a happiness challenge


I suppose that everyone has a favourite TED talk at this point, and my favourite, by far, is The Happy Secret to Better Work, by Shawn Achor.  In it, Shawn posits that instead of working to have a better job or a better life in order to be happy, that you should do it the other way around:  focus on cultivating happiness in the present, and by operating at positive you will naturally do better work and create a better life.  His talk is fantastic and it's quite funny -- click here or the arrow below to watch:

Since watching it years ago, I've come to believe wholeheartedly in the concepts of positive psychology -- I've taken courses in it (and will actually be taking an in-depth positive psychology coaching course in the coming weeks); in fact, I use certain aspects of positive psychology quite a bit in the talks and workshops that I lead, and the coaching that I've done.  As you can imagine, it's all very connected to the idea of looking for the light -- the idea that by taking care of yourself (through gratitude and recording the good in your life), you will end up living a more joyful life than you might expect (and be able to weather the difficult times in the process).  And I especially love that this isn't about living a Pollyanna or fake existence:  it's about mining your life for evidence of the good and the beauty

Because I've found if you look hard enough, it's there.  

As I watched the video, however, I realized that I've fallen out of practice of some of the things that Shawn mentions toward the end of the video above -- for example, I haven't done a lot of journaling since the flood.  My exercise has been somewhat spotty at best.  But slowly, since the first of the year, I've been getting back to both.  But I think that taking a cue from Shawn, above, I'm going to attempt a little bit of a 21-day challenge, I think, as well. 

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I already have a gratitude practice that I've always done -- I think of one good thing every night -- but I'd love to try the practice of coming up with three and writing them down on a pad next to my bed.  Also?  I love the idea of thanking someone every morning via email before I start my day.  So I'm going to try to do the above three things for the next 21 days -- and as it happens, this little happiness challenge will end on February 14th, Valentine's Day.  On that day, I'll be sure to let you know how I got on.

(Have you ever done anything like this before?  How did it work out for you?)


Soundtrack:  Happy by Pharrell Williams