Bits and pieces

Is being happy really a challenge?

JANUARY for many is a time to reflect on the past year, make changes and set new goals.

I have never been one for resolutions but am a firm believer that we should always be looking at ways to better ourselves.

At the start of this year I came across an article which asked people if they could be happy for 100 days in a row. The author challenged people to take photos of something that made them happy each day. It spoke of people being too busy to do the things that make them happy and having less time to appreciate “the moment”, their surroundings and their life.

Something in this really touched me. It was like someone had listened to me and written all my thoughts down.

Love a relaxing Sunday with a newspaper
Love a relaxing Sunday with a newspaper

For so long I have heard people moaning about being “too busy”, of “not having time” or feeling “fed up”. Too often people get caught up in their routine and their work  they forget about what really makes them happy or making other people happy.

We forget to appreciate the small things around us and forget to be thankful for the things we have – no matter how big or small.

So I took on the challenge and got members of my family on board too. Every day, camera phones in hand we snapped our happiest moments. We shared our pictures, laughed, commented and ridiculed each other for the things that we got excited about.

Some days it was easy to know what had put a smile on my face, whether it was meeting friends, a week’s holiday or a great dinner.

But other times it was really tough. After a bad or hectic day at work I found it hard to be positive about anything. But then I would remind myself that’s exactly why I was doing this, so even an early finish or getting into bed that night would feature in the photos.

Happiness was found in my walks home, flowers I came across on my way, a day spent going through childhood photos and phone calls with my sister to plan a birthday. It all counted!

Day 84 - The running shoes are back out
Day 84 – The running shoes are back out

Soon I realised that we often spend too long looking for happiness in big things. It’s not always something you can buy. Sure a new bag or car can bring you joy in that moment and probably for the months that you use it, but no doubt you will get a replacement or a new favourite pretty soon.

I was reminded that true happiness can last much longer when found in the smaller, finer things.

It’s in the things you love about your life. In what gives you a spring in your step and in the people that make your life special. It is about being thankful for opportunities we have been given and about trying new things, even sometimes in the risks we take.

After 100 days of taking photos it became a part of my life. I now have a broad collection of photos which are there to remind me that once I put my mind to it, being happy wasn’t too difficult at all.

It’s free, can last as long as you want it to and doesn’t need as much thought and effort as you might think.

The biggest question is….do you have time for it?

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