Living A FUNtastic Life (Part 41)

by Patrick Liew on October 6, 2011

The army taught me how to smell the roses.

Let me explain by sharing with you a not-so-unusual experience.

“Enemies infront. Take cover!”

As soldiers, when we hear this order, it meant that we must dive behind any possible cover. We would prepare ourselves to go into battle with our ‘enemies.’

In many such ‘taking over’ cases, it was not a surprise in my army unit.

One of the trainers would wait until we get to one of the muddiest parts of the forest. He would then issue the order.

He would step back in glee as he savoured the moment. All of us would dive into the soggy ground, some into puddles of muddy water – and have mud splashed all over our faces.

Strangely, many soldiers would curse and swear about such experiences. However, when they passed out from the course and became instructors, they would continue many of the sadistic acts.

As for me, I have come to accept and be at peace with such a negative experience.

I have learned that if I could not change it, I would change myself. I would change my response to it.

I actually got so used to diving into the mud – I learned to enjoy it.

After hitting the ground, none of us would make any noise. I spent the quiet moment enjoying the beauty around me.

Here’s a typical moment of magic…

As streams of sunlight massaged my face, I would take a deep breath – taking in all the wonders of nature.

I looked up and once again, I was enthralled by the magic of the clouds. How they were constantly changing – dancing into charming formations.

All around me, I was in awe over nature’s captivating masterpieces – beauty that no human could reproduce.

Every branch, every leaf, and every flower would glow as they reflect the evening sun and explode in botanical hue.

I would close my eyes and listen – charmed by the well-orchestrated symphony of a hundred insects.

My soul would be touched and transported to an ethereal dimension of wonder.

As I lay in the stillness of the forest, I would relish and savour the ecstasy of the moment. I would immerse in the beauty around me – totally intoxicated at that frozen moment of time.

Much later, I learned that this is what they would call a ‘smell the roses’ experience.

It’s a real pity if we do not learn how to quieten our hearts and minds and learn how to savour every moment of our life.

If we do not experience every moment with all our senses, we are not living through it.

We are merely existing, or worst, drifting through life.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature around us?


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