I was listening to an older episode of The One You Feed, and the guest, Randy Scott Hyde, was discussing his 30 Day Happiness Experiment. In the middle of a deep depression initiated by the death of his grandmother, Hyde found himself with a growing emptiness he refers to as his “soul hole.” After struggling in this condition for a couple of years, he started struggling instead with his promise to his grandmother to take care of himself.
During one evening’s wine drinking, about to start on bottle number two, I hit pause on whatever mindless Bravo show I was watching and decided to watch inspiring Ted Talks – might as well watch others win at life. After a few, I started to feel mildly optimistic, but not enough to put the glass and the pepperoni pizza down. But then I saw Shawn Achor’s piece on happiness. Commence mind blowing and pizza dropping. The path to happiness distilled into five daily tasks.
Here’s that presentation. It’s entertaining and informative. And about twelve minutes.
The daily tasks Hyde mentions are:
- Identify 3 new things you’re grateful for
- One random act of kindness
- Journal about one good thing that happened
And instead of just letting that info blow by him, like so many TED Talks do, Hyde decided to turn it into a 30 Day Challenge. He set some rules and ventured forth, stepped into the arena.
I appreciate that. And I appreciate the theory behind Shawn Achor’s daily tasks. Fortunately, I’m currently not struggling with depression, and I consider myself in a pretty decent place emotionally. But there’s always room for improvement.
So, even though it has been a while since Hyde first issued his challenge to himself, I’ve decided to follow suit. I’m going to use his rules as well, which I think he’ll appreciate. As he says, “I love a plan. Especially when someone else does the planning. And especially-especially when it doesn’t take money or years.”
So, here’s the setup, almost entirely cribbed from Hyde:
- For the next 30 days, I will do each of those 5 tasks everyday.
- I will write about it every day.
- I will not judge the project as working or not working until the end of 30 days at which I will decide whether or not to continue or look for a new way.
- I will not give up.
In case you’re wondering, there probably will not be stick figures, but you should enjoy Hyde’s if you get a chance. Also, I won’t be devoting the blog to the challenge. Instead, I’ll be posting my updates to the Write Your Bliss Facebook Page. If you haven’t checked it out yet, that’s okay. There’s nothing really there yet, but there will be. You can follow the link above, or the fancy icon at the top of the page. I’d be happy to have you “like” and share the page, but only if you feel like it has some sort of value.
I’d also be happy to join me in the challenge if you like. Make it your own. Do as many tasks as you find manageable. I think it will be a fun and educational ride, and I look forward to taking it with you.