Sep 032013
 

It’s a busy week, but I’m trying not to let that get in the way of my writing, so I wanted to pop on and write a quick happy thoughts list to focus on the things bringing me joy in my life.

1. Everyone who comments on this blog: It’s been a busy summer, and suffering from weather headaches has made it especially challenging, but knowing that people read this blog has got me coming back to writing after every break. Thank you all for your support!

2. Getting to bed at a reasonable time: It’s still not easy, but it’s starting to get easier with practice. Eventually, I might actually get a decent night’s sleep on a regular basis!

3. Options: Knowing you have choices in life, even if you decide against those alternate options, can really be freeing. It means that you live your life because you chose to live it that way. That’s true freedom, it’s both exciting and terrifying. I like it.

What’s putting a smile on your face today?

Sep 022013
 

The view from the Isle of Skye

This is a picture my wife took while we were on our honeymoon in Scotland two years ago. That was a journey we went on together, and now with her going back to school full-time as an adult, we’re going on another journey together.

Travelling through life has its ups and downs, but the happy thought for tonight is that there’s often one heck of a view!

Jul 302013
 

Today I had the awesome fun of going to the Magnum Ice Cream pop up shop on Bloor Street in Toronto before they opened to the public. This place has delicious treats (and often long lines) so I jumped at the chance. I’ll be posting a more complete blog entry of everything, but here’s a quick peek at what I had:

Magnum Ice Cream Bar

In the meantime, it’s been a day of ups and downs, so a happy thoughts list is more than called for. Here we go:

1. Unexpected surprises: It was a random conversation on twitter that led to a few people talking about Magnum Ice Cream, which then led to the Magnum social media person tweeting us and inviting us in for a taste. As I’ve said before, open your life to random things, you might be surprised a the amazing results you see.

2. Surprisingly productive days: They may not taste like ice cream, but they do taste satisfying (and have fewer calories). I love days when you end up accomplishing far more than you had thought you would.

3. Loved ones: You may not love every minute you spend with them, but they make your life better for being there. My wife and I both get weather headaches, so this recent unsettled weather hasn’t made us our best and brightest, but I still love her with all my heart.

What’s been keeping you smiling lately? Hopefully you’ve had some surprise ice cream treats in your day!

Jul 232013
 




I’ve been in a rut lately and I’ve drifted from the good habits I’ve learned over the last couple years on this website. It’s an unfortunate trend of mine, and I suppose of many people, to forget my tools and good habits when I get into a funk.

So, in an effort to get back on track, I’m starting with a happy thoughts list. Here are three things that kept me cheerful today.

1. The Royal Baby: Not that I care about the baby, but I do like the fact that the news hasn’t been depressing lately. It’s a minor issue in the scope of things, but a week of happy news is a welcome change from the way things have gone.

2. The humidity has broken: I have sensitivity to weather, so I get headaches when the weather rapidly changes or the humidity is so high. A break in the weather is a welcome change to me.

3. Opportunities: The universe has been tossing a number of them in my direction lately, and I’m trying to welcome them with open arms. It’s a challenge, as some of them take me from my comfort zone, but I feel that opportunities are given to for a reason, so I try to rise to the occasion.

What’s keeping a smile on your face these days?

Jul 082013
 




I think crazy dreams and long shots are given less credit than they deserve when it comes to happiness. We need goals, we need plans, and we need dreams. However, the world isn’t always a cheerful place, so a healthy dash of crazy can be a really useful tool when the world is getting you down.

According to Wikipedia a Hail Mary is:

Originally meaning any sort of desperation play, a “Hail Mary” gradually came to denote a long, low-probability pass attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play.

I like to always have a few crazy hail mary plans on the go. I still prudently invest the vast majority of my time and effort into logical plans for the future that have a high chance of success, but a bit of me likes the thrill and the adventure of having something else on the go. Perhaps it’s the same thrill that gamblers get? I’m not sure, but it does add a bit of spice to life.

This all came to a head recently as a large number of crazy ideas that I had on the go went from being improbable to just possible. It is intoxicating, exciting and completely terrifying. There’s one crazy plan in particular that might actually happen. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!

Do you have any crazy plans in your life?

Jun 112013
 




As I mentioned in a previous happy thought of the day, I’ve discovered that Harrison Ford was 35 years old when he played the role of Han Solo in the epic Star Wars.

Just yesterday, I had my 35th birthday, leading me into what I’ve decided to call my Han Solo year. It reminds me that the heroes of my childhood were people too, and that what might feel a little bit old right now is actually something pretty awesome.

So, that said, here are five life lessons from Han Solo that I can use to guide me in the next year.

