20 Small Pleasures That Can Make Your Life More Beautiful

We live in a world that is filled with offerers: holidays in exotic places, amusements parks where you can spend your entire day without getting bored, all kinds of sports, concerts and festivals you can buy tickets for long in advance, movies that keep you breathlessly stuck to your seat for even three hours, video games in which you can enter but don’t want to get out of – and many others.

Should this be good or bad?

What’s for sure is that this chase after more spectacular pleasures casts a shadow over the small pleasures of life, the ones so simple that we tend to quickly lose sight of them.

I say we do them justice. And for that, I made a list. Will you have the pleasure of seeing what you are missing?

  1. When you wake up just minutes before the alarm clock rings

    After the daily torture of the alarm clock’s ringing, what a pleasure it is to raise your head to check the clock and see that you’ve gotten ahead of that bastard!

    The race against the alarm clock

  2. When you embrace someone dear

    Especially that this has so many benefits for your health!

    A warm embrace

  3. When you guess an old password correctly

    You’re so clever, of course you knew it! (You can wipe the sweat off your brow now!)

    I did it!

  4. When you happen to find an old photo

    Ah, what times!

    Me, at my 7th birthday anniversary

  5. When you eat schnitzel with sour cream

    OK now, that’s subjective. When I was only a child, a neighbor, who was looking after me for a couple of hours, asked me what I wanted to eat, for I was hungry. She asked me if I wanted schnitzel or sour cream. Difficult choice! So I answered her: “Schnitzel with sour cream”. I so much enjoyed the combination, that it became my favorite food. (But it’s mandatory that the schnitzel be coated with breadcrumbs. Or breadcrumbs with sesame, if you have more refined tastes.)

    Schnitzel with sour cream

    I know that the schnitzel with sour cream is not among your favorite dishes – yet! But you surely have something which pleases your taste buds (and not just one).

  6. When you watch your baby sleeping

    One of the advantages of being your own boss and working at home is that you can actually do such things during your working hours. When my little girl was just a baby, she sometimes sat next to me, on the desk, in the baby car seat. I used to put her meditation music on and, a few minutes later, she was falling asleep. I was going about my business and, every once in a while, I had a peep at her. An enchantment.

    My baby girl napping

  7. When you watch beagle puppies

    I have a soft spot for beagles. They are so into doing things, any thing! And their puppies are simply adorable. Have a look at some 5-week old ones:

    Of course, it can be about any other breed of dogs. Or maybe you like cats better? Or monkeys? Or you want to step out of the crowd and like hippopotamus cubs better? Whatever your preferences are, to watch animal cubs on a daily basis, even from a screen, is one of the small things that can prolong your life up to 10 years 1)The game that can give you 10 extra years of life” by Jane McGonigal, talk held at TEDGlobal 2012.

  8. When you make soap bubbles

    Everyone loves to make soap bubbles, despite them being some purposeless ephemerides. It’s one of the mysteries of mankind. No matter what your age is, you are, at least once in your lifetime, in the mood for some soap bubbles. (Or twice… Or thrice…)

    But the best part is that you never know how much fun you’re going to get. This session went big:

    The moment was reenacted by other owners of babies and dogs as well. Would you like to give it a try?

  9. When you see someone laugh heartily

    Instant empathy! Even for a stranger.

    Laughing is contagious

  10. When you see someone reading a book that you already read

    I get it, you’ve read about two books in your life. But what a coincidence! You now have the opportunity to say something smart, to make a good impression. Even if you don’t, it still gives you a nice feeling about that reconnection to the past.

    A very good book

  11. When you listen Don't Worry, Be Happy!

    This song always makes me smile, even when I’m in a bad mood. Bobby McFerrin is a joy-bringer.

  12. When you're gone away and you see a car with a license plate from your state

    Even if it’s just the clunker of your neighbor who turns that country music too loud – it doesn’t matter!

    The car in front of you

  13. When you warm up by the bonfire

    I’ve once been on a trip with no specific destination. The night came and our little group decided to set up the tents in the small mountain village which we came across. We asked permission from those few villagers to make a bonfire. To us, the city people escaped to nature, a fire meant just what we needed to make some tea. But the villagers, who were very glad to have guests, made a hell of a fire. It was drizzling slowly, but the water drops on us were instantly dried off. A fairy-tale sensation! Doubled by the generosity of these people.


  14. When you feel the rain to be a gift for you

    One of my earliest memories is from when I was just a few years old. I was going somewhere with my mother. It was raining. She kept speeding up, but I couldn’t understand why. It was great! A real magic: water was falling from the sky. I hid my cheeks beneath the hood, but I enjoyed every single shiver. And that smell remained in my nose.

    When I was about 14 years old, I went fishing with some friends. It began to rain. It was August, a scorching heat – a short, summer rain. There’s no better way to weather some rain. I showed an obstinate refusal to leave the lake shore. I wanted to stay there, in the rain, without any cover. Don’t worry, nothing happened to me. Although, I must admit, with my current state of mind, that I wouldn’t do it again. (I’m grateful for not having then the state of mind that I have now.)

    Anyway, I still enjoy leaving the window open when it rains, to hear its pattering or the sound of the cars passing by in the rain. And to dream that I dance in the rain.

  15. When the rainbow appears

    A double rainbow, preferably. If there were some unicorns as well, that would be just perfect.

    Double rainbow

  16. When you pop the bubble wrap

    It may be difficult to understand the reason some have for doing this. Until you start popping them too.

  17. When you succeed in doing something after many failed attempts

    I used to play chess every day together with my childhood best friend. Several games in a row. And he used to win them all. A massive defeat. But I kept on telling him that I wanted one more game. I felt like I could do it. A year passed away. Until the miracle actually happened: I won!!! I yelled like I had defeated Bobby Fischer himself. It didn’t matter that the score was 1 to 1000.


    Of course, it doesn’t have to be a game of chess. What is it like when you succeed in threading the needle at the nth attempt?

  18. When you watch the sun beams dancing through the tree leaves

    Especially when the sun sets, while you’re driving or traveling by train.

    Sun beams through the tree branches

  19. When you admire the fireworks on New Year's Eve

    And you hope to achieve some great things in the year to come.


  20. When you smell a freshly washed bed sheet

    Personally, I’m not crazy about perfumes. They seem too… outspoken for my taste. But a clean sheet is an olfactory delight. As subtle as a sweet dream.

    Don't tell me that you don't like smelling the clean sheets!

Of course, this is far from a complete list. There are many others out there.

Some small pleasures are appreciated by many. Others are appreciated only by yourself. Or at least that’s what you think. I bet that, in some far away part of the world, someone believes the same thing. And it would be a small pleasure to meet one another.

I’ve tried to make you think about your own small pleasures. If you acknowledge them, you will enjoy them more. And you’ll see that you have plenty of reasons to be grateful for the pleasant things in your life.

After all, what is a beautiful life if not a series of small pleasures? Plus a bigger one, every once in a awhile.

P.S. I forgot about another pleasure of mine: When someone shares an article that I wrote.

Related post:
Happiness + 40 Other Things You Can Learn from Children
A long list of inspiration made from children for you - with lots of adorable pictures

Article written exclusively for Miratico by Lucian Velea
Lucian Velea is the founder of Miratico and many other online projects.


1 The game that can give you 10 extra years of life” by Jane McGonigal, talk held at TEDGlobal 2012

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