Small Pleasures

In the 1970s and 1980s, Harry Gray wrote a series of advertisements for United Technologies. I believe these advertisements all ran in the Wall Street Journal.

The advertisements were so well read that the corporation received requests for more than 4,000,000 reprints. They also received over 850,000 letters. Gray received candy, flowers, product samples, investment offers and civic awards!

I haven’t received any candy or flowers, but I have received many books!

Gray’s advertisements were so good that Johnny Carson read one on his show. Ann Landers reprinted many of them. Schools gave copies to their students. The military even used several of the advertisements to motivate their soldiers.

I don’t know if the advertisements increased United Technologies sales; however, they had a very large impact on those who read them.

Here’s one of my favorites titled, “Be Grateful for Life’s Small Pleasures, but Dream BIG.

Most of us miss out on life’s big prizes.
The Pulitzer.
The Nobel.
Oscars.
Tonys.
Emmys.
But we’re all eligible for life’s small pleasures.
A pat on the back.
A kiss behind the ear.
A four-pound bass.
A full moon.
An empty parking space.
A crackling fire.
A great meal.
A glorious sunset.
Hot soup.
Cold beer.
Don’t fret about copping life’s grand awards.
Enjoy its tiny delights.
There are plenty for all of us.

How cool is that?

These advertisements aren’t direct response advertisements. They don’t have any call to action, and they don’t even say anything about the company.

They do try and remind us how to live a good life! They do try and show us what’s really important.

They key seems to be enjoying the moment… being present. Actually noticing the small pleasures. We all have these moments every day and you can capture them by slowing down and paying attention.

After reading the Gray’s list, I decided to add a few of my own…

Your dog’s smile and tail wag when you come home.
A great book.
A deep belly laugh from watching people fall down on AFV.

Finding new music you love.
Art Museum(s)
A hot cup of good coffee.

Butter. (Real butter)
Spring – Sunshine.
Ice cream. (Real ice cream – not soft serve)

A new episode of Billions.
A trail run.
Brunch.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that life really is about small pleasures. Somehow we all tend to miss many of these striving for the big pleasures. The big goals.

What small pleasures would you add to the list?