1. Doing the Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs: In the famous scene from the Cantina, Han Solo tells Obi Wan Kenobi that his ship did the Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs. While we don’t have all the context at that point, it’s VERY obvious that this is an incredible statement that encompasses how incredible he is in one quick sentence. Do you have an elevator pitch for yourself? If you can’t give a one sentence description of why you’re incredible, then you’re missing out on the opportunity to impress people in whatever Cantina (or similar situation) you find yourself in.

2. Han Shot First: One of the longer running debates in Star Wars. When meeting with Greedo, Han shot him.

While many people don’t want to consider Han as anything but the perfect hero (who wouldn’t shoot first), what’s the harm in being proactive in a bad situation? I’m definitely not suggesting shooting anyone, but there’s no reason to wait for someone else to act if you know the situation is bad. If you’re in a bad job, find a new one or just leave. If you’re in a bad relationship, just leave. We often want our own situations where Greedo would shoot first. That lets us feel guilt-free about our own actions. But, you know what? Sometimes we need to take the jump and act first.

3. “Never tell me the odds”: C3PO, in an attempt to convince Han not to undertake a particular course of action, decided to quote the odds successfully navigating an asteroid field. Han’s replay was “Never tell me the odds”. This is true in a lot of life. Sometimes, we can overthink things. I’m notorious for it. Thinking and planning a course of action is always good time, but sometimes you’re overthinking and you need to stop considering the odds and just do it!

4. “Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.”

This wasn’t the noblest moment in Han Solo’s time on screen, but it does show something important. Han Solo was very clear in what he wanted, and even though it wasn’t the popular choice, he kept pushing for it. I’m not saying you need to be selfish, but it’s a lot easier to get what you want in life if you’re clear what it is you want. That’s why exercises like making a 5 year plan can be so helpful in making sure you get what you want out of life.

5. “Let’s blow this thing and go home”

Sometimes you just need to stop thinking and start acting.

May 292013
 




There’s an amazing sensation in the air when you turn a metaphorical corner in life and when things start to get done. I like to call it a “Wednesday Feeling”.

Wednesday is the day that you know your week is half over, and you’re almost at the weekend. It’s the Humpday, and once you’re over the hump, it’s all downhill (in a good way).

For the last week or so, I’ve been having a Wednesday feeling. It started slowly, but now I’m feeling it more and more as I start to feel the benefits of time and energy I’ve invested earlier. You never really feel like you’re coming out of a rut until you see the sunlight over the edge!

So, my happy thought of the day is when life feels like a Wednesday! I hope your life is feeling like a Wednesday or better!

Apr 292013
 




One of the experiments that has worked the best, even after all the ones that followed it, was my experiment in writing a happy thoughts list. So, I try to write one on a fairly regular basis, even if I don’t publish it here. It helps remind me of all the good things that happen, and keeps my focus off the bad ones. Basically, it’s an exercise reminding me to be grateful for the good things in my life.

So, after a really great weekend, I have a quite a lot of things to be grateful for. So, here is my happy thoughts list for late Sunday night.

  1. Getting Things Done: Despite the fact that I got out and about a fair bit this weekend, I still feel like I got a lot done AND I had time to relax. Lately, I’ve been ending weekends thinking of how much extra I could have done, so this is a much better mindset in my opinion.
  2. Seeing Friends: We went to a house closing party for friends of ours who are moving this week. It was a great chance to reconnect with friends who I haven’t seen in a long time, and to meet a few new ones. I stayed out far later than I had intended, but I had a fantastic time.
  3. Naps:It’s funny how life comes full circle. We start off napping as a kid, then we grow to hate naps when we’re growing, then we grow to adore them later as we grow older. A great afternoon nap on the weekend just feels spectacular!
Apr 232013
 




Well, the craziness that has kept me on my toes lately hasn’t lightened up much, but I’m taking comfort in one fact – the universe has a sense of humour.

Today had moments of such bizarre activity around me that I couldn’t help but to laugh. Laughter is healing and incredibly stress relieving, so as weird as life still is, I feel a lot better.

I think it’s too easy for some people to get wrapped up in the seriousness of situations. I don’t mean to make light of problems or stressful situations, but the universe is an incredibly bizarre place. Sometimes, if you can take a different viewpoint for a moment, you realize how incredibly funny it can be. That momentary alignment with the humour of the universe can do a world of good for your mind and your soul.

This might just be back-seat philosophizing by a former stand-up comedian, but I rather think that being in touch with the humour of the universe is why some of the incredibly wise people like the Dalai Lama are always smiling. It’s something I aspire to in a way.

Well, even if the world is still weird, at least it’s weird in a funny way for me. What’s keeping you smiling or laughing lately?