I was reading an article earlier this week called 32 Things That Are Worth Caring About on Thought Catalog that caused me to reflect on the things that really make an impact on my life and enable me to do the things that I do.
People often say that “luck” (“oh, he’s only successful because he got lucky“) is a cumulation of all the incremental 0.01% differences that you make to your life every day. Just like small purchases on an credit card or an unexpected gesture of kindness – it all adds up.
Thinking along similar threads, here is my list of 3 things that I think are worth caring about and, when done frequently enough, can make a world of difference.
ONE: Listening to people
One of the things that completely eats me from the inside out is when I’m having a conversation with someone who seems to want to be somewhere else. Their eyes dart; their feet shuffle. Their hands are fidgety and their “aha’s” and “mhm’s” make you want to dissolve into the wall.
It’s incredible just how fundamentally important being listened to is to someone. When you fail to listen – no matter who it is on the other side, a stranger or a friend – you essentially deny the other person their voice and their value as a person.
Listening can be powerful, and it all it takes is your courtesy to give the speaker your full respect and attention.
TWO: Discovering new places
If I was wise enough to figure out the meaning of life, I’m pretty sure travelling would be somewhere in the description. People always wait for the right time to go, or see it as a ‘waste’ of money – but travel is one of the few expenditures that actually makes you richer.
And it’s hard to comprehend sometimes that you’re only merely breaking the surface of the richness and vastness of what’s truly on offer in the world. Sometimes I really struggle to understand how such diversity can coexist all at the same time. It always blows my mind.
If in doubt about whether to go or not – go.
THREE: Experiencing the senses
I studied music for a few years, composition in particular, and it always fascinated me how a certain combination of notes could elicit a particular feeling or response. It’s the juxtaposition of things that, sitting alone would have been quite uninteresting, but that come together to colour each other and really make 1 + 1 = 100.
It’s the same thing with how our other senses work too. When we enjoy our food, each individual ingredient doesn’t do very much on its own (a cup of flour, anyone?). But put together in the right way, they can create something really quite exquisite and very satisfying. And if you think about what makes something look beautiful, again it’s the juxtaposition of colours, shades, hues… and the contours that shape them.
It’s easy to find yourself being too busy to enjoy things. I’m guilty of neglecting the things that I truly enjoy for other “more important” things. But when I do get the chance, getting plugged into classical music (I like to make recordings) or a good book or a quick mini holiday to somewhere near the sea is the best.
And if you’re not convinced, check out this very enlightening by Benjamin Zander on the transformative power of classical music: