It Really IS the Little Things

I used my electric teakettle this morning and chuckled about how ridiculously pleased I am by it. There was nothing earth-shattering about how I came by it, and yet the circumstances unfolded in such symmetrical beauty, I’d like to share them with you.

A few months ago, my boyfriend put my beautiful red teakettle on the stove to heat. He went back to work on a research project and promptly forgot all about the kettle—it actually melted before he even noticed. When my boyfriend concentrates, he really concentrates!

I was traveling at the time and making tea in my hotel room the very same day with an electric kettle. You add water, push a lever and when the water boils, the lever pops up and turns off the kettle. I thought what a brilliant idea: the hotel could allow guests to have tea without worrying that they’d burn down the building.

When I returned home, my boyfriend told me the tale of the incinerated kettle. Could the timing have been more perfect? His accident coincided beautifully with my newfound knowledge and sent me out to buy an electric teakettle. I’ve had it for months now and get a very big kick out of it. It tickles me that I can turn it on it and walk away without a worry.

Focusing on such little things can make the difference between being happy or miserable. Most of us are well-practiced in letting little things drive us crazy, but how often do we take joy in the small details that make life wonderful?

Last Christmas, for example, I received a wireless computer mouse, among other gifts. I’m someone who is still in awe of telephones, let alone a mouse that uses radio signals, so I was thrilled with it from the start. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I discovered that I can use my new mouse while making presentations. It allows me to shift between PowerPoint slides no matter where I stand in the room. Wow!

To see how much little things matter, let’s contrast two mornings in one woman’s life:

Marlene #1 wakes up irritated because the sun is shining directly into her eyes through a crack in the blinds. She groans. Then she realizes that she’s chilled, which irritates her more. Unable to put it off any longer, she gets up and stumbles into the kitchen. Her cat is wrapping itself around her ankles, purring. Thinking he wants to be fed, Marlene snaps, “Can’t I make a cup of coffee first?”

Marlene #2 wakes up and smiles as she feels the sun’s warmth on her face. She gives a contented sigh. She realizes she’s a little cold, which delights her because it’s summer and she knows the day will be hot later. Wanting to take advantage of the morning coolness, she bounds out of bed and makes a beeline for the kitchen. As she opens a bag of coffee, she closes her eyes, inhales the rich aroma and sighs happily for the second time. Her purring cat curls around her ankles, to which Marlene replies, “Well, good morning to you, too!”

Given that the Law of Attraction says you attract more of what you focus on, Marlene #1 may want to crawl back into bed and demand a “do over.” Without one, her day is going to be difficult indeed. Marlene #2, on the other hand, is destined for a wonderful day.

Which side of your bed—and the little things in your life—did you get up on this morning?

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