“Come on!” I say frantically, touching the graphic on the screen, “I just need two more!”
15 minutes ago, I had no idea that I just needed two more.
15 minutes ago, I felt content with what I had before I thought I could have more.
15 minutes ago I wasn’t trying to negotiate with a pre-programmed computer.
But here we are.
(Opening image courtesy of Freepik and Valeria Asakova)
I’ve never felt like a particularly lucky person so I’ve never been much of a gambler, but now, surrounded by flashing lights, bright colours, whirring, whooping, honking, beeping and every other onomatopoeic word you can think of, I feel…somehow…enticed to try; enticed by the great “maybe” of it all.
What is it about bright lights and beautiful colours that turns a sensible realist into a dreamer? Why do we struggle to shake the sparkle from our eyes? Maybe we’re just a little desperate for some magic to break through the monotony or the sadness – not that there’s anything wrong with that. We’re only human (and sometimes dancer) after all.
I recently read a book titled Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho, which follows the journey of a woman from self-loathing to self-discovery as she realises how much she took for granted in her life and begins to find the magic in every moment; the magic amidst the monotony. I think she might be onto something…
We know that false magic always dies when the money runs out and the lights begin to fade. Some reside themselves to that fact and enjoy it while it lasts, while others try to cling to it like a diver desperate for air; always waiting for their time that could never come and losing so much in the process. However, it’s popular because it’s easy to find and accessible on demand – for the right price.
Finding real magic amidst the monotony or challenges, actually requires a bit of effort, which is probably why it’s not as popular as the other kind. Experiencing the extraordinary in the ordinary has a lot to do with point of view. It’s about looking versus seeing versus seeing differently, and that, in turn, has to do with your mindset.
So how can we better prepare our minds to see the real magic in a moment or to just see things differently?
I’ve jotted down 5 tips that I’ve found helpful:
* Be present – Remove or turn off anything that could distract you from experiencing a moment and detracting from quality time spent with those you care about. This point has been REALLY difficult for me as I’ve become more active on social media, but I’m striving for that balance everyday. I just have to keep reminding myself of what is truly important in my life: another like on that post or laughing around the kitchen table with my family or friends? The choice becomes a no-brainer when you put the options into perspective.
* Approach from a different angle – this goes for any form of problem solving, exploration and interaction with others. Approaching a challenge in a way that you never have before opens new doors of possibility and could jump-start your creative juices if your in a slump.
* Clear your mind – the pressures and bustle of life can cloud our minds at times, making us feel overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out and even depressed. It’s important to take time out of the day to turn down the noise by retreating inward with meditation, praying, journaling, creating, exercising, listening to your favourite playlist or a combination of the above. If you’re trying any of these techniques right now, drop me a message on my Insta profile and let’s chat about it.
* Be thankful – make a list of things you’re thankful for and keep it somewhere that you’ll be able to see it or access it easily every day. Each of the things you write down will trigger good memories, which will release ‘happiness’ hormones in your brain. This exercise is especially useful when you’re going through a difficult time.
* Feed your brain – reading in general is good for mental well-being and literacy skills, but reading content that you can learn from is even better! Becoming self-taught and tenacious about learning is one of the most empowering things anyone could do in this day and age and can benefit every aspect of your life at little-to-no cost! If you want to know more about something or learn a new skill, read up on it and take notes. Highlight sections that you find important or that stand out to you. If you’re reading online, bookmark the page. Most importantly, absorb as much of the information as you can. Knowledge expands the limits of our mind and gives us the courage to consider and explore new possibilities and perspectives.
That brings us to the end of Part 1 of the Moments and Memories series. In part 2, we’ll start to delve deeper by exploring the darker side of recalling magical moments and learn how to better deal with those memories in the present.