The seven wonders of life is an idea I had as a Buddhist monk in northern Thailand, it was a way to try and get the lay people, usually foreign visiting tourists, to realise that their life was a wonderful and amazing life filled with wonders equal as those of the 7 wonders of the world. If you have read The One Bad Apple story, you will already understand we need to focus more on the positive, on the good we already have in our lives, rather than the few bad things.
Sometimes it’s easy to take life for granted, sometimes there seems so much going in in our lives that we forget to really appreciate what we already have. Our lives no matter how stressful and hectic should never be taken for granted and in this ever faster pace of life it’s more important than ever to take a moment and realise that we have some real joy and happiness in our lives.
The seven wonders of life is a simple and quick exercise that can be done in just a few minutes but is more beneficial to spend some time pondering and exploring what actually makes you happy, what really puts the joy into your life. The more effort you put into this little exercise the more benefit it will prove to become later on. Once you have your list of 7 wonders you can use it whenever we are feeling down, depressed, stressed or even anxious. We can refer back to it time and again, your own personal 7 wonders that will always put a smile on your face.
There are some obvious real benefits to this idea, and if you really focus your attention on finding your very own seven wonders of life, I can promise, you will immediately start to feel good about life and may even start to smile, I’ve done this exercise many time with many types of people and it’s impossible to do this without feeling happiness and a sense of joy slowly creep inside yourself. And with regular practice you will really start to see a positive change in yourself.
To help you get going I have grouped together the seven main categories where we all can find enjoyment within lives. I hope this gives you the inspiration needed and is a good place to start exploring you very own seven wonders. I’ve been practicing this for many years now and still find it rewarding and gratifying. Over the course of time some of the wonders on my list have been updated and changed, and that itself I find fascinating.
Finding Your Personal 7 Wonders in Your life
Friends and Loved Ones
Everyone has someone they can love in their life. Some of us are more fortunate than others and have a larger than average family, but this sometimes is not always a blessing. What are you best moments with friends, family or loved ones? The loved ones, your family, your partner, old friends, good friends and best friends can all bring out the best in you and those are the moments to be cherished. Some of us have beloved pets and my very own Marley moo, my adopted stray dog, makes me smile every single day. Maybe one of your seven wonders could be sharing a glass of wine with your girl friends, or chatting over a coffee with your best mate. Maybe Sunday lunch with mum is a favourite time, or taking dad out to watch soccer. How about playing fetch with your dog, or having your cat snuggled and purring in your lap. There are so many things to choose. What makes you happy within this category?
Nature and the Countryside
Wherever you live there is some sort of nature and countryside, even in the largest cities there is set aside areas where nature can exist and thrive. What makes you happy while our in nature or the countryside. Maybe it’s camping like you did in the Boy Scouts, or cooking over campfires, walking in the woods with the crunch of the autumn leaves under foot. Maybe it is a simple joy such as feeding the birds at the local park or standing at the top of a hill with the wind blowing through your hair, or maybe being out in a thunder storm. Having a picnic by the river or sunbathing on the beach. Maybe one of your seven wonders could be seeing wildlife in their natural environment or even hugging a tree. The great outdoors is one of the most uplifting and inspiring energies in the world and we all have wonders that include nature and the countryside. Whenever you feel down or depressed nature and the great outdoors have tremendous way of uplifting our spirits no matter what the weather.
I am one of those people who thinks that they aren’t very creative, however I paint, write, play around with photoshop and love the process of making videos. No matter how bad you think you are at this category, every single one of us has a deep well of creativity inside of us waiting to be explored. Maybe you love to play a musical instrument, paint with water colours, singing in the shower or performing on stage on your own or as part of a production. Building something from wood or maybe lego, learning a new magic trick or just learning something new is all creativity. Maybe cooking is something you love to do, or even putting forth your effort into cleaning is all creative. How about owning your own business, or gardening even if just in pots on a window ledge can all be considered creative. So what are you creativities that bring you that joy and happiness?
