A Recipe For Enjoyment

After booking her dream holiday, Emily pushed open the door of the travel agent’s office, glanced down at her wristwatch and rushed back to work.

Later that evening she caught up with a few friends for dinner and mentioned her trip to her old school friend Amy.


“Wow – You must be so excited!” said Amy.

“ Yeah but… it’s SO far away at the moment it’s kinda a bit depressing ” replied Emily.

To make sure that she didn’t get disheartened by the fact that her trip was still six months away, Emily made a conscious effort to put it out of her mind and just focus on her work.

The only problem with this approach was that it worked a little too well!

Two weeks before her trip, Emily bumped into Amy at the supermarket.

“So are you looking forward to your big adventure?” asked Amy.

“Yeah but… I’ve got SO much to do before I go – it’s crazy!“ replied Emily.

“I’m trying to get the new girl at work up to speed, which means I’m training her most of the day and still doing a full case load myself. Then I have to finalize my accommodation, sort out my credit cards, find someone to look after my cat, redirect my mail, and I haven’t even started thinking about packing!”

Emily’s last two weeks were a hectic blur of activity that left her feeling exhausted.

But finally – she was away…

Having waited so long for her trip, Emily was determined that she wasn’t going to miss anything. During her flight, she created a long list of things to see and do in each city she was visiting.

When she reached her first port of call, she was a woman on a mission.

Recipe For Enjoyment

Each morning she checked her list over breakfast and then got started. When she arrived at an attraction, she took lots of photos, had a quick look around and then immediately moved on to the next item on her list.

If she got delayed or wasn’t able to tick off everything on her list, Emily became frustrated by the interruption to her tight schedule.

By the end of her trip, Emily had crossed off almost every item on her list and taken over 800 photos, but she couldn’t help feel as though something was missing.

Emily felt as though she’d been on a sightseeing rollercoaster and now suddenly the ride was over and it was time to return to her normal life.

She had hoped that she’d feel rested and reenergised by her holiday, but instead she felt tired and grumpy.

When she returned to work and people asked about her trip, Emily replied that it had been fantastic and showed off some of her photos of famous landmarks. But somehow these landmarks already seemed like a distant dream.

That night, Emily lay in bed and tried to figure out why she was feeling so low. She’d just been on her dream holiday – why did she feel so frustrated and empty – what had she missed?

What Emily had missed on her holiday was an understanding of what creates true enjoyment in life. As this story illustrates, we can often get so caught up in our desire to record and capture our experiences that we forget to actually LIVE those experiences.

To help you avoid this trap, here is a simple but powerful three-part ‘Recipe for Enjoyment’ that can make a profound impact on the way you see and appreciate the world around you.

Ingredient #1: Embrace the thrill of anticipation

The first ingredient in the Recipe for Enjoyment is to embrace the thrill of anticipation. Instead of blocking things out of your mind, take the time to explore, investigate and anticipate upcoming events.

For example, instead of ignoring her trip for 5 months, Emily could have read about the culture and history of the places she was going to visit. This would have greatly increased her sense of anticipation and given her a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the attractions she was visiting.

Ingredient #2: Take time to stop and enjoy the moment

The second ingredient in the Recipe for Enjoyment is to always take time to stop, and just enjoy the moment. For example, Emily would have had a very different holiday if she had put her camera away for a few days, slowed down and really connected with the people and places she was visiting.

Ingredient #3: Reminisce about your experiences

When we reminisce, talk and write about our experiences we reinforce the neural pathways in our mind associated with those experiences and make them more vivid and real. Over time, this process of active reminiscing helps us to create fond memories that can last a lifetime.

For example, if Emily took her best photos and loaded them into a digital photo frame, they would continually remind her of her trip.
Additionally she could take the time to write an account of her trip while it is still fresh in her mind. In years to come, this travel diary would become more and more valuable and would help her to develop fond memories that she could treasure forever.

This Recipe for Enjoyment is not however limited to major events such as overseas holidays. It can also be used to improve your enjoyment of simple day-to-day events.

For example, imagine for a moment that your daughter’s first ballet recital was coming up in two weeks.

Here’s how you might use the Recipe for Enjoyment to increase your whole family’s level of enjoyment of the event.

Embrace the thrill of anticipation

To increase the level of anticipation of your daughter’s ballet performance, perhaps you could hire a dvd of a ballet and watch it together as a family.

You could then talk about how exciting it would be to be a performer on stage in front of an appreciative audience.

If you are positive and genuinely excited about the event, your anticipation will become infectious and your daughter’s dance concert will be a much more significant family event.

Take time to stop and enjoy the moment

When you arrive at your daughter’s concert, instead of watching the entire event through the viewfinder of a camera, you could take a few shots before the performance and then put your camera away and really be present in the moment.

It is often when we stop and reflect in a quiet moment that we create a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Reminisce about your experiences

After the ballet recital you might stop off at a diner and chat about the performance and how your daughter felt about it.

