In Praise of Simply Awesome Moments

Written by on September 1, 2014 in Self Awareness with 15 Comments

Simply Awesome MomentsAs a writer, I find it endlessly fascinating how one idea can spark curiosity (or righteous indignation) that in turn leads to a wholly different perspective on a theme.

In the case of today’s article it was a recent TED Talk – Please, please people. Can we put the “awe” back in ‘awesome’ by Jill Shargaa. The basis for her talk is her assertion that people use the word awesome too often to describe things that are not that big a deal.

First, I am compelled to point out that much of what we consider “reality” is in fact perception; what one person sees as being impressive another may consider of little value.

Still, it’s not hard to make a case for overuse considering how frequently the “A” word shows up online, particularly in social media. Surely much of it can be attributed to habit, but do you suppose that’s really all there is to it?

Why I Believe in Awesome Moments

I believe that occasionally – no matter how many times you’ve seen or experienced something before – all your senses and the circumstances of your life come together in just the right way to spark something within you and just for that moment in time “it” takes your breath away. It matters not that the nature of that thing may be a simple joy, for that precise moment in time it’s pretty darn awesome.

The essence of life is not in the great victories and grand failures but in the simple joys. ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

One such moment I vividly recall happened when I was working at the Ka´anapali Beach Resort here in Maui. I’d been stuck in my office from early morning until after dark for days on end working on the marketing plan and negotiating contracts for the upcoming season. One morning a new client dropped by and asked for a tour of the property. Grateful for the opportunity for a little fresh air I walked him out through the lobby to the walkway leading down to the beach and KBHI suddenly experienced one of those sparks – it was a picture postcard day in Maui. The intense colors of the scene before us was breathtaking – glistening white sand beach, deep blue ocean, the Island of Lanai clearly visible just across the channel, topped off by the gentle trade winds and the fragrant smell of the plumeria trees in the gardens. It was a view I’d seen hundreds of times before, but for that precise moment in time, it touched me on a deep level and felt simply, magically, awesome.

Of course, not all moments are created equal, and some will affect one sense more than another. I came up with a list of my own favorite “simply awesome” moments. See if any of these resonate with you.

Simply Awesome Moments We Rarely Take the Time to Appreciate …

  • Getting on a plane and realizing you have an entire row of seats to yourself.
  • That moment of realization that you’ve regained your energy after a bout with the flu or any illness that’s kept you in bed for days.
  • The first time you are brave enough to have a good laugh at yourself.

Ah, I remember this one all too well! I was in Tokyo on business and had been invited to the home of a wealthy Japanese client. After dinner I excused myself to visit the bathroom and found a toilet with no handle, only a dozen unidentifiable computer-like keys on the lid of the tank. How to flush the toilet?! Too embarrassed to ask, I chanced a guess – only to find myself on the receiving end of a stunningly strong spray of water that soaked my face, hair and the front of my suit. I had no way to dry off other than a small hand towel, couldn’t just stay in there … and there was still the problem of flushing the toilet. Eventually I found the right key, took a deep breath and sheepishly returned to the living room. Up to that moment I’d never seen my normally stoic client so much as crack a smile, but he took one look at me and laughed till he cried. It was such a relief I quickly got over my embarrassment and was able to laugh at the experience, and over time it became one of my favorite stories.

  • Perfect parallel parking on the first try.
  • Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row.
  • That first whiff of bakery (or coffee shop) air.
  • Roasting the perfect marshmallow.
  • That moment when a baby discovers their toes.
There’s a difference between living and just surviving. Do something you love and find someone to love who loves that you love what you do. It is really that simple. And that hard. ~John Connolly
  • When the vending machine gives you two things instead of one.
  • Eating ridiculous things for breakfast. (Cold pizza and diet coke … yum!)
  • A really good cry.
  • When you find $20 you didn’t realize you had in your pocket.
  • The first kiss.
  • Taking an afternoon nap, especially on a cool rainy day.
  • Seeing someone else succeed at something you’ve taught them.splashing in puddle barefoot
  • Getting an actual handwritten note in the mail.
  • Jumping barefoot in a puddle.
  • Discovering there’s still time left in the parking meter.
  • The smell in the air just before it rains.
  • Your favorite old comfy t-shirt.
  • That ping when you hit the sweet spot on the golf ball when driving off the tee.
  • Watching someone open a gift you know they will love.
  • A long hug when you really need it.
  • Doing something to make someone else smile.

