There is a program at my granddaughter’s school called Learning Buddies . The students in the grade 6 classes are paired with Junior Kindergarten children. They do a variety of activities which might include reading, art, going outdoors for example. The 11 year olds and the 4year olds seem to love this program and the connections that are made.
Recently I was invited to do a project on happiness with the Learning Buddies. We discussed many aspects of happiness such as what makes them happy, what they think makes friends, family happy, what they can do to spread happiness. Each student drew pictures of what happiness might look like. Their art work along with neon colored post-its that had phrases written such as ‘Be Kind, Smile, Good Friends, etc.’ were stuck onto a massive background. The end result was to be a happiness wall that would be shared with the rest of the school.
One aspect of our conversations that seemed to spark the children was my suggestion that each of them was a Happiness Super Hero. That notion seemed to inspire some unique happiness drawings.
That was the Readers Digest version of the project. It got me thinking about happiness on a much broader scale. What if all of us took on the mantle of being a Happiness Super Hero?. Really. Why not? What a difference it could make in our currently troubled world. The cool part is that we would not need some flashy body suit or a cape or need to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It’s those small gestures a smile, offering a seat to someone on public transit, simple acts of kindness. You are aware of all the possibilities
Here’s a fascinating concept to ponder. From the book Connected by Nicholas A. Christakis & James Fowler - The Three Degrees of Influence Rule has interesting implications on happiness. Being connected to a happy friend makes you 15 percent more likely to be happy yourself, while being connected at three degrees of separation makes you 6 percent more likely.
Early in the book the authors comment on the six degrees of separation in relation to their Three Degrees rule: “If we are connected to everyone else by six degrees and we can influence them up to three degrees, then one way to think about ourselves is that each of us can reach about halfway to everyone else on the planet.” If you think that you alone couldn’t possibly make a difference, think again. The science has just shown that what each one of us does, matters enormously. Let’s spread some happiness!
Comments are welcomed.
Sometimes life presents us with an opportunity. It may not be the opportunity we hoped for or wanted or would have made us happy. Sometimes, we may just need to take a risk. How willing are we to take that risk? How do we know? What helps us decide?
Doubt and uncertainty are part of the process. Perhaps we need to accept that sometimes we don’t and cannot know. Perhaps we need to embrace uncertainty in order to get comfortable in its presence. Perhaps it’s about having an acceptance between knowing and not knowing. Then we don’t fear and agonize over the choice when we come to a fork in the road. Perhaps it’s about learning to perceive the world and our lives as a miracle unfolding.
That’s a glimpse of the big picture of opportunity. Let’s narrow the focus. Every day is a series of moments . Each one presents an opportunity – an opportunity to be kind; an opportunity to be thankful; an opportunity for laughter; an opportunity to be of service; an opportunity to try something new. The moments of opportunities are infinite.
All opportunities can be life changers whether they are the kind that affect family, work, living situations or the multitude of moments throughout our day. What choices will we make? What risks will we take? What will lead us towards flourishing? Each one of us has to find our own answers, find our own path. If we find ourselves immobilized by uncertainty or fear, the solution is to take action , even the smallest of actions, do what we can do and let go of the outcome. We may not be able to control the outcome, but we can control and enjoy the process. That miracle maybe unfolding before us.
Comments are welcomed.
I had written an amazing blog. The best one ever. So where is it? That’s the big question. Your guess is as good as mine. Well, not entirely true. My guess may be a bit more informed since I was the main character in this mess. I will put on my deerstalker hat and try to sleuth out what happened.
Let’s start at the very beginning a very good place to start. (Thank you Maria Von Trapp.) As I began typing the words flowed through my fingers onto the computer like a river rushing out to sea. This was so not like my usual writing efforts which can border on laborious. I was definitely in rarified air. Surely, you could understand how chagrinned and dismayed I was when it all disappeared in a Nano-second.
This rarified air, alternate universe, zen zone or twilight zone was a once in a lifetime experience. I tried to deduce what was really going on. Had the muses returned to inspire me? Was it that different blend of coffee I had with my lunch? Did Tallulah the Unicorn emanate magic sparkle dust? I could speculate ad nauseum. The sad truth is that I will probably never know. I will, however, always wonder.
You may be curious about the topic of my brief dive into brilliance. I sure would be. Here’s the thing. I had written 3 Pulitzer Prize worthy paragraphs. All that remained to complete the blog was a couple of conclusory sentences. It seemed a good time to take a needed break. I mindfully hit the save key and took my leave. Upon my return to finish up, there before me was a blank screen. Say what? I had been focused and deliberate about being certain to hit save. Yet there was nothing. Nada. I searched the insides and outsides, the up sides and down sides and nary a word to be found. Gone. All that creativity and brilliance gone, gone, gone. I sighed and ditched my deerstalker hat for all the good it didn’t.
And so, friends, I regret to inform you there is no blog this week.
Comments are welcomed.
Did you know that manana, tomorrow, is often the busiest day of the week? When we don’t want to do something for any number of reasons, valid or otherwise, we think, “I will do this tomorrow. Yup, tomorrow will be a better day to take care of this.” There are times that tomorrow will actually be the better option.
There’s been a lot going on recently which has been taking my attention. Writing another blog slipped to the bottom of things to do. This got me thinking about procrastination. I recalled an interview I’d heard with Dr. Tim Pychyl, Associate Professor of Psychology at Carlton University, Ottawa, author and one of the world’s leading researchers on procrastination. A one-line summary of the research shows that the things we say we’re going to do and don’t, end up affecting our well-being. Don’t worry. I’m not here to write a treatise on procrastination research. However, a distinction Pychyl discussed, seemed worth mentioning. That distinction was delay vs. procrastination. They are not the same.
In the broad sense procrastination is defined as a voluntary delay of an intended task in which no-one else is involved outside of the person making the choice. For example, if there’s something that needs to get done, but my inner-child pops up and says, “I don’t feel like it or I really don’t want to do it.” I may think I really should… or I really need to…, but I don’t feel like it. Guess I am not going to do it. Maybe later or tomorrow. That’s procrastination.
On the other hand we may have a list of things to do, but a family member gets sick and we’re needed to help out. Delaying the tasks is reasonable when circumstances or other people require our attention. There are many instances when things get delayed for good reasons and that is not procrastination.
I’d wager we’ve all done at least a little of both from time to time. It’s pretty normal for the most part. There is so much more to learn and understand about procrastination, but that’s for the experts. The big take away for me was, absent a chronic procrastination issue, we can give ourselves a break and not be hard on ourselves when things sometimes get delayed. There could be a good reason. That being said, you may want to procrastinate now and not put it off.
Comments are most welcome.