Later in the week you could invite grandma and grandpa over to watch the DVD of the recital. You could also print out one of the photos you took and have it framed.

Each of these actions will help both you and your daughter to reminisce about the event and solidify happy memories that can last forever.

As this example demonstrates, by following the Recipe for Enjoyment you can triple your enjoyment of any event in your life.

First you enjoy the anticipation of the event.

Then you take time to stop and enjoy the event itself.

And finally you enjoy reminiscing about the event.

So today I’d like to encourage you to use this simple recipe in your own life for both major and minor events, because when you increase your enjoyment of the events in your life, you increase your enjoyment of life itself.

Until next time,
Dare To Dream!
Dr. Anthony

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://googleaccount Retnamony Daniel

    Thank you Dr.Anthony for the Recipe.

  • anish sharma

    hi Anthony,

    I just want to say that i read each & every article that you update here & i’ve been doing this since your first update. Each and every article is just awesome and this one is no exception.

    Thanks for sharing and enlighting our lives.
    Have a great year.

  • Yvette Revada

    This is so uplifting to me planning to take a trip to Italy this summer. Now I know how to stop and enjoy it

  • Mandy Yen Luu

    Thank you for your teaching, service and support. You are so right about this. I recently took a trip to Taiwan for one month and then to Australia for 2 weeks. During the trip sometimes I had this same thought that I could just spend my vacation without really feeling or living it. I know this so well. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because this thought occured to me, but I didn’t know why. I appreciate your service and really moved by your love for your nephew.

    Best regards,


  • http://www.texastriallawyers.com Greg Baumgartner

    Great post and it is telling me to enjoy it and go with the flow of a vacation or something i want to do! So many times we get so caught up in work or what ever we miss the important things in life.
    Great post- I enjoy your work!

  • Zayide

    It is really helpful, thank you!

  • Linda Krofchick

    Thank you for reposting the link. I heartily agree,and actually tried this on a first ever Alaskan cruise with my husband of 25 years this past May. We took fewer pictures,but got to relax and enjoy the moment.and today we were remembering the wind on our faces as we recalled the ride on the train in Skagway. You cannot capture that in a picture!

  • http://www.richrussell.co Rich Russell

    I have given up carrying a camera most of the time when I am on holiday. I used to feel that I was spending so much time recording memories that I wasn’t creating any.

    Seeing it through a lens is not the same as actually being there.

  • Salvador Salgado

    Life can be so much easier when you have a roadmap to follow when you choose Thank you !!!

  • Jay

    Dear Dr. Anthony,

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful eye-opening article… I loved your couple of lines very much:
    - If you are positive and genuinely excited about the event, your anticipation will become infectious to others.
    - It is often when we stop and reflect in a quiet moment that we create a memory that lasts a lifetime.

    Thanks again for bringing back happy moments in our life / lives of thousands of your followers!

  • Rajendra

    Thank u Anthony..

  • Sundar

    Very well said Sir.

    We always forget to live the present which is a Gift..

    Like you said..Enjoying the present life is the major recipe being it in a major occasion or a day to day life.

    Waiting for next post … Until then its time to Enjoy!

  • Ramiswary

    Thanks a lot for the beautiful recipe….

  • Eve Phillips

    This is a valuable piece of advice…I’ll definately keep it in mind..to put into practise
    Thank You!

  • Som

    Thank U

  • tanushree

    The 3 part recipe is really effective as I already practice it. It adds value to your life and of your dear ones

  • saneeta shukla

    hi Anthony,

    just want to say your articles are motivating n really awesome…
    i love to read your articles

    Thanks & Regards

  • veena bhatia

    Thanks a lot for sharing….

  • selifa

    Happy New Year Anthony Fernando. each article of yours teaches something new. your articles are very simple to understand n work on.. hope m able to make my way through ur article: RECIPE for enjoyment. thanks FERNANDO for your lovely articles.. I do enjoy them reading…

  • Padmini

    Thank you, it was indeed a wonderful recipe for enjoyment, something we we always look forward to. It helps us enjoy everything with a true sense of happiness and experience.

  • Anil

    Thank You Anthony,
    It is been really wonderful to get registered for this site. Really motivating article for real enjoyment in life.

  • Isabel

    Thank you for putting this together and sharing.
    You made some very good points regarding picture taking and
    taking time to enjoy the moment. I am often one that gets caught up
    in taking pictures.

    Thank you, and God Bless!

  • karishma

    your articles are superb….. extremely good inspiring and motivating but one thing i would like to suggest you. that it would be much better if u will send more frequent mails

  • Fochen

    Complements for new year Anthony.

    I am so much greatful to you for the recipe,it did wonders to my trip to Cape Town..
    I didn’t miss any of the wonders i wanted to see because of the recipe,i used every ingriedients dear..thanks a lot..

