I get up each morning at about 5:45 am and I’m usually in my office by 7.

It’s nice having my neighborhood to myself most mornings.

Last Thursday, I decided to look for 5 cool/interesting things on my way to work. (I try to do that daily, anyway, but after the storm, it was even more relevant.)

On my way out the door, a guy who works in my building said, “Tomorrow’s Friday …” and we fist bumped as I walked to my car.

As I drove I stopped at an intersection that I don’t think I’ve ever had a green light for in my life. I usually just stare hatefully at the red light, as if it did something to me. This time, I looked beyond the red light at the fence of the house on the corner. I realized I’m usually so focused on the red light I never noticed the beautiful stone colonial just beyond it. Another house still had simple Christmas lights on their fence and a beautiful wreath on the front door.

I got to a local spot to pick up breakfast. The owner, Jeannie, is unfailingly cheerful. I said hello to her chef, and we exchanged greetings. We always do. I turned to the woman next to me and said, “He’s always smiling.” She said,”He is happy every day.”

It struck me that a lot of people with seemingly wonderful lives are not happy. This guy is happy. Every day. It’s not circumstances, it’s attitude. And gratitude. And how you view what’s happening around you.

As I was walking out, Jeannie said, “It’s almost Friday!”

Bookends on a morning that taught me that amazing days don’t happen because of external events, luck or anything else. Amazing days happen when we choose to see what’s amazing all around us.

Try it yourself. Find 5 things to be amazed by every day. Or 5 things you find beautiful or cool. Or 5 things to be grateful for. You may recognize this as a mindfulness or positive psychology practice, and it is.

PS: Once I started looking for 5 things every day to be amazed by, I started finding many more. I’ll raise it to 10 this coming week.

Question: What mindfulness practices do you have for living a more amazing life? Leave a comment below. 

[Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons “sunrise over the sea”]