Sydney-Opera-house-3-300x221Lesson learned:

  • Remember the last time you experienced a moment of joyful surprise. 
  • Mentally go back to that moment and visualize it.
  • Relive that moment or find another way to recapture it.

Recently I had a new moment a joyful surprise wandering around Royal Botanic Gardens on a quiet Sunday morning.  The air was full of birds chirping and I was mostly alone as there were few runners passing by.  There was sunlight glittering through the trees as I walked along a meandering path covered with big and thick Moreton Bay Fig trees. 

I followed this path not knowing what I would find ahead when… Boom!  The Sydney Opera House suddenly appeared on the left side of the path.  Without a cloud in the sky, this marvelous building’s thousands of white titles shimmered under the Sun. 

I literally stood there for 5 minutes just watching that opera house with awe.  All day long I told myself I need to ‘remember’ that joyful moment and ‘etch’ that feeling into my mind.  Guess what?  I did!  When anything annoying happened to me during that day, I reminded myself of that moment, and I started to smile again.  It turned out to be a great Sunday!

Travelling from Sydney to Manila was painful: 9 hours from Sydney to HongKong and 2 hours from HongKong to Manila.  I had a pounding headache throughout the 11 hours of flights.  I was completely exhausted when I dragged myself into a taxi.

Until, I saw several flamboyant decorated jeeps passing by.  I’ve never seen any vehicle like that before.  All of the sudden, my headache was gone.  I noticed I was giggling and glued to the window in the hopes of finding another jeep like that.  Oh, yes, I saw a blue one, a yellow one and a rainbow one. 

I captured that moment of a joyful surprise again.

It turned out these jeeps are called “Jeepneys”.  According to Wikipedia, it’s the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture.  It only cost $0.20 to ride.

These two moments kept me going throughout the trip.

I continually revisited these moments in my mind anytime frustration began to build. It’s a simple matter of changing my attitude and my mind-set.

When was last time you experienced a moment of joyful surprise?  Verbally describe that beautiful moment to yourself.  Relive that moment or find another way to recapture it.  Let me know how it goes.


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Pam Didner

Posted on

June 11, 2012

Personal Journal