I’ve struggled to write this post for a long time. I was going to sit down and write it as I approached each century mark, and I couldn’t bring myself to write because I didn’t know how to clearly share with people why I decided to do it participate in the challenge and why I continued to extend it. It all started with a challenge from my friend Shawn Davids to start the 100 Happy Days Challenge which asked you to post 100 pictures of happy moments for 100 days on a social media platform of your choosing. It encouraged others to think about the happy moments in their life. He stopped and I & continued long after to where now I am approaching almost 600 days.
After my fathers passing in 2011 I struggled with focusing on the things/people that made me happy. I tried to fill my life with many personal and professional events that I enjoy participating in. During this time I had many professional breakthroughs and new opportunities from those breakthroughs. Managing my happiness with these breakthroughs while inwardly struggling with the personal challenges presented by my father’s passing was confusing for me, and I struggled to make sense of it and enjoy the happy moments that were all around me.
The 100 Happy Days Challenge has helped me reflect about each day & help me see that even with a difficult or disappointing day I can find something that makes me happy. However I know with the hashtag #100happydays #200happydays #300happydays, etc… that I have indirectly given some people the impression that I am always happy or that I am always trying to put on a act of being happy or that I was attempting to be someone I am not. This was never my intention and still it is not. It is all in how one perceives things. Ones perception is not always reality. Am I trying to “sell” this post and my instagram photos as someone who is always filled with happy moments? My simple answer is no. I am however using the photos as a way to reflect personally on moments that make me happy and put the focus on those moments rather on the difficult ones that have consumed my thinking and drained the joy from my happy moments previously. Do thoughts of my Dad and challenges pop into my mind still? Yes they do… but finding a happy moment in those days helps me through those days and gives me a lot to look forward to in the future.
Moments that now pop up on my memory wall on Facebook and spark a flood of emotions and awesome conversations with my kids, family, and at times my teaching colleagues. I couldn’t stop this project after 100 days. I was enjoying capturing these moments, sharing them and it was helping me with perspective and putting some focus back on the happy moments in my life. Many of the quick captured moments were of my kids experiencing life and sharing their joy with my wife and I.
Did I capture something every day? The answer is… almost. I have doubled up on some days. This was due to me not taking the time to get my camera out to capture the moment and sometimes due to me falling asleep before I could take the time to post it. Are all of my days filled with only happy moments. The simple answer is no. However many of days there were many big moments to choose from while other days there were singular moments that stood out and a few days that I was still searching for a moment late into the evening… important to note… I did find one. It is about Mindset and what you choose to focus on. I am learning to focus on things that make me happy. What makes you happy?