in: Advice, Character, Sunday Firesides

Sunday Firesides: Set the Mood — For Your Life

Swap paper plates for fine china, take-out for gourmet home-cooked fare, and LED lighting for the glow of flickering candles, and you significantly change how a dinner at home feels. An otherwise ho-hum meal is transformed into something special, with different vibes and the sparkle of romance. 

Everyone recognizes that intentionally setting the mood for a particular event changes how that event is experienced in the moment, and how it is remembered later on. 

Few recognize, however, that this principle also applies to our lives as a whole. 

When you look back over your life, observe that your memories of each period are marked by a distinct mood. Some are overlaid with the emotions you experienced at the beginning (or end) of a relationship. Others are suffused with the sense of momentum (or frustration) you felt regarding your professional progress. Your memories of your summers are intertwined with the books you read during them. Your recollection of living in a particular place is woven with the sensation of running through the desert on dark mornings or the smell of eucalyptus encountered on after-work walks.

The elements that will color the atmosphere of your future memories can be deliberately arranged in the present.

The people you surround yourself with, the conversations you engage in, the things you read and listen to, the hobbies and goals you pursue, the thoughts you ruminate on, all create the backdrop, the texture — the mood — of your months and years.

Set up your days with the warmth of love, the fragrance of friendship, the heat of ambition, the glow of good books, and the vividness of adventure, and you’ll not only infuse your ordinary routines with more Romance, but one day be able to look over the sweep of your life and think: “Man, was that an event to remember!”

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