If you follow me on Twitter at all, you will have noticed my regular picture tweets with the hashtag #100happydays. And you will probably have noticed this hashtag cropping up all over the place – Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram…
I started the 100 Happy Days Project for the exact reason they give on the website: because it’s time to appreciate the smaller things in life.
Without getting too deep-and-meaningful, I was starting to get tired of the hamster wheel existence that so many of us experience. We get up, we go to work/school/university or we start the housework, we get home, we eat dinner and we go to bed. The next day, we do it all again. And the only parts we really take notice of are the bits that are rubbish – the times when it goes bad; when you fall out with someone, struggle to find money for food, breakdown on the motorway a few days before payday.
We barely notice the fun times. We barely appreciate the happy moments that each day brings (and it does). Only 29% of people trying the 100 Happy Days Project succeed. The rest fall by the wayside, blaming lack of time as the main cause.
The idea of the 100 Happy Days Project is to post a picture every day for one hundred days IN A ROW of something that makes you happy. It really does do what it says on the tin. It is a moment to step back from that hamster wheel and look around. As the website says: you feel happier, you appreciate what you have, and you become more optimistic.
It sounds like hippy mumbo jumbo, right?
Today is day forty-three for me. So far, my pictures have included things like food, my friends, my cat, cups of tea, books, clothes, my family and home. All of these things make me happy – not just on the day I take the picture, but every day. It had been a while since I noticed these things. I barely looked up from the grind. I haven’t missed a day, and I thought that was my biggest danger – that I would come across a day where I can’t find something that makes me happy. But it was never about finding something to make me happy, it was about rediscovering what already makes me happy.
Why am I writing this blog post? Because from the day I started it, I have been asked about it, told my project has inspired other people to start it, and begun conversations about happiness and being happy. It made me realise that everyone is looking for an excuse to be happy, and to find the things that make them happy. But it takes something as trivial as taking a picture to make people stop and think.
You don’t even have to share it on social media. This is just about looking up sometimes and discovering what already makes you happy. So I am sharing the wonders of the Project here on the blog, in the hope that it will inspire even more people to give it a go.
Are you doing the 100 Happy Days Project already, or will you start now?