  • Wessene Teklemariam

    I am glad to write my appreciation to you!!! Life can be so much easier when you have a roadmap to follow when you choose Thank you very much and long live Dr.Anthony!!!

  • Maria

    Yet another wonderful article to help everyone get the most out of life. I am always excited to open my email and see that you’ve posted a new article. Thank you.

  • Gerhard Kotungondo

    Hi Dr. Anthony
    Thank you for the wonderful recipe,it is very much helpful and complements for the new year.

  • Rohit Chaskar

    Thanks a lot Dr. Fernando..

  • Juwell

    Such a different slant. Next trip I will use my camera less. Thank you Dr Anthony!

  • Venkatesh Ragala

    The Article is awesome but keep them short so that most people can read it and get the message quickly.

    –Venkatesh R


    Hi Dr.Anthony,
    The above words was awesome. I have been through Emily’s situation and have thought about it many times. I’m sure your words will help me.

    -Nebu Mathew Joseph

  • Cheryl

    It made me think how to enjoy in a right way. I will do that. thank you for the article.

  • benson oguta

    We always forget to live the present
    which is a Gift.. Like you said..Enjoying the present life
    is the major recipe being it in a major
    occasion or a day to day life. Waiting for next post … Until then its
    time to Enjoy! Blessed year sir

  • Somnath

    Though I am now a retired person and enjoying my retired life. I enjoy reading all your
    posts.And agree with your present post as I have seen people forget to relax and enjoy their vacation trips worrying about someting or the other.

  • Purva

    Thanks for always being there as a mentor…. for guiding us towards the positive attitude of life.
    Have a happy & prosperous new year ’12.
    :)… :))…

  • N.M.Mehta

    Thank you Doctor for wonderful recipe…

  • manjeet

    you are doing very well,plz carry on

  • Esosa Kingsley

    I read this update it is a wonderful one thanka a lot for your inspiring articles,have a great year sir.

  • http://towens.com/zp Betsy Owens

    Thank you Anthony,

    I am grateful that you take time to write these. It makes the world a better place. I hope all is well in your life today!


  • Reeta

    Thank you Anthony for all these inspiring mails

  • Sunita

    Hi Anthony,

    This is the best site for me ever. I always got inspiration from your article, and it always help me to move ahead in my life when i really got stuck on my way of life. Past is past we cant go there and we cant undo. we have to move ahead and you always inspire people to move ahead in their life with big dreams. yes we have to dare to dream, wish you a wonderful life ahead.

  • Shankar

    Hi Anthony,

    Very nice and inspiring article like any other article of your’s. Every article of your’s is an art of living. I specially co relate this article with my latest holiday (which was first holiday out of India).

    Wishing you all the best in your life.


  • Pallab Kr. Das (Kolkata,India)

    Thanks God for giving me this wounderful opportunity to be a part of your wisdom.
    Thank you too Dr.Anthony.

  • Dr Kapoor Choudhary

    Dear Anthony ,
    Best ever advice for pleasure trip .
    Dr Kapoor Choudhary
    Jodhpur (india)

  • Diann

    My daughter is going on a road tip this summer with some friends. She read your article That is a good idea.

  • http://yahoo sharon

    Hi Anthony

    Happy new year although its a bit late…laugh. Thanks for the advices and encouragements I enjoy the recipe and learn something out of it, its awesome…

  • http://facebook.com/dongiantoilatoi7f Ly

    Thanks for meaning article!
    I’m always looking forward to your advises
    Wish the best for you!

  • http://google.com Vibhawari

    Thank you Sir.

    Most of the people do like this only and even myself……
    Really best Recipe For Enjoyment…

  • http://google.com Vibhawari

    Dear Anthony,,

    for guiding NOT ONLY TO ME BUT TO ALL towards the positive attitude of life.

  • Aponna

    I read your column evrytime I got from you…but it sometimes difficult to apply as we are already used to our way of living…difficult to adapt the way you are advising..

  • Martin

    Hi Anthony,

    You are very wise my friend, you and I have very similar beliefs. I have held a long belief in living in the present and as several people have suggested, it is a gift and that is why it is called the present.

    If you live with one foot in the past and one foot in the future, then one misses the present.

    All the very best to you,


  • http://www.greatresultsteambuilding.net/speaking Sean

    Hi Anthony-

    Really enjoyed this post and the point about appreciating the moment….
    that allows us to have vacations mentally, regardless of our ability to “get away”

    keep up the great work!

  • Aktofel

    Hi Anthony

    Thank you so much for being there to remind us to learn about the many little secrets of life that we many times overlook, even though they are most of the time right in front of our own eyes.

    Thank you so much


  • faheem siddiqui

    Dear Anthony,

    I have read your several articles and each one is a worth reading. I would also like to tell other readers that these articles have helped me a lot in my personal and professional life.

    May God bless you and lots of LOVE.

    Faheem Siddiqui- Pakistan