Are you happy right now? Think about it, I don’t mean mildly happy, I mean exploding with creativity and wonder & awe happy? Do you want to be that happy? Do you believe that your happiness is in direct result to the things that happen to you? Do you believe that you are in control of your happiness?
Encouraged by the success of the recent slew of “challenges”; I am wondering if we are ready for something less altruistic than the ice bucket challenge. Something that is less reflective than the thankfulness challenge and something much more private; Something that is more personal that will change our lives in such a spectacular way, but it’s got to be a secret.
Top Secret Experiment
Here is my hypothesis:
For those of you, that may have forgotten — a “hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it. Scientists base scientific hypotheses on previous observations that cannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Even though the words “hypothesis” and “theory” are often used synonymously, a scientific hypothesis is not the same as a scientific theory. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research.”
Hypothesis: You create your happiness with your thoughts.
Give me a moment to explain and outline the challenge before you flip to the next bit of excitement in your morning ritual.
You may think that you are in charge of your thoughts and where you place your attention, and I would say perhaps you are smarter than most, more clever than some and on this day particularly astute and that throughout the day you recognize and steer your thoughts alone an intentional path.
Let me ask you, “Are you guiding your thoughts every moment? For instance, how do you wake up?”
Most people wake up with their brains on autopilot, thinking things like, “Got to get up and get in the shower and get to work.” Or “Yeah, Wednesday, only two more work days before the weekend and I can sleep in!” Or worse, some of us wake up dreading things, and hating things and feeling sad and depressed about ourselves and things and think, “Oh no, not again”.
Think about it, your first thoughts this morning? What were you thinking? Did seem like your brain was on auto-pilot?
By nature, I’m a happy person, and my auto-pilot went something like this:
- Got to get up to have time for coffee before the kids wake up.
- Get up check the weather to see what kind of day it will be.
- Oh crap, have to get up and write that post before the day gets crazy, and I forget what I was going to write about.
Auto-pilot is common. Most people let their brain drive until they have a specific task. Imagine if you decided to take your mind off of auto-pilot and put it on manual steering. Imagine how different your morning may stay.
All achievements, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea.
I propose an intentional shift to happiness. The difference between this Challenge and all of the other highly publicized and socially exploding challenges is that YOU AREN’T GOING TO TELL ANYONE. No funny video, no amazingly thought provoking and tear-jerking post. It’s a secret. Don’t get me wrong, people will notice, but you can’t tell them.
For the next 30 days you will do the following….. (WAIT!?! WHAT!?! 30 FREAKING DAYS!?!?!)
Listen, when you did the gratitude challenge and told everyone about how much you loved and appreciated people, places and opportunities in your life, how long did that warm fuzzy feeling last? A day? Maybe 2 when your cousin “liked” the post several days after you put it up on Facebook, so let’s be real here. The Happiness Challenge is about making your life spectacular; this isn’t about the show. Your happiness isn’t about what you want other people to think about you, this is about how you experience your life. In the grand scheme of things, 30 days is a drip of water in the ocean of your life! So, suck it up and read the rest of the challenge.
Like I was saying, for the next 30 days you will intentionally think one of the following (or a similar) statements upon waking up each morning:
Today is amazing and I will be happy.
I am looking forward to experiencing happiness today
I am happy
I am amazing and today is going to be fantastic
(note: Without going off into a whole different tangent, I realize that many people have their “if only” statements about happiness.
If only I had _______ I would be happy.
When I get ________ I will be happy.
When [Fill in person’s name] will _____________ I will be happy.
If this is you, drop the prerequisite and decide to experience happiness now AND later when all of your wishes are fulfilled, don’t allow some other person or circumstance to be in control of “when” you will experience happiness.
It’s important to take back your power of happiness, laugh with your kids at a silly looking bird, chuckle at your clumsiness, smile at strangers, believe that you are in control of your happiness and start to look for it EVERYWHERE… including the word “fun” into your vocabulary more)
When your first words are “I am happy” or “I am ready to experience happiness and joy”, you will.
You see, your mind is used to following it’s same old paths and worn out roads, for some people it’s “Life sucks and then you die” and for yet others, “Sh*t Happens”. Imagine viewing everything through the eye of happiness. Everything, you would see that most of your struggles to remain upbeat are limited by allowing other people and outside energies into your world of happiness.
Someone isn’t nice to you in the elevator. Smile and let it go. Let them walk around angry and rude, don’t carry that around with you all day, enjoy the clean, clear air of happiness. Ooops, I was trying to stay focused and not go off on a tangent.
So, to measure the effectiveness of your happiness challenge you can either use a calendar app, or a piece of paper and draw a grid. Each night before you go to bed you are going to rate the day, 1-10. 1 being least happy and 10 being most. To start, rate yesterday. That will kind of give you the base.
Over the course of the next 30 days, anytime someone mentions anything about how you look or how you are behaving you have to increase the score for the previous day by 1. (because the happiness work of the previous day that increased your score)
How do you know it worked? After 30 days, your scores will take the story of greater and greater happiness… AND… after 30 days you will notice that you are experiencing more “luck” and other gifts from being open and allowing happiness into your day.
Let me know how it turns out for you.