“What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.”
Writing in a journal religiously was never my strong suit. Sure, I have accumulated journals from when I was a kid that I’ve been keeping somewhere (for my eyes only) but I never ever use them up. It’s a major achievement if I at least reach mid notebook!
So imagine my face lighting up when my boss gave me this super cool gift, The Happiness Project, for my birthday! One-sentence journal? It’s perfect! And I love that it’s a 5-year record of daily happy moments, so when I update next year (and the year after that, after that, and after that), I will be able to see what I’ve written exactly a year ago.
My boss also lent me the The Happiness Project guide but I haven’t started reading it yet. Self-help books usually make me go Zzzzz. Let’s see if this one doesn’t.
On my new simplistic journal, the challenge is to write down one sentence reflecting what made me happy in a day. Why is this a “challenge”, you ask? I’ve been doing this daily exercise since I got the journal and to be honest, it’s hard thinking about something that made me happy on days that were CRAPPY (ALL CAPS for emphasis). If you know me personally (and partly, through this blog) you know that I’m always a jolly, glass-is-half-full kind of person. But the truth is, I have my own episodes that make me go “FML“, “KILL ME NOW“, “WTF, WORLD?!” Yep, I’ve been having a lot of those, especially lately. I try to contradict those thoughts with my mantra: “In everything, give thanks.“, “This too shall pass.“, “Someday this would all make sense.” which I say to myself as I utter a tearful prayer. But I know most people would be able to relate when I say, it’s not always easy under-reacting to life’s negative circumstances. Person only!! (Tao lang.)
On a perfectly good day, it would be a breeze writing in the journal, but on a day that I want to question everything, I will force myself to be like Pat Peoples who always tries to look for the silver lining in every cloud. Whether it’s as simple as a fine weather, a successful online campaign at work, a good old-fashioned belly laugh with friends, a pleasant workout, a day out with family (which rarely happens nowadays), or a good book or movie — these should always beat the bad moments and make their way to my one-sentence happiness journal. Now THAT is the challenge.
There is a daily happiness quote on every page of the journal and here are some that caught my attention thus far:
Aim to live so that you don’t look back, at the end of your life or after some great catastrophe, and think, “How happy I was then, if only I’d realized it!”
Happiness is contagious. Happy people make people happy.
Happiness, not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour. -Walt Whitman
Challenging yourself to learn something new brings happiness because it allows you to expand your self-definition. You become larger.
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” -Robert Browning
I’m looking forward to finishing this Happiness Project in 5 years! Assuming I don’t lose the journal and/or if I’m still around then. :)