Appreciating everything we have.
Living with a sense of appreciation, awe and gratitude is THE key foundation to help us live happier, more fulfilled lives with more enjoyment and zest. Remember we cannot be grateful and depressed at the same time!
For this appreciation to take hold it helps to step-back, become more reflective, and just develop a sense of wonder at this amazing thing we call ‘life’ on this planet right now...
Appreciation & Wonder:
The happiest people take time to appreciate things that others take for granted.
Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement... get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.
Abraham Joshua Heschel
He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
For man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Be thankful for being alive - here & now.
Our place in the universe.
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you.
Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust.
Lawrence M. Krauss
We are stardust. In stargazing, we gaze at our origins. Stargazing is a spiritual practice.
I want people to have an emotional response to science, because that's what I have. Thinking about the stars throws you outside of your own world and into the universe, and it is inspirational.
Prof Brian Cox
Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides, [going right back to the first microbes on earth 3.8 billion years ago] has been healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you, right now.
The universe is so vast in relation to the matter it contains that it can be compared in the following way: A building 20 miles long, 20 miles wide and 20 miles high that contains 1 grain of sand.
Our milky way galaxy contains roughly 200-400 billion stars. Our universe is estimated to contain 100-200 billion galaxies.
There are 10 times more stars in the universe than grains of sand in all the world's deserts and beaches
If our entire solar system were the size of a pound (£) coin, the sun would be visible only under a microscope, and the nearest star would be 300 feet away.
On its trip around the sun, the earth travels over a million and a half miles per day and orbits the Sun at 66,700mph.
We just happen to be living on a planet that is in just the right distance from our star, not to close, not too far but just right for humans to live comfortably. Any closer and it would be like Venus, far too hot for life, any further out and it would be like Mars, just too cold for life to survive. This is known as the Goldilocks Zone. Our Solar system, with its 8 planets, revolves around our star, in the Goldilocks zone of our Galaxy, known as the Milky Way. It is said, that if we were closer to the centre of our Galaxy, we might encounter much more radiation from the greater number of other stars further in, & there is the possibility of collisions with other solar systems in that crowded region. So again, not to close, not too far, but just right. What a unique place to live.
The tilt of the earth at 23.45° is a result of collisions with large bodies during the formation of the planets in the solar system. It is this tilt which gives Earth it's uniquely changing seasons over the course of 365 days.
Life on earth may ultimately owe its origins to our serendipitously large moon. It is our moon which creates tidal waters, and these tidal cycles could have played a major role in the early chemical reactions necessary to ignite the first strands of life on earth.
If the entire history of earth from it's formation to now, were to be represented by a 24 hour clock - early humans came on the scene just over a minute to midnight.
Think of all that's happened on this special earth and in this universe for us to Be Here, Right Here, Right Now. Wow.
It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.
A lot of us take life on this planet for granted. Think of all the planets we know about - what is on them? Hardly nothing. Barren. Think of the images we see of the Moon or Mars. Lifeless. Then think again of our Earth. Amazing. Thriving. Full of life & diversity. And we are here, now, living amongst it all...
We are awfully lucky to be here - and by 'we' I mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp.
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love
From the distant vantage point of deep space, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.
On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all the hearts to behold the miraculous change.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.
Each moment of the year has its own beauty.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Some of nature's most exquisite handiwork is on a miniature scale, as anyone knows who has applied a magnifying glass to a snowflake.
In those times when I’m more reflective, I become truly amazed by the natural world - it is absolutely amazing. Stunning. Spectacular. Breathtaking. A lot of us don’t look at the world in this way. It’s like we are blind, although our eyes do work. We just don’t see it, we take it all for granted because we have become so used to the world. But if only we can open our eyes - the world will be a much more awe-inspiring place. Nothing we know of in our solar system, galaxy and universe for the matter, compares to the sheer diversity on this planet. Picture those barren images you see of Mars for example. Then think of our planet, Earth, and everything we have seen with our own eyes, and even in pictures, in books, on the internet and on TV & film from around the world. Wow.
