When you hear the word “miracle” what comes to mind? For me, the word traditionally conjures up choirs of seraphim enveloping an accident scene where victims walk unscathed out of a tangled car, or a hospital room where a once-paralyzed child walks down a long hallway with movie music trailing in the background.
This is the Hollywood version of miracles, but I’m finding that mini-miracles actually happen every day – if we only stop to recognize them. Dictionary.com defines miracle as
World English Dictionary: miracle (ˈmɪrək ə l) — n 1. an event that is contrary to the established laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause 2.
any amazing or wonderful event
3. a person or thing that is a marvelous example of something: the bridge was a miracle of engineering 4. short for miracle play 5. ( modifier ) being or seeming a miracle: a miracle cure
I’ve purposely highlighted #2 ANY AMAZING OR WONDERFUL EVENT because this is what everyday miracles are to me. Somehow we often focus on what goes awry in our lives (someone cuts us off in traffic, a sales clerk is snarly, a family member disrespects us, or a friend doesn’t return our call) – and we lose sight of the many wondrous things that happen along the way.
I believe that we are conditioned for this with the way that our news, elected politicians, and general attention-seekers focus on the negative. Additionally, when we have unrealistic expectations of others it is easier to be disappointed (when they don’t meet our expectations) than to be delighted with them. For example, if someone disregards us, we get hurt (this inflicts a small scar on our psyche), but then don’t appreciate a later kindness.
But, we can change this whole situation by consciously changing our perspective: 1. Reduce expectations of others’ behavior; and 2. actively watch for the little moments of amazement and wonder in our everyday life!
Here’s a few examples of everyday miracles I have started to notice:
- A friend calls unexpectedly to say hello just moments after I read an email about a contract being canceled;
- An attendee at one of my international lectures sends an email to tell me how my speech gave him new ideas he can use at work;
- A colleague in India offers encouragement and shares his own story of career frustration to boost my spirits;
- I find a $20 bill in a coat pocket;
- A friend follows through on a promise they made;
- My son (22) calls to say thank you for something I’ve done;
- A stranger compliments me on my shoes;
- Someone lets me in ahead of the to a left turn lane;
- Someone says that they understand how I feel and they mean it;
- Someone sends supporting comments about reading my blog postings;
- A stranger ahead of me pays for my highway toll;
- My daughter sends me a card just because…
You might call these everyday occurrences and not miracles and you could be right. Some might actually say that these are expectations of how others should behave. I respectfully suggest that when we remove our expectations of others, things become much simpler. As such, I prefer to assess these behaviors as everyday miracles every day — I am truly grateful for each and every one of them.
How to stay positive in this down economy where gloom and doom financial woes continue to plague our nation? My solution is to seek positive signs from the universe that things will get better. When they do (I’m optimistic) then it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy (and I’ll shout hurrah). On the other hand, if it takes longer for positive things to happen, at least I can take solace in the fact that good things happen every day.
Wishing you a positive week!
p.s., I am actively seeking speaking opportunities worldwide, so if you know of anyone looking for a great speaker on technology or industry optimism topics, please ask them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Thank you!