The Happy Challenge

Watch this video.



For the cheaters, the part I am most interested in is the bit about reprogramming your brain for happiness.   Studies are showing that you can rewire yourself to be happier by doing happy things.

The science is sound.  Good things trigger a dopamine reaction.  Your body likes dopamine, so you start craving the things that make it happen, which all happen to be good things.  As you suffer dopamine withdrawal, you become driven to do what it takes to get your fix.

The process is similar to heroin withdrawal, with no downside.

Hugging your kids(assuming you like them) triggers the reaction.  So does sex, successes at work, and beating a video game.

The specific plan mentioned in the video is to write down three things that you are grateful for, once per day, for 21 days in a row.  That will begin the self-reinforcing training that can get you hooked on being happy.

That’s a win. 75% of job success is predicted by your attitude.  You are 31% more productive when you are happy.  You’re also more fun to be around.

That’s a win.

Here’s my challenge:

For the next 21 days, do it.  Write down 3 thing you are grateful for.  What makes you happy?  It’s okay if it’s hard.  If it’s hard for you, you need it more than most.

Now, the truly hard part:

Fill out this form every day.  Your answers can be as long or as short as you’d like, but there has to be 3 new things every day for 21 days.  We’re going to train your brain to look for the positive, so you can’t give me 63 things on day 21.  3 things, 21 days.

On day 22, tell me how the previous 3 weeks have been.

When it’s over, I’ll hold a drawing for everyone who completed the challenge.   Not everyone will see this immediately, so I’m going to run the challenge until May 15.    That means you have until April 24th to get started.

3 answers per day means three prizes.  I’ll give away a total of $250 to three lucky participants.   That’s a $125 prize, a $75 prize, and a $50 prize, but you have to obey the rules.  3 things, 21 days in a row.

Be happy.  I dare you.

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    1. Damn! You caught me cheating, haha! I could use a little adjustment lately. 🙂

    2. This is a great challenge! I’ll join and will try my best to fill out the form every day. Actually, I will write in my notebook and then transfer them online whenever I can.

    3. Great challenge. I have been doing this since I came back from Africa- just having a different outlook in general. Very effective.

    4. Great idea! I did this in 2010 with one of those desk tear-away calendars. Each day I was in the office (I skipped weekends) I ripped the previous day’s page off, wrote five things I was grateful for, and put them in a little basket. Now I have a basket full of a year’s worth of gratitude; on a bad day, it brings tears to my eyes.

    5. Interesting idea. What if I’m already a glass half full kind of guy.

    6. I love this talk and I love this challenge. I’m in! Hope I can remember to do it every day.

    7. I LOVE this idea!

    8. Hi there – did you ever announce winners? I’m still trying to do this every day 🙂

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