The wonder of life & human beings:
Over billions of years a perfect combination of unique, rare & key events have come together in our universe to enable our planet Earth to form and to not only posses the perfect conditions to allow life to develop, but also to have just the perfect mix of stability and variability to allow life to evolve into ever more spectacular, diverse life forms and landscapes that we see around the entire planet today. As yet we know of no other planet displaying the sheer thriving diversity of our planet and it's unlikely there will be one exactly the same in the billions and billions of planets around us. What a very special planet indeed.
An embryo is an amazing thing. From just one initial cell, an entire living, breathing body emerges, full of working cells and organs. It comes as no surprise that embryonic development is a very carefully orchestrated process—everything has to fall into the right place at the right time.
The human body is an amazing thing to behold. It does many things we are not aware, things that go on all throughout the day and night. When the body does these things, we go on about our daily lives like nothing is happening. We don't even realize anything is going on or exactly what it takes, the kind of power used and generated to do so.
It's a great shame that everyone one of us takes our magnificent bodies and health for granted, rarely stopping to marvel at it's astounding complex functioning right throughout our life. Often we only stop momentarily to appreciate and yearn for our bodies perfect functioning when we are laid low with illness, restricted by old age or worse still, when it is too late - and we are at the end of our lives.
Materialistic & Technological Developments:
In the most developed countries, the average citizen now enjoys a material standard of living that would have made the greatest king of two hundred years ago turn green with envy.
John V. C. Nye
Try imaging your life without the following; washing machines, fridge-freezers, hot water or drinking water at the turn of a tap, central heating, flushable indoor toilets, ovens, microwaves, tv's, computers, smart-phones, electricity for that matter! Cars & other modes of comfortable transport to easily get you from A-to-B, shops that sell food & goods from around the world, the list is endless. Imagine if you were suddenly plonked in the middle of nowhere to fend for yourself, it would soon become clear what we take for granted and maybe then we'd begin to recognise the material riches at our disposal.
We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.
We live in a fantastic time in human technological history, yet we're so busy, we forget to look in awe at things we use on a daily basis and take for granted; the internet, smart phones, touch screen tablets, flat screen tv's, the fastest personal computers, the most advanced forms of transport. Just stop and then compare what you have now to what someone had even 50 years ago.
There is more technology that exists in a single laptop than was available throughout the world in 1974
With the development of the Internet...we are in the middle of the most transforming technological event since the capture of fire.
John Perry Barlow
Today anyone with access to the internet can obtain at the click of a button almost any information you need about anything in the world, instantaneously, from almost anywhere.
Smart Phones - They let us communicate to almost anyone, anywhere. We can take photos on them, play games on them, store hundreds and hundreds of songs on them, they give us access to the largest repository of information ever created, almost anywhere and near instantaneously and we can access apps that suit any lifestyle. Ask your grandmother if she ever anticipated something like this--she didn't, and 10 years ago, neither did you.
People say 'my phone sucks'. No it doesn't. The shittiest cell phone in the world is a miracle. Your life sucks. Around the phone.
I'm bored' is a useless thing to say. You live in a great, big, vast world that you've seen a tiny, tiny percent of.
You are the direct result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success on this planet. Act Like it.
All 12 images above found in various places on the internet.
A new found sense of wonder & appreciation
Look out on life with amazement, not shock. The variety, the diversity, the manner of every person, the beauty amidst the drudgery, the contrasts, the opportunities, the heroism in the lives of ordinary people, your gifts, your talents, your friends - even just one friend - is all awesome. Live in awe, and entertain wonder, and you will be knocking on the door of true love. Don't kill it with cynicism or criticism, don't sabotage your life with moaning and complaining. Open the eyes in your head and the eye in your intellect and choose to see the stunning, awesome, diverse beauty of life happening around you right now. Meet it with your heart and you will enrich and be enriched in one single moment.
Brahma Kumaris, Mt Abu
Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.
We could each class life as; beautiful; ugly; weird, crazy; a tragedy; a gift; hard; easy; boring; a struggle or an exhilerating adventure. But whatever your view, whatever your interpretation of life; surely, all things considered we can agree it’s all pretty damn amazing?
Life is fleeting. It moves so fast. Appreciate it while you can. For everything changes and soon what you are experiencing now will only be a memory - so savour as much of it as you can.
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
Though you may travel the world to find the beautiful, you must have it within you or you will find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.
If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
IF WE could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change
The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau
One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself