The Happiness Project – Day 1

Well. Today was very insightful.

It’s funny how, unless you’re prompted to do something or challenge your way of thinking, you can very easily narrow your view of the world. Maybe this is why it’s so important to constantly challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones. So that we can expand our field of vision, bump into other people along the way, and make connections we wouldn’t normally have made.

In starting this project, I was prompted to think about my current level of overall happiness. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the happiest, my current level of happiness with my life is a 7. A 7. I’m probably happier now than I have been in years. But still, I know it could be a 10. 2014-08-23 03.23.09

Then, I was prompted to break my life down into distinct areas and assess my level of happiness with my life in each of those areas. Here’s how my chart turned out. I could use a bit more balance.

Side note: This whole project reminds me of The Magic. The entire book is centered around the idea that the more grateful you are for what you have, the more you’ll have in life to be grateful for.

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Robin Williams Tribute Roundup

We’ve all been processing Robin Williams’ passing over the last week. What’s interesting is that it seems that there are so many people with a story about him. On whatever level, I feel like he connected with so many of us.

And we’re now taking this awful thing that connects so many of us and, through our grief, we’re sending love, in many forms, to many people, in many different places. Love that we didn’t know was needed before. If we can create something positive from this, I believe that’s the best way we could honor someone as remarkable as Robin Williams.

He was a treasure and I’m sure there will be many more of these to follow. In the meantime, here are 10 Robin Williams tributes that made me cry this week. RIP Robin Williams, you are missed.

1. This Robin Williams tribute drawing video

I believe art is an act of love. And if Robin Williams’ passing has inspired more love to be put into the world, then I believe he lived the life all of us should aspire to live.

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An Open Letter to Zelda Williams

Dear Zelda,

I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully you’ve been able to lean on those closest to you these last few days. On behalf of the internet, and humanity, really, know that we’re all grieving with you and your family, each in our own, unique ways. Continue reading

Change Your Words, Change Your World

Change Your Words, Change Your World

Whose life have you stopped to change lately?


First World Problems, Described By People In Third World Countries

What are you grateful for this holiday season?

The 7 Best Holiday Gifts This Season

I’ve been reading through some really cool blog posts for holiday gifts this season. If not for technology and social media, I never would have been able to find things like this cool mug and this f-bomb.

But, when it comes to gifts, they say it’s the thought that counts. So this season, I’ve got a different type of guide for gifts. Check it out.

  1. Something they want (not something they need). Just because someone needs a new vacuum doesn’t mean their face will light up with joy when they tear open the wrapping paper and see a new appliance that makes them think of household chores needing to be done. Get them something they want. Something indulgent and unique to that person. A massage for a mom who does it all. A certificate for a babysitter for a busy couple to have date night. This is your opportunity to show your giftee that you pay attention to their needs…and their wants.
  2. Something they’d never buy themselves. If you’re really paying attention, you can pick up on the things that interest your recipient. If you’re paying close attention, you have a feel for the things they typically spend their money on. All you have to do is merge the two together to think of something they want but wouldn’t necessarily spend their money on. These could include things like concert tickets, jewelry, a USB pet rock, etc.
  3. Something unique. Your goal is this: give the gift that is as far away as possible from a gift that you could give to anyone else in your life. If the same gift could be given to 4 other people in your life, stop. You can do better. Unique gifts could be a photo book that you have printed, something you make yourself, or anything else that speaks to the unique qualities of your giftee.
  4. An experience. Give someone an opportunity to create some awesome memories. Tickets to some kind of event are always a good idea. Sites like StubHub and Eventbrite should help get you started.
  5. The gift of learning. I’m a big fan of giving books as gifts. It’s kind of the epitome of the gift that keeps on giving. Some of my favorite types of books to give include inspirational quote books, biographies of people my recipient admires, how-tos on learning new skills, and business books for co-worker gifts.
  6. Something handmade. Piggybacking on #3, there’s nothing says “from the heart” like something handmade. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make someone smile this Christmas. Fun crafts include a small painting (you don’t have to be an artist), a decorative box, beaded sun-catchers, and about a zillion other Pinterest-inspired DIY gifts.
  7. A basket. Body wash is an impersonal gift (sorry). For a few more dollars, you could put it together in a basket with gifts like a loofah, bath salts (not the eat your face kind), and a sleeping mask to give to someone who could use some “me time.” A lot of “easy” gifts can be made unique by arranging them with a theme. For gifts for families, I personally like a movie night themed basket, with DVDs, popcorn, and movie theater candy.

The bottom line is that gifts are special because of the thought the giver puts into the gift for the recipient. What do you want your gifts to say about you?