I had a lot to smile about this week. Last night friends I hadn’t seen in a while invited me to an impromptu get together. Saturday I saw a good movie about Vincent Van Gogh, At Eternities Gate (William Dafoe is excellent as Vincent). Friday afternoon I shut off my work computer to start a week off. Thursday I solved a work emergency. Wednesday I ran out for the last Christmas gift. Tuesday I talked to some friends I haven’t seen in a while. And Monday there was an even worse work emergency to work through an solve. And there were so many more things. Finishing a draft of my next book and beginning to format it. Doing the cover illustration. Talking to friends and family. Playing with the dogs. Exercising. Good food. Etc., etc.
I read an article during the week on the BBC website. One of the big points about it was that people who seek to be happy are often less happy than those who don’t. This is not that people who are less happy seek it out. There have been many studies showing that the act of trying to be happy makes people less happy. It is not talking about people trying to pull themselves out of depression or someone recovering from a terrible experience. This is normal people.
An idea is that instead of going in search of happiness, we should reflect on what we have and try to discover the hidden happiness there.
That is one small part of the Weekly Smile. We do not need to search out to create a smile, we need to reflect back and find the smile we already had.
The best parts of life aren’t always the big things, it is often the small things. The problem is, we are so busy living we forget to appreciate these small things. And then instead of savoring what we have, we say we need to go out and find things, big things, to make us happy. And then we become unhappy with the merely happy, we need to be very happy, ecstatic, euphoric. And happy some of the time, or time to time, isn’t happy enough. We need to be constantly happy. We work hard to get to this always happy, ecstatic state, but we cant’ reach it, it is an impossible dream, so we are depressed. Something is wrong with us! Why can’t we be constantly euphoric? The people in the movies, on TV and social media all are! Something is wrong with us! I am so unhappy… Well, I’ll just double down and work even harder at it!
As they say, slow down, stop and smell the flowers. Look at your life and pull out the happy nuggets.
You don’t find enough? Don’t try to make your self happy – in that path you will find misery. Seek out to make others happy. If you can make someone else smile, perhaps you will smile yourself. Or think of one of those precious, happy little nuggets, smile about it and share that smile. Perhaps others will smile as well.
In part, that is what the Weekly Smile is here for. It is a reason for you to look back at the previous week and figure out one of those small things, those golden nuggets, that made you smile. I know, some weeks it is tough! But there is something, some small tidbit. A look, a flower, a kind word. Perhaps by telling others about it, no matter how ordinary it may seem, they will see something to smile about as well.
This week I had a huge amount to smile about, so much that my Smile is about smiling itself :)
What made you smile?
Come on, I’m sure you smiled at least once last week. Why don’t you share it? I hope you can join in!
Here is list of “rules” and guiding ideas. If you don’t have time to read it right now, just remember that this is an exercise to spread positivity. Don’t smile about the misfortune of others. Don’t smile in a way to excludes others. Make sure a 12 year old can read it.
And remember, the Smile can be anything, large or small. Nothing, nothing at all is too small for a Smile! Sometimes taking time to notice those small, every day smiles is more important than those once in a lifetime huge ones :)
To join in, write a post to share your smile and then leave a comment on this post with a link to your smile. Or, if you prefer, do a pingback to this post (pingback = have a link from your post to this one). You can post any time until next Sunday evening (to be simple, I will say midnight GMT, which is 7 PM Sunday for me). Next week I will compile all of the Smiles and do a separate post of them on Monday morning just before the smile. (I will shoot for around 7 AM EST).
Try to use the hashtag #WeeklySmile when you use Twitter or other social media that uses hashtags. I searched Twitter and found that #weeklysmile had been used only a handful of times back in 2012 and 2013. It hasn’t been used since. So it’s ours! I also registered it on Twubs.
You can use the graphic at the top. It is the official graphic for the event.
Now go out there and find something to smile about! :)
“There are days I go in search of the kind, compassionate, loving and beautiful. Despite what we sometimes see on the news, FB and elsewhere, there is much more beauty in the world than ugliness, much more kindness than hate or cruelty. Perhaps we should all have a goal to make at least one person smile every day.”
When I used to do a monthly compassion post, this was my theme:
Empathy is the glue that holds society together and compassion is what makes a group of people a civilization. Without holding our hands out to our fellow humans we become savages. We are all in this together, in a closed system, so we must all help each other. How lonely life must be for those selfish people who don’t realize this simple truth! How lonely for anyone who doesn’t realize that all are our brothers and sisters! How lonely must the self-righteous be!