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If there was just one skill that we could create, cultivate, and really master throughout our lives, it would be to truly see the magnificence of life.
Now, why do I say that?
Well, we can at least agree on the fact that achievement, money, and success are not going to lead to the highest level of fulfillment and happiness.
We’ve seen overwhelming studies on this idea that experiences are now leading to more fulfillment versus material things.
There are documentaries like Happy that show that it’s not money, it’s not fame, it’s not attention, it’s none of those things at all. It’s actually just constant personal growth, seeing the beauty, and being physically active.

But What Is the One Thing?

By far the number one thing is gratitude. That ability to see the magnificence of life.
And why do I think that’s necessary? Why do I truly say that’s number one out of all the things that we could do?
Everything seems to work in your favor when you’re viewing life through that lens and are able to see the magnificence of it at all times, including the little things and the bad things.
You look at the animals, the relationships you have, the beauty around you and the planet that we’re on. The fact that we can even breathe this air, and that we’re bacteria and organisms that evolved into these conscious beings puts life into perspective.
That door can open from wherever you like. And if you don’t know where to open that door, or if you aren’t fascinated by life already, take the first door that’s available. Take the first thing that you’re at all even slightly interested in.

Where Do I Start?

If I’m saying this to you and you’re just like — dude — I don’t understand how or why you’re so fascinated by life. That’s just not me.
What I would say is just start somewhere. Just open one door and say, “That’s really interesting…I’m curious about that. I want to learn more about that.
It will open those floodgates. And don’t worry. Don’t be scared. It’s not going to lead to anything unwanted.
There are no slippery slopes here. It’s not going to lead to a life that isn’t meant for you.
No, it’s all positive. I promise.
A lot of people are afraid of “rocking the boat” and walking down a path that can appear to be more complicated — I know I was. We’re afraid of opening certain doors because we think it’s a slippery slope and that it’s going to lead to a life that’s not as well lived. We make up these reasons and stories in our heads.

Why Wouldn’t We Want a Magnificent Life?

And so, more than anything, if we can be appreciative and grateful there’s no room for suffering. There’s no room for worrying. There’s no room for anything else.
It’s definitely a skill. It’s not going to be 24/7, 100% of the time. But if we can just see the beauty, the magnificence, the wonder, the awe, the fascination — whatever it is — we will outweigh the negative.
We then start owning the mind and owning what we pay attention to.
What we pay attention to, our focus, is everything. You can get into a car accident and say, “Thank god I’m alive.” Or you can say, “This bastard almost killed me,” or “I almost killed myself,” and focus on all the wrong things.
It’s all what you focus on. It’s all what you see.
So if we can cultivate that skill to see the magnificence, why wouldn’t we?
Photo credit: Milky wayCC license