‘I CAN’T imagine spending my time in any better way than I am doing at this precise moment.”  

When is the last time you would have been able to utter that sentence with complete honesty?  

In other words – when was the last time you were doing exactly what you wanted to do rather than fulfilling an obligation related to work, family, or life in general? 

If you are like most people – you will probably struggle to think of when that last occasion might have been. 

I chatted to a group of people the other day about how we choose to use our time and they discussed how many hours they had in a typical week to do exactly as they wished. Some in the group admitted to having as little as one hour to themselves in the space of a whole week. 

Even though some had a little more than that, not one person in the group felt as though the amount of spare time they had was enough. 

It is an inescapable truth that for the majority of us, our days are rammed full of obligations. 

We need to work, commute, parent, shop, cook, clean, put the bins out, care for others, pay bills as well as a whole list of other must-do tasks. 

But how often do we prioritise spending even a small amount of time in the pursuit of something which brings us joy? 

For Christmas I was lucky enough to be gifted a voucher for a trip on a speedboat from Teignmouth. Devon Sea Safaris run three boat trips a day with the aim of enjoying the sea and spotting wildlife at the same time.   

A few days ago I had the opportunity to use it on what turned out to be the only sunny day of the week. 

We set out not knowing what we might find, but happy just to enjoy being in the fresh air and on the sea.  

Even just having a view of our familiar coastline from the perspective of the sea rather than land felt both exotic and exhilarating. 

Our guide told us the names of the birds we saw and which countries they were migrating from. We were also hugely excited to see a porpoise at some distance. 

However, it was when we found ourselves next to a pod of young dolphins that it hit me. 

This moment right here was one of those rare moments when there was nothing in the world that I would rather be doing. 

We were relaxed and laughing, surrounded by a calm sea, bathed in sunshine with a view of the natural world at its spectacular best.  I couldn’t think of anything that could beat that, and I still can’t. Just the thought of it has kept me going all week. 

Of course life can’t ever be one continual high – and nor should it be. 

Life is inevitably a series of ups, downs and obligations mixed with the entirely mundane. But striving for one of those absolute highs at least every now and again can bring a sense of joy and energy which will last much longer than the moment itself.  

So, what would your own joyful moment(s) look like? And how can you make sure you get at least a couple of them in the weeks and months ahead? 

Occasionally such moments will just appear spontaneously – but taking the time to think about when you feel truly happy and thinking creatively about how to generate such moments will greatly increase your chances of them happening. 

Life is far too short and for most of us it is also full of challenges. So grab those rare moments of complete joy when you can. They will help provide memories for life, resilience for the hard times and remind you that amidst all the tough times sometimes moments of pure joy are possible too.