What is an experience? My guess is that most of us know what it means, but do most of us allow ourselves to be in the moment and acknowledge the endless amount of experiences we encounter in our lives each and every day. In philosophy, an experience is defined as the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered. Think about that.
Are we rushing through the minutes, hours, and days failing to pay attention to what really matters and what is passing us by, life. We have expectations and want experiences when we are investing our money or time into something. What about those experiences that don’t cost money, that aren’t planned, those that are unexpected (a smile or helping hand from a stranger). Are we allowing one to experience the little joys life has to offer each minute of every day?
On the flip-side, are we really enjoying and acknowledging an experience that is planned or paid for: daily routines, errands, responsibilities, work, events, out with friends and family. If we are paying for an experience, are we paying attention to it, slowing down, staying present in the moment, engaged? For example, when you’re out to lunch or dinner with friends/family, are you focusing on the conversation and enjoying who you are with and why you chose to spend your time this way (because it is a choice); or are you distracted and not focusing on the present moment.
It’s not always easy to remain present, but the rewards that come from allowing one to have experiences in any given moment outweigh the ease of checking out and coasting through life on auto-pilot. We practice creating and delivering experiences in our business lives (customer experience, event experience, brand experience, client experience), why not in our personal lives? All of these real-life examples can be some of the best moments and experiences to have, if embraced.
Below are some supporting quotes around this idea of experiences;
It is the experiences, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found.
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon, what it means to you.
I chose the image for today because it’s an experience I appreciate (having new sisters) and that I’ll always remember (a celebration). Even if you’re not completely convinced by this idea of experiences, I hope it’s at least something you’ll think through and consider implementing in your day, today, because it truly is the power of now. 🙂
Sources: Dictionary.com and Brainyquote.com