For my birthday, my daughter gave me an incredibly thoughtful gift - The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha. She knows I love all things happy and inspirational and this was a book I hadn’t even seen before (as opposed to the ones I leaf through at the bookstore while I drink my latte, but don’t actually buy. Sorry Barnes & Noble!). It was perfect!
Essentially, this book is a compilation of all the little things that happen during the day that put a smile on our face, make us high-five the guy next to us or do a little happy dance (at least in our minds).
You see, it doesn’t take much to make most people happy. At least temporarily. The smell of freshly cut grass, kids waving to us from the back of the bus, finding out something you were willing to pay full price for is actually on sale… these are little things that can make us forget what we were so upset about just a minute before. What if we could summon these feelings on command?
Well actually, we can. We just usually chose not to. We give in to our emotions and instead of doing something to change our negative state to a positive one, we do things that keep us in the negative one. Listen to sad music. Call someone who’s willing to commiserate. Think of other bad things that make us spiral into the abyss. Sound familiar?
What’s great about this book is that it raises our awareness. You read through it, then as you go through your day you find yourself noticing things and thinking “Hey, that should be in the book!” It gives the event a little more staying power. A little more weight.
It also makes the moment easier to recollect when things aren’t going so well. Try it! The next time you’re stressed out or anxious or sad, try to catch yourself before the mood takes root and read a couple pages from this book, roll down the windows in the car, wave to a stranger or blast a good song on the radio. And when that little voice in your head resists say to yourself, “No! I choose Happiness!” You know how you’ll feel? Awesome!