forces in the world. Beauty can lift us up when we are feeling down — it can rejuvenate us when we feel we cannot go on anymore. Beauty is what makes this magical journey we are on undeniably worth it.
Imagine having a bad day or something going wrong. Then imagine breaking that monotony or struggle with the sound of the birds chirping outside. Or imagine that a loved one suddenly calls you to tell you a funny story and you start laughing together. Just imagine something beautiful — anything. In all likelihood, that beautiful moment will take you out of your slump. It will pick you back up when you are feeling low.
Last weekend I was upset about the newsletter not performing as well as I had hoped — it had a low open rate and it received fewer likes than usual. In the long run, these metrics are not that important, and even though I knew this, it still hurt. It hurt pouring my heart into something and it falling short.
In the past, performance metrics used to affect me a lot — the former lawyer in me is partly to blame — but I have become better at handling the stress of sharing work online. I realize a single post or piece of writing is not going to define me and that every experience is an opportunity to learn — it is an opportunity to learn about what might have went wrong and to do better next time. This frame of mind has helped me immeasurably, but it is only one piece of the puzzle.
I constantly need to remind myself that happiness is found along the way to our destination — not when we get there. We will miss out on most of life if we are only doing things to get a certain outcome or to reach a certain goal. The majority of life is the journey from over here to over there. Only a small fraction of life lies at the end of the road. Once we get to the finish line, we will soon set a new goal. Because of this, the sense of joy that comes after accomplishing something is short-lived. Lasting happiness can only be had by finding fulfillment before something happens; not because something happened.
Real happiness is found by paying attention to the beauty that is already around us. It is found by closing our eyes while the wind outside caresses our skin. It is found by taking a rejuvenating, deep breath and remembering how lucky we are to be here. It is found by being grateful for the opportunities we have — most especially, the opportunity to make the most of this marvelous adventure we call life.
When I was feeling discouraged about the newsletter last week, I decided to put my phone and computer away while I went on a walk outside. During the walk, I noticed how beautiful the palm trees around me were. I live in Southern California and there are palm trees everywhere. They are so abundant you take them for granted if you live here — you might not even notice them. This time was different because I did notice them. I noticed how the color of their leaves reminded me of a lemon lime. I noticed how the leaves waving back and forth from the nearby ocean calmed the deepest parts of me. Finally, I noticed a bird singing on one of the leaves. It was like they were singing a song just for me. A song we both knew all along. A song we were born knowing the lyrics to. At that moment, I thought to myself, “If Hope could make a noise, this is what it would sound like.”
After walking for a few minutes, I sat down on a nearby bench so I could take everything in. I took a deep breath and felt my problems slowly washing away. I realized that no matter the setbacks we are faced with there is always something beautiful pushing right back — something better and stronger, something infinite. All we have to do is remember that this something is here. It is always by our side.
Beauty is all around us as long as we are willing to look for it. If we do look for beauty, we will be amazed by its power. If our spark has gone out, beauty will light another spark for us — one we forgot was there. The struggles and problems we encounter will not seem so bad anymore. We will realize we already have so much. Maybe we will even realize we already have what we are looking for.
How do we find beauty in everything? We find beauty by realizing that, no matter what happened or will happen, there is an invincible force both within us and outside of us. This force is like a gorgeous and endless summer — a summer that will shine bright in both the rain and snow. A summer that will shine bright regardless of where we go.
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