My girlfriend Casey and I went on a long weekend vacation returning last night. We made the road trip more enjoyable by listening to Dennis E. Taylor’s The Singularity Trap. It was a chill time, filled with beach walks, playing in the ocean, floating in the lazy pool, rollerblading on sidewalks, watching TV and bad movies, eating great food, drinking too much, and laughing. While rollerblading we narrowly missed a snake! It’s moments like these that make deep impressions on the adventure parts of our memory.

But… it’s Monday morning and we’re both back to the grind. Reasonably, we have the post-vacation blues. Between routines, work, and the tasks that need our attention, it’s natural to want to stay on vacation. It leads to a sourly stressed mood. After some conversation with Casey, I realized the fix for this mood is a small movement: gratitude. It’s a small movement with big meaning (a phrase borrowed from the book.)

There is so much pressure to achieve and have this amazing life. To be healthy, wealthy, and wise — you know, to have it all. To wake up everyday bursting with energy and a deep love for our lives. We have to enjoy our lives so fully. It’s stressful.

Of course, there are big, great, amazing movements in life. But these are big and great and amazing because they are rare. This isn’t the daily experience of life. Back to the basics. As an adult, we are all tempted to assume we got the basics on lock, that we know how to live our lives. But honestly, within myself, I find a consistent need to return to the basics of living.

I’m not a small-minded person. I don’t do small movements naturally. I’m ready to to throw all my chips into a single pot and hope to strike it rich. The truth is that this strategy doesn’t work. It doesn’t last. It doesn’t deliver. You have to earn the goodness. You have to be ready for it. That takes character. You need to be a person of substance.

It’s my firm belief that small movements is the key to health, wealth, and wisdom. It’s the basics: gratitude and small steps toward a goal leading to a generally positive mood and momentum. Add up all the tiny movements and you see the bulk mass of true greatness. In the quiet places of our lives where we do battle for our motivations and feelings. If we can learn to conduct ourselves well we can have just about anything we want or at least our experience of living will be one of happiness.

It’s not only a grind, it’s a thing to be grateful for. It’s this small movement which leads us into bigger and better careers. It’s this positive momentum which propels us outward, onward, and upward.

My encouragement to you this morning is this — let’s together, go back to the basics of appreciation. We can send our goodness into the world. Let’s list those small things and people we appreciate. Let this goodness fill us up so that we can have that sweetness only found by spreading goodness.

So, put on your music and good vibes. Get to work. Put on your gratitude. Let the goodness out! This world is what we make it. Let’s make it great by doing the small stuff well.

Grateful for you!

Part time mad computer scientist, full time lover of the extraordinary.

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