What Went Well Today?

This is a great idea! I am re-posting this from the Go Live Wellness Facebook page:

Tonight I begin my first night of the 3 W’s -‘What Went Well’.

This practice was shared by Dr. Sara Gottfried, author of ‘The Hormone Cure’ – which currently is rocking my world of wellness in a very good way!

Here’s the practice:

1. At the end of today, sit down with your journal, iPhone or any piece of paper. Write down 3 things that went well during your day and why. You might write that you had a nice visit with a girlfriend, or that you had fun singing the latest will.i.am song with your child.

2. Repeat this every night for one week.

That’s it. Simple, right? But the data from Professor Seligman show that when you do this for one week, it raises your happiness levels. And that happiness stays with you — people in his study were still happier 6 months later!

So… what went well today? Tell yourself every night for one week – and beyond!

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Where Are All the Nice People?

Where are all the nice people? I’m a nice person. You’re a nice person, right? Most of the people we know are nice. So why isn’t the world full of nice people. Why can’t we all just get along?

Personally, I believe that most people mean to be nice. However, it’s hard to be generous and gracious when you’re worried, afraid, or suffering. It’s hard to be nice to people you believe are your enemies.

When I was much younger, I wanted to change the world. Later I decided I had enough work to do just changing myself. So here’s my to-do list for finding more nice people:

• Be careful about how I treat others;

• Reexamine my list of enemies; I don’t have to let people harm me, but I don’t have to live in fear either;

• Offer help and support to people who are worried, afraid, or suffering.

A Tribute to my Aunt Joy

True to her name, Aunt Joy was always a joy to be with. She was cheerful. She liked everyone and had a way of making everyone feel special.

Joy had a serenity about her. You would notice it when you first met her; if you knew her, you it were aware that it was because of her deep faith. She was the best kind of Christian – she didn’t just talk about it, she lived her faith. Many times my family and I benefited from her generosity, and we were hardly the only ones. She was not only kind and compassionate, she was gracious. One never felt indebted to her, though many were.

Joy’s life was an adventure. She lived like she couldn’t wait to see what happened next. When she met Uncle John, they were both professional singers. Now it takes a crazy kind of confidence to make a living as a singer. When they were married and raising a family, they took on office jobs. After retiring, so to speak, John began another career as a preacher and Joy that of a preacher’s wife. It takes courage, as well as faith, to start down a new path with few signposts at a time when others are taking up golf or knitting.

John and Joy raised three successful children. I’m sure they had some anxieties along the way, but they had fun too. The entire family had, and still has, a wonderful sense of humor. She was a favorite aunt, and one of my favorite people, period. I have a hunch that many people thought of her as a best friend.

Joy lived to the remarkable age of 99 plus. She had the briefest of incapacities, a miniscule portion of her lifetime. That was no accident. To live a long, healthy, and happy life takes determination – determination to be happy, determination to be healthy, and a willingness, even an eagerness to live long. Joy was a champion.

Buddies

I am old enough to remember the Civil Rights marches, Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, and the riots following his assassination. This little incident shows, in some small way, how Dr. King’s dream has been realized.

I was on a business trip to Mississippi with a colleague from Nigeria. I signed in at the reception desk and offered him my pen. He preferred to use the pen that was already at the desk. I said, “What, a Mont Blanc isn’t good enough? I should get a real pen, like a Bic?” (His point was simply that my pen required more pressure to make the signature dark enough to read.)

The receptionist asked, “You guys are friends, right?” We assured her we were.

Two things stand out in my mind. First, that the receptionist was sensitive to my friend’s feelings and felt free to call me on the apparent insult. Second, that I felt comfortable enough to tease my friend without any thought to how it could be interpreted.

Monitoring My Attitudes

I think I read this story in Reader’s Digest, many years ago, as you will see.

A traveler stops at a gas station in a small town. As the owner is pumping his gas, the traveler says, “I’m thinking about moving to this town. Tell me what the people are like here.” The station owner asks, “What are the people like where you live now?” The traveler responds, “Oh, they’re fine people, very friendly, always willing to help out. They have a nice community spirit.” The station owner tells him, “You’ll find the people here are very much like that.”

Later on, another traveler stops at the same gas station. As the owner is pumping his gas, this traveler says, “I’m thinking about moving to this town. Tell me what the people are like here.” The station owner asks, “What are the people like where you live now?” The traveler responds, “They’re really awful. They’re snobbish; won’t give you the time of day. It’s everybody for himself.” The station owner tells him, “You’ll find the people here are very much like that.”

The lesson I took from this is to be a careful guardian of my attitudes. If I habitually think of others as idiots, uncultured people, or worse, then I have created for myself a world full of unpleasant people. I might feel superior, but I’ll very little companionship or enjoyment of life. If I want to live in a beautiful, welcoming world, I need to train myself to think of it that way.