A friend of mine owns a beauty boutique in Kona and in addition to a specialty line of cosmetics she carries human hair wigs for a very special clientele. You see my friend is a cancer survivor and she works with women who have lost their hair while going through treatment. I had the privilege once of being in her shop when she was working with a beautiful woman who had lost all of her hair during chemotherapy. My friend found just the right wig for her, and also did her make-up. The smile that woman got on her face when she looked at herself in the mirror was so dazzling I thought my heart would burst.

  • Overcoming something you have long feared or avoided.
  • Accomplishing something everyone told you not to even bother trying because it couldn’t be done.

The truth is if we took the time to recognize and appreciate them, we’d probably find that there are hundreds if not thousands of smaller events as we move along through life when, for just that magical, simply awesome moment, you don’t have a care in the world.

How about you? Do you have any favorite special moments you’d be willing to share?

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.


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  1. I take a lot of time to be grateful for the small things in life because we might not ever experience them, again. What’s really amazing is that, the more grateful that I am, the more I seem to experience amazingness!

    It’s so good to keep proper perspective and to remember that what we have might be a massive blessing to someone else who does not have what we do.

    Great reminder, Marquita! I think I am going to take some time, tomorrow, to be grateful on purpose!
    Christi Johnson recently posted…I Am A Mom Before I Am Any, Other RoleMy Profile

  2. Yorinda Wanner says:

    Hi Marquita,
    what an uplifting post!

    I appreciate your examples and the humor!

    My favorite is seeing New Zealand from the airplane the first time and having this feeling of elation, knowing that this is the country that is home for me. That was in 1979 and it still feels like home!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
    Love and Light!
    Yorinda Wanner recently posted…Turning self-defeating Beliefs into Empowering QuestionsMy Profile

  3. David Bennett says:

    Special moments. Yes, when I see the world and can cradle it. It makes me smile and cry a little bit inside. It can be anything that starts it – a man and his young child walking along,, standing in a doorway watching the rain – – lots of things. And the best is to find and share a smile.
    David Bennett recently posted…Good Luck From The BellboyMy Profile

  4. Dave

    I can identify with so many of your awesome moments, especially the one where you talk about hitting the sweet spot on your driver. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed golf so much, searching for those moments of awesomeness which never seemed to materialize often enough 🙂

    Seriously though, this is a great reminder to recognize these moments as they arrive to us, even if they are for but a fleeting moment. When we learn to appreciate them in the moment, it is almost as if they seem to arrive more often.

    It’s difficult to put into words the feeling of being greeted by one of these moments. And perhaps the physical or mental feeling is different for everyone. For me, it’s almost like everything goes fuzzy around me, like there is no one else in the universe, just me and the moment (and sometimes whoever I am sharing the moment with). Just thinking about that feeling almost creates an awesome moment in itself 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, your stories, and your list. I have felt this feeling of awesomeness quite recently. Whenever I compose a new post or write a new story, the feeling I get when I hit publish is awesome, for me at least. It is my creative self breaking out and doing something uniquely me.

    Thanks again for sharing Marty. I always enjoy reading you engaging and insightful articles 🙂
    Dave recently posted…TemptationMy Profile

  5. lynne

    There was a time when i walked along the beach while watching the sun rise, listening to the soft waves, feeling so peaceful and satisfied. A really great moment for me. Thanks for sharing such awesome moments with us.
    lynne recently posted…Join Our Power Team and Step Into Your Best FutureMy Profile

  6. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    Hehe. I love your sharing of those awesome moments. I think it is so important to appreciate the small things and finding joy in them. Buddhists try to practice being constantly mindful and in awe of the world. Every little thing can bring us joy if we train our minds to allow it to.

