The Five Wonderful Things

“They had invented a game: ‘the five wonderful things’. Each evening you had to name five wonderful things [that] you had experienced along the day: the patterns of milk and chocolate in cocoa, four raindrops in a row on a blade of grass, a snowflake on your sleeve, the one-legged pigeon, the sound of Rice-Krispies in milk, the scent of new Crayolas…”

–from a novel by Doris Dörrie

Try this as a practice. Every night, take five minutes to make a list of five wonderful things you experienced during the day. Even in the midst of a really “awful, terrible, no-good day,” keep up this practice. Try sharing your list with a friend, a partner, a child or a family member. Watch how it transforms your perspective over time, how the cup grows half-full, instead of half-empty.


  1. says

    The five things

    The smell of the candle during this morning’s meditation
    The sound of silence
    The taste of the fresh egg, delivered last Thursday by my neighbor, Kathy
    The soreness in my hips from last night’s hula class
    The memory of what the retreat speaker said this weekend, that every flat surface is an altar…..a table, a chair, a bed, a cell-phone, a computer. Appreciating this computer altar right now, to share the five things

  2. says

    My old dog Tyson is still alive and eating.
    The perfect firmness of my mattress
    A clean bathroom at the moment I need it
    The beaded woman in my window; my friend Barbara made it for me a few years ago when I was sick in bed from chemo
    Reading your words on this blog

  3. Diane Paris says

    5 wonderful things

    To be awakened at dawn by the warm softly snuffling nose of Charlie, my Labrador.
    The rich scent of freshly ground coffee, then: the first sip.
    The joyful greeting of my granddaughter, wrapped in hugs.
    A laugh-filled conversation with my sister.
    A robin trilling in the still morning air.

  4. Melanie Coon says

    Waking up at 6 am and getting right out of bed,
    Staying in the shower as long as I want, inhaling lavendar,
    Mr. Coffee perking my morning cup, the creamy feel of half and half with honey.

  5. Kelly Menehan says

    Today’s Top Five

    Watching Coco chase his tennis ball on Seacliff beach at low tide;
    Then, watching him run back to us with his tiny poodle mouth stretched wide with ball and joy;
    The little girl at El Palomar giggling as she called out “Nemo…Nemo…Nemo!” to the resident clown fish;
    Enjoying the sanctuary that is my home;
    And, the cozy bed, piled high with blankets and comforters, that awaits me.

  6. says

    Today’s five things:

    Snuggling in bed and early morning conversation.
    Taking the time to make one of my favorite breakfasts: eggs with fried onion, feta cheese, cut up corn tortillas and salsa.
    Tyson, our dog, is still alive and still wants to eat.
    Eli and Lizzy talking about politics in the car all the way home from Hollister.

  7. Margaret Arnold says

    Five top things:

    My old dog Timber still eating and even running a few steps on the beach today.
    The view from the park and the wind on our faces as my husband and I shared a oh-so-delicious sandwich from The Buttery.
    The wonderful, silky, soothing voice of my yoga instructor.
    The quick kisses on my nose from our little sweet dog(little Bear Bear).
    The good feeling of being both tired and energized after riding my bike for hours.

  8. Marlene Bumgarner says

    Five wonderful things . . . February 3, 2011

    The peaceful and gentle birth of my first grandchild – a beautiful girl.

    The loving way friends rallied around us during the anxious hours of waiting, bringing confidence and energy.

    Observing siblings, many miles apart, showing their love for one another.

    Realizing that giving birth in 2011 allows women to combine ancient traditions, spiritual healing, a community of wise women, and helpful modern medicine.

    Most wonderful of all . . . am I repeating myself? . . . the birth of a new life.

  9. Hope Lovejoy says

    Five Wonderful Things

    1. My husband coming home for lunch, then helping me with a seemingly insurmountable task and giving me all the love and hugs I needed to help me through the day.

    2. Standing in the garden, feeling the warmth of the bright sunshine on my skin, whilst visualising how beautiful we can make it when we take on our longed for gardening project.

    3. Sending free text messages to my beautiful best friend at home in England who, although she is battling with lifes’ hardships, still manages to cheer me up. I feel blessed to have her in my life.

    4. Having a candle lit meal. Savouring every bite of our delicious turkey dinner, managing to finish my plate and enjoying the view of sunset over the hills from the back window.

  10. Hope Lovejoy says

    Ooops… I forgot number 5!

    5. Enjoying the hot water running through my hair, over my scalp and beating methodically on to my skin in the shower. I could just stand there and soak for hours!

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