Posted in Uncategorized

Four Things I Pretend to Like; Four Things I Like but Pretend Not To

Here are four things I pretend to like:

1.  Baked Lays.  I really want to like them because they are supposedly better for you, but to me they taste a little like very thin cardboard.  The next time I’m at Subway, I’m thinking about buying a bag of Baked Lays and a bag of regular Lays, switching the contents, and from then on keeping the regular bag with me as my cover.

2.  Wal-Mart Greeters.  I know, this is so mean of me, but REALLY, come on.

3.  Green Tea.  I drink it, but I don’t like it.

4.  Elves.  I don’t care if they’re from the North Pole or not, elves are creepy.  I know I’m a fine one to talk, with my ears and all, but still.

And here are four things I like but pretend not to:

1.  Susan Boyle.  She’s the best thing that’s come along since The Beatles.  I love this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSnPqKZEFw8

(Maybe the outfits are a bit much for the English countryside.)

2.  Gold Bond Powder.  You don’t want me to get started.  Let’s just say that if I can’t find my GB, everything this blog stands for disappears.  EVERYTHING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Pork Rinds.   Barbequed, the kind they peddle at the Statesboro Fair in that little back alley where all the locally made food items are sold.  I buy one BIG bag for immediate consumption and another for a midnight snack.  The barbequed variety are really pretty hot, and I can’t feel my mouth for a day or two after the gorging, but they are worth the temporary inconvenience.

4.  The Greeters at Moe’s.  Like everyone else, I make fun of them: “Welcome to Moe’s!” I jokingly yell occasionally.  But when I rush in for the Ruprict Nachos at lunchtime, and the workers behind the sneeze guard greet me with such enthusiastic passion, I get a little choked up, like they really care, and that I’m, well, “home.”  (Now, if the Wal-Mart greeters did the same thing, the first list might just have three instead of four items.)

Now you know.  And you’re smarter because of the knowing.

Posted in JoyInciters

Introducing the JoyInciters

JoyInciter = a strategy or practice which can bring greater happiness in life

I would like to introduce you to what I call the JoyInciters, a collection of simple practices which I use regularly to increase the level of happiness and joy in my life.  And even though some folks make a distinction between joy and happiness, I use the terms interchangeably.  I have collected these strategies from my study of happiness over the years, as well as my own life experiences, and have found them to be instrumental in moving me from not feeling good to feeling better, or from feeling okay to feeling happier.

I have come to have great respect for my feelings–they help me to know “where I am” at any given moment.  I see them (all of them) as significant helpers in life.  But I certainly don’t like them all.  I’ve heard it said that we “live at the address of our thoughts,” and I would add that our feelings (sad, depressed, excited, happy, etc.) are most often set in place by our thoughts.  Especially thoughts that we allow to become dominant in our minds.

My JoyInciters, if practiced authentically and regularly, WILL increase your joy.  I like the term JoyInciter, and when I created it, I played with other similar “words,” such as JoyEnticer, JoyInsider, and JoyInsight, but I love the idea that some very simple things we can do will incite (def = spur on, push toward action) us to get to where we want to go.  And I submit to you the belief that we all want to be happier.

I will be introducing one JoyInciter every week or so.

JoyInciter #1  is the most fundamental of all the strategies (and a practice which I imagine we all do to some extent): expressing gratitude.  This is what I am suggesting–make being thankful a regular, conscious practice.  And to help that endeavor, I keep an ongoing listing of what I’m thankful for, a gratitude journal or what I call my THANKSGIVING BOOK.

Everyday (or whenever I think of it), I write something down I’m thankful for.  I have come to realize that what I write down is NOT the most important factor of this practice.  But the LOOKING for thanksgiving is paramount in causing a shift in SEEING.  And it’s SO easy.  Right now as I type, I am grateful to be able to type, to have a computer and a smart phone, to have this popcorn I am eating, to have a bed to sleep in, etc.  Two of my courses this semester are keeping gratitude journals, and we begin class each day by sharing what we’re thankful for.

I challenge you to consciously begin to look for that which you are thankful for (whether you use a Thanksgiving Book or not).  To get started, tell me a few things you are grateful for right now.  This practice is a definite JoyInciter.