by Dani DiPirro
Confucius once said, ‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it’. Those words are beautiful to read, but sometimes difficult to believe. How can everything have beauty? It turns out that beauty is, as the old saying goes, in the eye of the beholder. What you look at isn’t nearly as important as how you look at it.
Scan the world around you for the most unattractive item within your current line of vision. At first glance, it might seem far from beautiful – perhaps it’s old or dirty or unusable. Now take a closer look. Does it have any redeeming value? Is it possible that it possesses a lovely shape (even if isn’t a lovely color)? Or maybe it was once a favorite of yours and holds beautiful memories (even if it is now damaged and impractical)?
Often, when we look closer and with a more discerning eye, we can find the beauty that lies within even the most unattractive things. This kind of thinking works not only for tangible things, but also for people, situations, and interactions. Here are five ways you can start finding the beauty in every single day.
1. Seek Beauty Within Yourself
In a culture designed to make us want to be more than we already are, it’s not always easy to see beauty within yourself. But the wonderful thing is that we are all uniquely, amazingly beautiful just as we are. Every day is an opportunity to seek out this beauty within yourself. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Look yourself straight in the eye and name at least three beautiful traits you possess. (These need not be physical — your beauty exists both externally and internally.) When you first see your reflect in the mirror, tell yourself something like, ‘I have a lovely, strong nose. I am a talented artist. I have an infectious laugh’. Try identifying three beautiful things about yourself every day for a week and you’ll be surprised at how much beauty exists within you.
2. Look at the World as a Child Would
Children appreciate beauty in a way adults often forget to do. The more you’ve seen the world, the more difficult it is to take note of how much it’s teeming with beautiful things. Try to explore your world as a child would, imagining what it would be like to see things for the first time. Pay close attention to the little things in nature — an insect on the sidewalk, a cloud sliding across the sun, a breeze pushing through your curtains — as well as the big marvels — the great expanse of sky above you, the way technology has transformed your life, or the way everything had to align for you to meet your soul mate or best friend. Marveling at life’s big and small miracles will help you to see beauty on a daily basis.
3. Identify What’s Beautiful to You
While everything does possess beauty, we all have our preferences as to what we find most beautiful. These preferences are important, and knowing what they are can allow you to curate more beauty in your life. Pay attention to what things strike you as particularly beautiful. Take note of what colors, sensations, situations, people, and feelings you most enjoy. How does it feel when you see or experience these things? How might you be able to incorporate more of this beauty in your world? For example, if you find yourself drawn to the color blue, perhaps it would be beneficial to paint your bedroom walls blue or wear a favorite blue shirt more often. Know what you find beautiful and keep it close to you always.
4. Create Something Beautiful
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative person, you can create something beautiful. Creativity isn’t limited to paintbrushes and colored pencils. You have the power to bring beauty into the world by creating a thing of beauty. You can create a delicious meal for your loved ones; you can create an engaging conversation with a coworker; you can create a room of laughter by telling a funny story. Every interaction you have is a chance to bring beauty into the world. Use whatever skills you have (refer back to #1 to identify those!) to make something beautiful. Beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder; it’s also in the hands of the creator. You need not wait to find beauty — you can make it right where you are!
Dani DiPirro is founder of PositivelyPresent.com, designed to help others live positively – it now attracts more than 90,000 pageviews per month. Her work has been featured on sites such as The Happiness Project, Psychology Today and Forbes.
Every Day Matters 2016 Diary
£12.99, Available from Watkins Publishing
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