A couple of weeks ago while on vacation, I had the pleasant opportunity to meet a very special person. This woman had suffered a major life changing physical setback and yet she remained positive. During our conversation she shared a video she had seen on YouTube by Shawn Achor called The Happiness Advantage. In the video that author challenges us to take on a 21-day life changing challenge. He stated that the research had proven that by doing a certain five things daily for 21 days that indeed you would become happy or in my case happier, which would then translate into being more productive and successful.
So - I took the challenge on with one of my friends.
The process is pretty simple and guaranteed not to take up too much time but you have to be consistent or as I translated it you have to discipline yourself to do it. I think it has been made easier by engaging one of my friends to hold myself accountable, plus that added feature of getting to read what his day was all about. While there was no formal method for keeping track of the five items, I decided to create a template to just copy and populate each day. Here is what Shawn says you have to do:
• Pick 3 things that you are grateful for on a daily basis.
• Journal about one of them – so as to relive it again and get an added benefit
• Meditate – I Googled the Upper Room Daily Devotional for my daily meditation
• Exercise – nothing crazy, you could go for a walk, some pushups, or whatever
• Practice 3 random acts of kindness daily
So far, I have made it to day 7 and am looking forward to being intentional about completing the remaining days. I am taking the attitude to think of it as though it were a personal training / development program to get me in better mental / emotional / physical / and spiritual shape. It seems like a pretty small price to pay for a huge return on my investment. Are you up for the challenge? I would love to hear back from those of you who were so inspired to take it on and what you gained from the experience. I chose the word discipline as a way to remind myself that in order to get in shape you have to exercise discipline!