Thought I’d Try Something

I’ve posted before on being positive, on being cheerful, even (although my tag cloud doesn’t think so – I have stuff on work and discipline and perseverance, but the word “happiness” does not appear, which probably ought to tell me something), and controlling my responses to the daily load of crap that happens to me, just like it happens to everyone.  Over the past couple of years I’ve made a study of happiness and positivism, reading books and blogs that focus on the subject, of which there are many.  They’ve helped, but what they ultimately have in common is that the problem is me.  Either I change, or none of it will work.

Change takes work.  If you want to change yourself, you have to work at it.  You have to spend time with the books and the people that are in the place that you want to go.  If I want to be positive and cheerful, regardless of the interesting stuff going on around me (and really, when is there NO interesting stuff going on around us?), then I have to do the work to keep looking at the bright side of things.  Because there is always a bright side.

And that leads me to the next two weeks.  I’m trying an experiment.  Since I spend a lot of time on Twitter, I am going to use that to focus on blessings.  I will be tweeting every time I notice a blessing in my life, which is probably going to explode my volume of tweets, so you might want to put me on stun for a couple weeks.  Although, you know, it might be interesting for you, too.  I have some quirky blessings to mention already.

Because this is a research project, an experiment in raising my base level of happiness, I will be periodically reporting the results in this space.  My hypothesis is that it will do wonders for me psychically, but also that it will increase the success of my physical-world ventures, which could do with some increasing, let me tell you.

Let’s get started.

P.S. If you’re into that sort of thing, you can follow me on Twitter, @cjlehi.  My tweets do not cross-post to Facebook, in case you were wondering.

One Response to “Thought I’d Try Something”

  • Rich says:

    When I first met you, I was going through the most excruciatingly difficult experience of my life – one that taxed me emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically. There were times when it found it almost impossible to smile, let alone remain positive. And cheerful was completely out the window!

    During this time, I heard an amazing talk from Henry B. Eyring (http://lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/o-remember-remember?lang=eng) in which he discusses his efforts to keep a record of how he “had seen the hand of God blessing [his] family” that day. He mentions that the results of that exercise (which he has continued throughout his life) were not just gratitude, but a certainty that God hears and answers prayers, a better understanding of the Savior’s atonement, a confidence in the Holy Ghost’s influence, and, eventually, a source of wisdom and strength to his children. It occurs to me that all of those things are a source, and an indication, of happiness in one’s life.

    I started a similar journal that same week and saw similar results in my own life. Most importantly, I started to feel a happiness that was as difficult to shed as were my previous feelings of despair and pain. A smile seemed to be permanently etched on my face (and I have the wrinkles around my eyes to prove it!) and I couldn’t help but approach challenges with a positive attitude.

    Due to poor data protection procedures, my original gratitude journal has been lost in the ether of a crashed hard drive. That technical set-back let me to discontinue my daily writing. But your blog has not only indicated a better way to keep the data safe through Twitter, but it has also reminded me of this important lesson I had once been taught but had forgotten.

    As always, thanks for being a wonderful teacher and fantastic example! I look forward to seeing your happiness tweets – almost as much as I look forward to writing my own!

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