Simple Pleasures…

My blog today is on the topic of SIMPLE PLEASURES.


Because every day, many times each day, we have to choose if we are going to look for problems or if we are going to look for positives.


When we get consumed looking for problems, we find plenty. But when we take time to find and enjoy simple pleasures, we end up seeing a lot more simple pleasures before our eyes! And even better, finding and enjoying simple pleasures increases our authentic happiness.

Last week, my partner, Jocelyn, and I were preparing for a 7-hour car ride to Pennsylvania to speak at an event. We had tons of items on our TO DO list like printing signage and postcards, framing some photos, packing up book  to sell, etc.

Opportunity #1: Am I going to look for a problem or the positive?

But at nearly every turn, we ran into snags. The postcards we ordered seemed determined to arrive AFTER the event. The big sign we printed had a huge smudge on it. The 7-hour car ride? We found out the day before that it was actually a 9-hour car ride!

Guess what? The postcards arrived on time.  No one seemed to notice or care about the smudged poster. On the things that we couldn’t “muscle” into resolution, we found creative, practical solutions that we would have failed to enjoy had we more time and money. Oh, and the 9-hour drive was fantastic! We caught up on life and the business. In fact, I was sad to see the ride end!

When you look for problems, you see problems. When you look for the positive, you see positives.

When we arrived at the PAHCOM conference in Bethlehem, PA, we were awed with the town, the view, the venue. The meeting was held in the Sands Casino Resort, a very new and luxurious facility replete with “new resort smell”, and an attached shopping mall. And we took an instant liking to Suzette, the Lehigh Valley PAHCON president, who took us out to dinner.

Opportunity #2: Am I going to look for a problem or the positive?

But the hotel was SO new that parts of it were still under construction. Several times during my presentation, the sound of jack hammers and saws and drills cut through the air. From the front of the room, I couldn’t clearly see Suzette. Was she pleased with my presentation, or was she disappointed?

Guess what? I hardly noticed the construction noise. Instead, I noticed that people were taking notes, laughing, and listening. At the break, Suzette apologized to me about the noise, but she reassured me that she wasn’t worried since the audience kept their eyes on me and didn’t seem in the least bit distracted. She told me that the meeting was going great.

When you look for problems, you see problems. When you look for the positive, you see positives.


View from our morning walk...

Instead of rushing home after the meeting, Jocelyn found us a place to stay in the mountains of Virginia through a site called We hoped to debrief the week, plan for the rest of the year, and recharge our batteries a little.

Opportunity #3: Am I going to look for a problem or the positive?

But it was dark by the time we arrived, and we were extremely tired from the long drive. I had never stayed at a Bed and Breakfast, so I didn’t know what to expect. And I have to say, I was a little freaked out when I found what looked like a bone saw in the kitchen drawer. And the magazine covers on the coffee table seemed to suggest that there was a chance that we would be murdered in our sleep…

Headline: North Carolina couple found slain...


Guess what? The “bone saw” was a construction tool used to put in the brand new counter top; the magazines–like the full book cases in each room–showed that our host and hostess loved reading. And the views that greeted us in the morning overlooked a tranquil scene that included chickens and goats as well as breathtaking fall colors in every direction. In the refrigerator, our hosts, Gavin and Catherine, had generously stocked up so that we would have no need to shop. And on the counter were a couple of bottles of wine from a local vineyard along with some recipes—and all of the ingredients—for a couple of specialty drinks.

When you look for problems, you see problems. When you look for the positive, you see positives.

Jocelyn, thank you for being a simple pleasure in my life as well as providing me with profound joy.

Suzette and the officers from PAHCOM, thank you for inviting me to your conference. You made me feel like a member of your family, and you offered me some new simple pleasures and many new friendships as well.

Finally, thank you Gavin and Catherine, for the simple pleasures of letting us stay in your private, beautiful room above the garage, your gracious hospitality, your breathtaking views, and your warmth and kindness to us. Oh, and by the end of our stay, I concluded that I want to have chickens and goats on my homestead in the future.

Take a look around you right now. You might see something ugly, scary or woeful in your line of sight…if that’s what you’re looking to see. You don’t have to change the direction of your eyes to find simple pleasures. You just have to keep looking until you’re amazed at the beauty hiding in plain site in front of you.

0 Comments Add yours

  1. Catherine says:

    Thanks again for the book and the A+ blog.My workdays are getting off to a much more focused and positive start! And we removed the Economists (and the bone saw :). Gavin and I are amateur economists, thanks for pointing out that not everyone is, and dire news isn’t the best thing to focus on anyway.

    1. scottcarbonara says:

      I’m glad you took my quirky sense of humor about the bone saw in the spirit in which it was offered 🙂 And the magazine titles? Hitchcock himself couldn’t have written better headlines for magazines at the front desk of the Bates Motel 🙂

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