The Happiness Challenge
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This is a Mayzie Media production.
Hello, most awesome one. I'm Ahyiana Angel, and you're listening to the Quit Playing Small podcast. Your space for inspired thinking, encouragement, and goodness. Today we're gonna be talking about the Happiness Challenge. So the Seven Day Happiness Challenge. That is an article that I came across in the New York Times by Jan Dun.
I may be butchering Janie's name. I hope I'm not, but that's what it looks like. It sounds like to me, . So anyway, I came across this article in my inbox and I thought, why? Give it a read. The sub-headline said, try these simple steps for a joyful more connected 2023. And whoa, who doesn't want? To have a more joyful and connected 2023 more joy, bring it on, more connectedness.
I'm here for it. So I thought, sign me up, let's read it. I started to skim the article and I quickly bumped into the idea that a crucial element of living a good. And you hear people talk about a rich life, a good life, a purposeful life, all these things about a life, right? But sometimes it's just simply, you just wanna live a good life.
And the article said very clearly that your relationships are a key element to living a good life. And I thought, huh, wow. So. Why hadn't I thought of that before , and maybe you had thought about that before, or maybe now that I'm mentioning it, it feels like, yeah, I've had that feeling before, that my relationships are what nourish me, what feed me, what carry me on from day to day, year to year.
So maybe you've already experienced this, but for me it was a aha moment, but it. Not just any old relationship, right? It's also what you do with said relationships. How much time you spend being intentional with these relationships, how much you nurture the relationships, how you prioritize the people, obviously that you're in the relationships with, and also how you get creative with these relationships.
I thought it goes without saying, but I'm gonna go ahead and say it. Relationships meaning platonic, meaning all sides of relationships, not just romantic relationships. All the relationships. They could be your colleagues, they could be your friends, they could be new friends, they could be old friends, they could be acquaintances, just relationships.
So I quickly wanted to share what I was drawn to from this article, cuz as I was reading it, I was thinking, My people need to know about this. If relationships pour into us the way that they're saying, and I believe that they do, then we need these relationships and the people that help us to cultivate these relationships to be stronger in our day-to-day and to help us obviously quit playing small.
Right? So I'll quickly share what I was drawn to from the article, the secret power of the eight minute phone. That is the first thing that stood out to me. So this was a seven-day challenge, and I'm going to include a link to the article in the show notes so that you can read the full article if you want, and maybe even do the full seven-day challenge if you want.
So, because it was a seven-day challenge, um, one of the challenges was an eight-minute phone call, the secret power of the eight-minute phone. Is what the heading was for that particular section, and when I read it, it was talking about how two friends were able to schedule time that they hadn't been able to do previously because everybody's life is just so hectic.
They were able to schedule time to hop on a phone call with each other and connect. For just eight minutes. And they made it a point to be strict to those eight minutes. And when you read the article, you'll see that they were able to cover a lot of ground, catching up, making plans, talking about current events, a little gossip even all in eight minutes.
And one of the participants, she even said, I was just surprised at how much ground we were able to cover in that eight-minute phone call, and what it made me think was that, Sometimes we drag our feet or hesitate to plan a catch-up call with someone because of the time that we think it's gonna suck from our day.
Yes, we enjoy catching up with our peeps. We like a good key key, but sometimes, number one, we all have that friend that talks way too long and way too much, and just goes into way too much detail. You know it, right? And so you want to speak to that person. But you know that you have to carve out some extra time to speak to that person because it may go a little long.
and then you have the friend that their schedule is so hectic that you guys never make the time or you never push to make the time because you always feel like you're imposing on them by even bringing it up because they're just that busy. And so whatever the reason is, there can be a ton of different reasons as to why we don't make the time to catch up with our people.
But this eight minute phone call felt like because it had parameters, it was so. , and so maybe that's something you wanna try with your people. It may sound silly or eyebrow raising to them when you first mention it, but if you just give them a quick explanation as to why I think they'll understand. The next thing that stood out to me was writing a living eulogy.