Sports and Exercise
Sports and exercise is a scientifically proven way to boost our mood and of course has the added advantage of keeping our bodies fit and healthier. Sport is a great way to shift any negative feelings we have and there are so many different activities to take part in or even participate alone. Do you love playing a round of golf with your mates? Maybe this could be a seven wonder for you. How about running or jogging in the countryside, or around the park. What about a fresh walk in the outdoors, playing as a team in soccer, baseball, football, Aussie rules, cricket or do you prefer the intensity of playing one on one, maybe badminton, tennis or squash is more you thing. Driving a sports car around a race track could be a thrilling activity and be used as one of your seven wonders. Do you love swimming in open water, lakes and the sea. What about surfing, kayaking, paddle boards, body boards or windsurfing. The possibilities almost seem endless. So what brings you joy within sports and exercise?
Now we come to relaxation, something everyone of us enjoys immensely, although some of us struggle to find the time to relax in our all too busy lives. What makes you feel relaxed? What does it take for you to unwind after a stressful day at work? It could be that first cup of coffee in the morning, what about meditating in the shade of a tree. Maybe playing a musical instrument makes you feel relaxed and content, yoga can make us feel incredibly relaxed, as does a massage, maybe it’s just soaking up the sunshine at home or a spot of gardening, maybe sitting watching the weekends sports on television is your ideal way to relax. What makes you relax after a long days work?
Freedoms is an interesting category and something most of us overlook as even being there. Coronavirus has possibly taught us all a valuable lesson in our freedoms and maybe now we might not take them for granted. Just the freedom to be able to go outside, express your opinion with friends. What about the freedom to travel and explore new places. Maybe one of your seven wonders could be spending a night in a hotel in an exciting place. One of the most important freedoms most of us over look is the freedom of our thoughts and attitudes. We have the freedom to choose how we feel at any given moment we can either choose to be negative or positive, optimistic or pessimistic. Most of us have the freedom of choice, this sometimes is a curse as well as a blessing and is a freedom that our ancestors never had. So what freedoms do you value and do they make one of your seven wonders?
Sensations are a brilliant wonder to have because they can almost instantly bring us joy and happiness. This is a large category but take your time to explore the many and wonderful sensations that there are. These will be very useful in using as a mood booster when needing to shift a negative mind set towards a more positive and optimistic outlook.
Maybe it’s the smell of the first cup of coffee in the morning, freshly baked bread, freshly cut grass, cuddling up with your partner or even pet, driving your sports car, the feeling of completing the crossword puzzle, the love for your children or grandchildren, maybe the feeling you get from making someone smile, or helping and doing a good deed, the hug you receive from you partner, the sensation of running or playing sports, the energy from watching live music, or excitement going to the cinema, maybe cuddling up on the sofa watching a movie or sitting reading by an open fire, how about the feeling you get from being romantic or dressing smart. How about eating your favourite food, or the feeling of the wind in your hair or the sun on your skin. There are so many wonderful sensations that we can use as our seven wonders. It just takes a moment like today for you to realise yourself how wonderful your life truly is. So what are those favourite sensations in your life?
Now it’s your turn
Now I want you to write down on a piece of paper your own personal seven wonders in your life. This piece of paper is going to be used time and time again as a mood booster. Ever time your feeling a little down, depressed, anxious or even stress, refer to your personal seven wonders, close your eyes and imagine for a moment being there doing one of those seven wonders. This is a type of meditation called Metta meditation, a loving kindness meditation towards yourself that can change and shift negative and unwholesome moods.
*Dhamma Tāpasā is a trained former Buddhist Monk and the spiritual name given to Andrew Hallas. An inspirational positive life purpose coach & teacher of mindfulness and meditation techniques through the art of storytelling. Dhamma Tāpasā is able to capture our imaginations whilst teaching us valuable moral principles and deepening our understanding of the human consciousness and the everyday problems we face.