The feeling of hot tea gliding smoothly down one's throat, gently warming the inside of one's body, and soothing one's soul. Basking in the glory of a sultry sunset, the sun's rays radiating warmth and color onto the golden Earth below. The sight of cotton clouds spread across the sky in a swirling sensation of serenity. The sound of the rain pouring onto the ground, renewing and rejuvenating the Earth in every little droplet. The fresh smell of rain absorbing into the hot asphalt after a storm. Beautiful blades of bright green grass glistening with dew and delicate flower petals dancing in the breeze. Heartfelt smiles and hugs from friends and family members whom one hasn't seen for awhile. The first sip of an ice cold glass of water after not drinking anything for a long time and standing out in the heat. Salty ocean waves crashing onto the shoreline while coarse granules of sand slide in between one's toes. Colorful leaves painted from brushstrokes of beauty rustling in the wind while the scent of spiced cinnamon, apples, and pumpkins lingers in the crisp autumn air.

These are just a few of the "small things" in life I have such a deep appreciation for. You don't need to have a lot of money or an extravagant array of materialistic possessions to be content with life. The most important and ultimately the most fulfilling "things" in life aren't really things at all. I find myself to be the most at peace, the most happy, and feeling the most blessed in life when I am simply surrounded by people who I love and when I am reveling in the pure beauty of nature.

There are a myriad of reasons why it's so crucial to go throughout your day enjoying the simplest of things, but I will give you three reasons I find to be the most prevalent. The first reason is that you never know what could happen in life, good or bad. There are so many "simple things" in life the majority of people take for granted every day. Just being able to get out of bed in the morning, shower on your own, and dress yourself is an absolute blessing. Not everybody has that "simple" luxury. Being able to express yourself by effectively communicating your thoughts and feelings with others and having your independence to simply walk around this Earth everyday in good health is also a miracle in its own right. Although we should never live our lives in fear of all that could go wrong or all the bad things that could happen to us, we need to always remember how fortunate we are for all of the good we have in our lives, both big and small. The second reason why simple gratitude is so significant is that it keeps you from expecting too much out of life and setting yourself up for disappointment. When you are only focused on what you would consider "bigger things" in life, you don't take the time to appreciate all the smaller but equally beautiful things that are right in front of you. If those other big things in your life don't work out or go exactly the way you planned, you might set yourself up for a lot of unnecessary stress and disappointment. That's why it's better to just live your life going with the natural flow of things, appreciating everything that comes your way, both big and small. The third major reason why it's so pivotal to find pleasure in the simplest of things is that is helps you to remain humble. It helps you not to take the people in your life for granted as well as the world around you. The world is full of adventure, opportunity, beauty, and incredible things to do and see. When you start each day just being thankful to be alive and when you go about your day appreciating every little wonderful thing, your whole perspective and view of the world and life itself changes. You will find yourself to have more moments of pure joy and contentment with life, yourself, and others. To me, appreciating the "small things" in life is priceless. No amount of money can buy you permanent gratitude or happiness. That is just something you have to simply discover and find within yourself and within the world around you. The sooner we are all able to do that, the better off we will all be.