Appalachian Trail Happiness: Happiness and the Three Questions
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru
What are the three questions?
What was the most beautiful thing I saw (encountered) today?
What did I learn today?
What made me happy today?
These questions were created for a couple of purposes. First, I have always been frustrated by the fact that when I travel I fall behind in my journaling then end up trying to catch up and often end up missing days during the trip. I wanted a way to capture each day in a way that I would even be willing to complete at the end of long days when I was tired and a method that I could use to easily catch up if I missed a day.
The three questions fit that criteria but also served an additional purpose, by recording these positive thoughts at the end of the day they act as a reminder, even on the really hard days, that good things were happening every day. And because I knew I would be answering these questions at the end of the day, it made me think more about and focus on the beautiful, happy things that I encountered throughout the day. I changed the first question from the original beautiful thing I saw each day, to the most beautiful thing I encountered. Sometimes the most beautiful thing was a sound, a smell or an act of kindness.
There were a lot of hard days on the trail and often sitting down to rest, to eat and answer these questions really put me in a much better place at the end of the day. Here is a fleshed out version of what I wrote on my first day on the trail. Enjoy and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane
March 5th – my first day on the Appalachian Trail.
The most beautiful thing that I saw today was an absolutely Tolkeinesque spot on the trail. I came around a corner and over a small rise to encounter a set of stone steps that were surrounded by bright green moss and ferns. Like a small piece of Middle Earth in the fog. I learned today that five miles on the Appalachian Trail with a forty plus pound pack is possible. What made me happy today was just finally being on the trail, after months of preparation and thinking about it, after quitting my job, traveling across the country and making my way to Georgia I’m finally doing it. That and the presence of my good friend Jim Cooper who met me at the Len Foote, Hike Inn and hiked me in on my first day. All in all a fantastic day!