Friday's Five Happy Things (1)

Through various podcasts and books that I’ve been listening to and reading lately, I’ve been exploring the idea of personal development and growth. It’s been quite fascinating and thought-provoking and I will most certainly be sharing more on this theme in the coming months as I explore some more.

One aspect of personal development that has repeatedly been shared by those I’ve listened to is, to simplify it probably way too much, the power of positive thinking. Pretty much everything I’ve listened to or read has talked about the fact that how you react to a situation is your choice and when we react negatively towards something, the consequences of our reaction tend to also be negative. For example, let’s say you had a job interview that went really poorly. There is absolutely no way you can turn back in time and change how you did, no matter how you react, but your reaction will have consequences. If you react negatively, thinking this one failure makes you a failure, you’ll probably be less likely to apply for other jobs in the future and more likely to stick with your current position, whether you enjoy it or not. You’ll keep believing that you simply can’t. Choosing to have a positive reaction to your failed interview might cause you to continue applying to other positions, maybe working harder, preparing better for the interview, and maybe eventually finding a job you're even better suited towards. People who react positively to “failures” and other negative situations tend to be able to turn those failures into stepping stones towards success.

Of course, there are times when negativity is necessary. We are all humans, with a full range of human emotions, and anyone who is positive in absolutely every situation is a psychopath. But general positivity has been shown to have the ability to greatly improve our lives, even helping to boost our immune systems, causing less illness. To help remind myself to keep a generally positive attitude, I thought I’d introduce a regular end of the week series where I share five happy things that have happened during the week. These will be a mix of personal experiences, good things happening in the world, and maybe even sharing amazing experiences others have had - but the focus will always be the celebration of happy things.

Friday's Five Happy Things | kathleenhelen

Here are my five happy things from this week:

1. Monday I went for dinner with some friends from work and we tried a relatively new restaurant, the Juke Joint, in Carp. We went immediately after work so we were the only ones in the restaurant, which was nice. I got the Miss Sophia veggie burger and it was absolutely delicious. I would definitely go back and I would definitely recommend.

2. I finally got everything with my taxes sorted out and should be getting a lovely return this year that was absolutely wonderful news.

3. After listening to Sam (Smart-Twenties)’s podcast episode and reading her blog post about Tim Ferriss’ book Tribe of Mentors, I decided to order the book for myself. I’m not very far into it, but quite enjoying the answers I’ve skimmed through so far. I also decided to go through with the purchase last Saturday night, and thanks to Amazon’s prime service and their one-day delivery on certain items to Ottawa, I had the book at my door when I arrived home from work Sunday.

4. I got amazing customer service from Grammarly. I was a premium subscriber last year but decided that based on my current needs, how I was using the service, and my desire to budget more efficiently, the basic, free version would suit me better. The credit card I used to sign up for the subscription expired months ago and Grammarly even emailed to say that unless I updated my information, my subscription would be cancelled, so I thought I was fine and I didn’t really need to worry about it. Turns out your credit card company will sometimes just ok subscriptions like that because they want to help you avoid interruptions in your services (kind of thoughtful when you think about it), so I was charged for another year’s subscription. I contacted support, they explained, very nicely, that they just automatically process them and that it was completely my credit card company’s fault that the charge was processed, but also, even though it’s against their policy to issue refunds, agreed to refund the charge. I was planning on continuing to use the free version of their service anyway, but now I would definitely consider resubscribing to a premium account if my current needs changed.

5. I’ve been trying to make it a more regular habit to get up early so I downloaded a new (to me) app, Alarmy. With Alarmy, in order to stop your alarm in the morning, you have to complete a specified task like solving a math problem. I’ve set mine to require a picture of my shower curtain to be taken. It forces me to get up in the morning and once I’m in the bathroom, I might as well start washing my face and then the next thing I know, I’m up for the day. This week I successfully reached my goal of getting up at 6 am every day for two weeks straights, mostly because of the help of this app.

What happy things have happened to you this week?

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Friday's Five Happy Things | kathleenhelen

1 comment

  1. Love what you shared about positive thinking. It's tough to have that positive mindset, but obviously beneficial!
    YESSS for tax returns. I wait for ours all year - ha!
    I am amazed at all the creative apps people come up with. That alarm one sounds so cool!