    I love the bathroom story haha.
    Sebastian Aiden Daniels recently posted…10 Myths To Challenge To Help You Become More Open MindedMy Profile

    • martyherald says:

      Glad you enjoyed the article Sebastian – yep that bathroom adventure is one I’ll never forget – in fact neither the my client. A few months later we played a golf tournament together here in Maui and the man had a great time sharing the story over beers in the club house afterword. 🙂

  7. Mark

    Wow Marquita!

    What a truly fascinating recount of some of your life’s more touching events. And that story in the bathroom is just priceless!LOL!

    I can only imagine your plight, trying to figure out which button to actually push!LOL!

    And when you were describing the scenery and visuals as you were giving that prospective client a tour of your facility on that scenic day.

    As you were vividly describing your surroundings and your reaction to them,I was thinking where the heck do I sign up to see and be inspired by this spectacular view!LOL!

    You’ve certainly had and experienced so many wonderful events in your life thus far .

    But then you also take the time to list how what are seemingly some of life’s simpler pleasures and joyous moments as well.

    I hesitate to say this, because your next post may in fact change my mind! LOL!

    But to date, I truly think this is (for now!) LOL!, my favorite post that I read of your fantastic collection of ideas shared thus far!

    You covered so much ground! And I think your friends niche of serving cancer survivors is simply not be matched!

    That is so heart felt! So please don’t hold me to what I just said about this being my favorite post to date!

    If, on your very next post that I read, I’m saying it again!LOL!
    Mark recently posted…Would A Major Rainstorm Prevent You From Achieving Your Long Term Goals?My Profile

    • martyherald says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share and contribute to the conversation Mark! I’m so glad you enjoyed the article Mark and thanks for the challenge to do even better in the future! 🙂

  8. donna merrill

    Hi Marquita,

    I must say that I get those awesome moments almost every day. I’m in awe of the beautiful sky, the ocean, my dog sleeping in a funny position. I think it all has to do with awareness. Once we are “aware” of our surroundings, it life itself is pretty darn “AWEsome.”

    My last huge awesome moment was just several days ago. We are in our new home for one year now and it came with a fire pit in our yard. I’ve never built a fire…so much so, I was in fear of doing it.

    Aware of my fear, I just had to stand up to it. I remembered my old Girl Scout days where the handbook taught us how to make a safe fire. (funny how that happens!) I placed the kindling, some dry leaves, and bigger and bigger pieces of wood and then lit it. Of course I had my hose in my hand for protection.

    I was in awe of myself! I actually was able to enjoy it because it kept the bugs away. I sat comfortably and was able to relax. Looking at the fire and really enjoying it. Yes my friend, this was a big awesome moment for me!

    And that’s my share!

    donna merrill recently posted…Do You Have Loyal Customers?My Profile

    • martyherald says:

      That is a great awesome moment Donna! It’s always an empowering feeling to push yourself through a fear, especially when we discover the fear wasn’t as big a deal as we thought it was. It adds an extra measure of courage I think. Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation!

  9. Nile

    I’ve got a list like that. My favorite is falling in the middle of a street in a huge puddle, in downtown Mexico City, and I swear at that moment, I had a picture of Shamu the whale, that was how the scene played out. There were cars at the stoplight seeing this blond gringa bite the dust and I was thinking of all the funny stuff they were probably saying.

    My ex-husband was laughing because I got to laughing so hard as we walked away from it. Weird, but I thought it was a awesome kind of weird at that time.

    • martyherald says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your awesome moment Nile, I can totally see how you would be able to laugh at that moment – and the people in those cars may well have been laughing at you, but I’ll be more than a few of them also thought of equally funny experiences of their own.

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