In Happiness 101, we have four rules:
We call these rascals “Happiness Robbers” a term coined by Marci Shimoff. In short, blame, shame, guilt and complaining emerge when we are in victimhood and not taking full responsibility for our Happiness. As with any good rule, we also have consequences for breaking the rule. The three consequences are: 1) sing a happy song for one minute, 2) pay $2 to charity and 3) give 10 positives. Having these consequences does two things – it raises student’s level of awareness of what they are saying and the positive energy of the consequence offsets the negative energy brought into the class.
Well, it seems that I broke my own rule. I complained.
On February 20th, I posted an article called “No News is Good News” in which I complained. I will not make matters worse by reiterating it here. I also will make no excuses. I will, however, pay up for breaking (what has become) one of the rules of my life. So, here are my 10 positives:
1) I am thankful to the banana peel. This natural protective layer helps to keep the banana fresh and ready to eat. Banana peels have also raised the level of “happy chemicals” in millions of people by way of slapstick comedy.
2) I appreciate aluminum. This amazing light-weight metal has been used in everything from building materials to the container from which I drink. It is also recyclable!
3) This shirt I am wearing. Does a great job of keeping me warm and from scaring people away. It is a navy blue polo with a kangeroo over (what would be) the left breast pocket. It reminds me of a wonderful trip to Coff’s Harbor Australia and of the great time at the Sydney Aquarium. This shirt has also been a great conversation starter, which has helped me to better connect with others.
4) That my eyes are getting better! My last optometrist had the foresight (sorry, couldn’t resist) to NOT give my eyes as much power as they craved in my last pair of glasses. This made my eyes work harder and at my last check-up, the doc (a different optometrist) said I needed a new prescription because my eyes got better.
5) Spell-check. Microsoft Word’s spell-check helped me to figure out how to spell optometrist. I’m sure Spell-check has saved me on countless papers, E-mails and resumes over the years. Thank you, Microsoft!
6) My grey scarf. ‘Never was much of a scarf man – until this year! In years past I complained a LOT during winter because of the cold. Ironically, I had plenty of warm clothing to wear but did not wear it. Teaching Happiness 101 has helped me to take true responsibility for my Happiness and so I have been dressing warmer – including my grey scarf. It is long enough and short enough. It is warm and doesn’t scratch. It probably saved me from a cold this year – I haven’t had one.
7) My wife’s blue eyes. I appreciate my wife VERY much, but I always choose to appreciate something different each time I count the positives. She, of course, was the very first blessing I counted on my very first list. Her eyes are beautiful and sometimes sparkle with mischief. I appreciate the love they have mirrored back to me for over 22 years.
8 ) Raisins. The raisins in my drawer really saved me tonight. I forgot to bring something to eat. I’m glad someone took the chance to eat a dried up wrinkled grape. Where would Raisinettes be without them? The same place my stomach would be right now: empty.
9) You Tube. I really love logging into You Tube after a long day and stumbling on all kinds of amazing, interesting and funny videos. Olga Kay is my guilty pleasure. She makes me smile and laugh – BOTH which are good for my Happiness.
10) Lint. Hmmmmmmmmm okay. I’ll admit, I’m stretching on this one. But that’s good! It helps to stretch my positive muscles to think of how I could be grateful for lint. Well, if we had no clothes, we would have no lint – so I can be VERY grateful to have clothes that made the lint. But appreciating the lint on its own merits….. (stretching) I know! If there was no lint, then there would not have been a need to invent a lint trap. So inventing the lint trap put food on the lint trap inventor’s table. I think his name was J. Ross Moore (yes, I tried to look it up). Oh, one more reason to be grateful for lint: would you believe lint art?!?! I just discovered this just now. Wow! Go Heidi Hooper!! Her art has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Wow!
I must say, writing those 10 positives and spending the time to write about and really appreciate these 10 things really lifted my spirits. Give it a try and please share your answers.
~Frank Clayton, LPC
11) Learning about Heidi Hooper and her amazing story of how she came to make her art out of lint. Click here to see the You Tube video of Heidi Hooper and how she turned her pain and her lint into art! Thank you again You Tube.