Make Some Happiness Today
Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it. ~Fyodor Dostoevsky
Hello my friends, as I’ve documented recently I’ve been having a particularly hard month, the details are absolutely ridiculous and not worth relating. Out of every situation it is always important to learn, to take something other than the emotion out of the situation. In the midst of this month this thought hit home for me pretty hard. It is has not been a happy month, but I’ve been writing for a couple of years now about how to live a happier life, perhaps it was time to put my proverbial money where my mouth has been. So I’ve done some of the things that I’ve been recommended, I keep reminding myself that it is my choice how I feel. Sure, bad things have happened, people have passed away, become ill, and that is sad, but it’s my decision how I respond to all of this. So I’ve been trying to find the silver linings in things, I will not lie it has not always been easy, but at times it has worked.
I’ve accessed the happiness jar I wrote about some months ago and read some of the entries, some of the really good things that happened so far this year, and that helped. I’ve tried to express as much gratitude as I could about the things I have in life. I’ve reached out and talked to friends who have perspective. However the thing that has helped the most this month has been giving to others. It’s a counter intuitive approach, you feel bad so you try to make others feel better, you might think of a parallel, so if I’m broke I should give my money away? But we’re not talking here about a tangible asset but our emotional well-being, emotions and feelings are not subject to the laws physics or capitalism.
So I’ve done some favors for people and it made me feel better. But the one thing that worked the best was an idea I had the other night when I couldn’t sleep. This happens a lot to all of us, we have great ideas, nice things we can do for people, but we don’t often enough act on them, but happily I didn’t let this opportunity go by. So the other night I blasted through my Facebook friend list and sent out about 80 messages to people, the preface of the messages looked like this:
So as many of you are aware I’ve had a pretty lousy month, so in taking some of my own advice from the Ministry of Happiness I’ve decided that one of the best ways to feel better is to make other people feel better. So I’ve decided to write each of my friends on Facebook and pay each of you a compliment.
I don’t want a compliment in return, if the compliment made you feel good made you smile, pay it forward, send one or more of your friends a compliment and make them feel the same way and have a happy day my friend. ~ Michael
I followed this preface in each case with a compliment, something nice I could say about each of the people I wrote to and most importantly asked them to pay it forward. This act made me feel good for a number of reasons. First, there is something positive and uplifting about recognizing the good in people around you. Second, particularly when you do this at scale, you are bound to hit a few people at a particularly ripe time for them to receive this. In these instances your message will be much more timely and precious than you could ever imagine. Finally, asking folks to pay it forward, and some truly will, spreads some of this goodness out into the world and that is a great feeling.
So my friends, if you are reading this today let’s keep this going, even if you received one of my messages, pay another one forward. Find a friend, a loved one, a colleague and with no expectation of return and let them know that, pay a compliment, make them a little bit happier, ask them to pay it forward, make the world a little bit happier and in the end, albeit quite selfish, you’ll make sure you have a happier day my friends and thank you all for your attention and support for the Ministry of Happiness ~ Rev Kane
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