On top of the world: these few words immediately bring to my mind two distinct but different thoughts. One is visual and totally imagined while the other is auditory and totally conditioned by external sounds.
The first thought in my mind is that of Sir Edmund Hilary standing on top of Mount Everest. I imagine that I am standing in his place and looking down on the world below me.
How does one describe such a feeling: exhilarating, fantastic, incredible? The most appropriate description I can think of is that of feeling “on top of the world”, so to speak.
The second thing that strikes my mind is more down-to-earth. It is the sound of Karen Carpenter singing the melodious song “Top of the world.” The sheer fluidity and grace of her singing the lovely tune invoke a wonderful feeling in me. I can imagine how it feels to be in love and having that ecstatic top-of-the-World feeling.
I suppose that every one of us, at one time or another, must have felt this on-top-of-the-world feeling when we succeed in doing or getting something that we so desired. I remember many of these feelings very well because they were the high points in my life.
There was the time when I first learned to ride a bicycle. Though I knocked into the offending cherry tree, the feeling of euphoria that went with the fact that I actually managed to stay on the moving bicycle unaided is something I still remember vividly. I was about five or six at that time. That was many years ago but if I just close my eyes and imagine I can picture it happening all over again.
Come to think of it, most of me on-top-of-the-world feelings occurred immediately after I learned to do something, not so much when I received something. Learning to roller-skate, for example, was, to my mind, one of the greatest times of my life. To be able to glide along the cemented ground without skinning my knees and bruising my bum was and is still a fantastic feeling.
I am one of those fortunate people gifted with a keen ear for music. Together with deft fingers and a hand-me-down guitar, I was able to learn to play the guitar well; well enough to perform with a pop band. The feeling that I get every time I learn to play a new tune is something quite beyond description. Music cannot be described by words. It must be experienced. When one can make one’s own music to listen to, the intensity of the feeling is doubled. How do you think it would feel like when one plays in front of an appreciating audience? Well, that is almost the ultimate top-of-the-world feeling. It is quite intoxicating. Observe the proliferation of pop musicians around the world and you will understand what I mean.
As I have said earlier, the on-top-of-the-world feeling can also occur when one receives something that one desires, for example, passing exams, receiving presents and being rewarded. However, the feeling of receiving something cannot beat the feeling of being able to do something. To receive something is a temporary feeling. To be able to do something is a more permanent feeling. If cultivated with care, this wonderful feeling can remain with one indefinitely. I feel good every time I play my guitar. The euphoria always returns. What a joy it is to listen to the sparkling sounds of the plucked strings, knowing fully well that I am the one making the music.
In closing, I would say that this on-top-of-the-world feeling is one that can be made to happen to anyone. The only requirement is that a person does the things he loves to do and that he does it with full awareness, without prejudice or preconception. Only then his actions will give him such satisfaction that he feels that he is on top of the world.