Ooh, it's probably not what you think though. It's really showing your heart. or expressing how you truly feel to a person that you're close to in your life as letting them know how they've maybe impacted you and what. They mean to you, thanking them as if maybe you'll never speak to them again. Having that in the back of your mind can probably cause you to go some deep places with your emotions and be expressive in a way that you've potentially never been expressive with this person before.
Sometimes we take for granted that the people closest to us in our lives, they know how we really feel about them. But do. Do they really know? Let's not assume anymore or think that our actions speak for the words that we haven't used. Let's tell them, tell your loved ones how you feel. And you can do it via a handwritten letter, an email, a text, a phone call even.
But just do it in a way that feels. Approachable for you and for them. Use a medium that you know they'll be able to connect with. If they're not an email person, don't do it via email . It'll be like you never wrote it. But what this made me think was there are some people in my life who I think they, I assume they know how I feel, but when I'm really thinking about this challenge writing a living eulogy, it's.
They probably don't know my innermost thoughts or feelings about them. Just think about a time where maybe someone expressed to you or shared with you something that you did that maybe you don't even remember doing because it was potentially minor to you, but it made all the difference to them. It stood out to them.
They're never going to. . Those are the types of things that I think it would be great to share with someone that you love and maybe you've never shared before, so that they just truly hear your heart so they truly understand how much they mean to you. . Now finally, this article was long because, well, actually, let me not exaggerate.
It wasn't that long. It was broken up nicely, but I'm not, like I said, gonna go through all of it. But finally, they listed three ways to keep your happiness going all year, and I'm gonna share these three with you. Loved. , one of them was set specific relationship goals for your year. Make a plan to do more like maybe ketchup dinners set, uh, a plan for coffee dates, and maybe you can add a number to them like every month.
So for the year, I wanna do 12 ketchup coffees with someone that I haven't connected with in a while. Uh, maybe I want to once a month do five outreaches to people I haven't connected with in a while. Maybe via text, via email, via phone, whatever it is. Just set some specific relationship goals for your year.
The next one was commit to consist. . I like this one. Consistency is a word for me that I noted for myself that I want to lean into more. Um, so I really did enjoy that they included this one. So it could be something like, um, every Sunday morning I'm gonna reach out to my people. I. Just do a quick check-in, especially people that I haven't checked in with in a while.
Um, every, you know, month I'm going to go on a walk and I'm gonna call somebody that I haven't called in a while. Um, just creating routines for yourself, not necessarily a. The other person, but a routine for yourself so that you can help to maintain the healthy relationships. And then finally, they shared that.
Ritual is key. So rituals, in other words, creating routines with your family members. I was thinking like, okay, this means like don't wait for holidays to start new traditions with your family. Those traditions that could potentially evoke good feelings and create deeper connections and bonds amongst you all.
And it made me think of how when I would come home for the holidays, because I didn't come home or get the opportunity to come home, that often throughout the year when I would come home, I would create opportunities to spend time with my larger family. Right? Like whether it be us going to a holiday exhibition of some sort or activity of some sort, um, doing something.
made the family come together and have fun together. And so this is exactly what that made me think of. But we don't have to wait for the holidays. You can create a movie night with your family. You can create a trivia night. Something they mentioned in the article, which I thought was cute, was like picking something amongst the group of the family, whoever wants to participate, picking something that.
somebody has to do, but they don't really wanna do it, especially don't wanna do it alone, maybe around their house, and then inviting everybody over to help participate in executing that task. And then the payment or the thank you is cooking dinner for the group or ordering dinner for the group if you're not really a big cook.
I thought that was super cute in a way. You to be productive, but also to spend time and connect. So I loved all of the advice, tips, information that was in this article because it really just shows you that relationships are valuable for so many reasons, and it helped me to see how. , they are invaluable also to our survival really as humans.
I'm sure you've heard it said before, that humans, we need connection and we, when we don't have connection, sometimes it brings out the worst in us. Even things like touch, humans need touch, and I relate that similarly to connection. And so as humans, we need our relationships. We need each other, and let's not forget it.
Thank you so much for spending time with me today. I hope that you go out there and lean more into your relationships, feel good about the relationships you have, nurture them, and grow the relationships that you wish to see. Become a little bit better. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sending you big virtual hugs and love and as always, be well.
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