Friday, September 25, 2015

#100happydays - I made it!

So what was the #100happydays all about? As I went through this journey, I was asked this question time and again. Let me share my thoughts.

Like most of you, I have had my share of ups and downs in life. Childhood was a very happy time, adolescence a little less and then as one grew into adulthood one went through stress, as one experienced several situations. I will admit that there were times when I was so stressed that I wondered if I would ever be happy again. 

Fortunately several things happened in my life - to make me experience happiness all over again. In the order in which things happened were

a) Stephen Covey's books
b) Sri Sri Ravishankars'- Art of Living Courses
c) Robin Sharma and Rhonda Byrne's books

If I had to put down the crux of all these, I would sum it up in two points

1) Happiness is a choice we can make
2) The more grateful we are for everything we have, the more happy we can be

Coming back to the #100happydays - first I must thank Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan and Gayatri Aptekar for letting me know about this challenge. Roshan had written a lovely piece about this in his blog. Both of them had me all motivated to take up this challenge. It meant that for 100 days - without a break, I had to write something that made me happy, and upload a picture about it. I chose to do this on Facebook

I honestly was not worried about completing it. The site (from which the idea originated) warns us that 71% of people who start, do not complete it. Having done a slightly more demanding version of this - while reading Rhonda Byrne's "The Magic" - (where there is a 27 day commitment - but more intense), this was really much easier, I felt!

And sure enough only one day, I could not post, because there was no Internet connectivity in that place where I was that day. So I posted two days posts together on the next day!

What was my experience during these 100 days? 

While I did not experience earth shattering changes or any specific strokes of extreme good luck, (not that I held any such expectation :>) there were two significant experiences I would like to share:

1) Lots of my friends on Facebook enjoyed these posts . They actually made it a point to tell me this! And that brought me a LOT of joy!! I am very sure that it has made *some* difference in their lives. 

2) There were days which were tough. My own health went for a bit of a toss in the last two weeks. That happened to my husband and mom in law too. And our maids and our driver. All at the same time! :) A close friend of mine has both parents ill. Worrying about them and her (the stresses she is going through) - can all be telling. 

BUT - when it has become a habit to "look for the good" - each day, it DEFINITELY makes the stresses lighter. No kidding. And it is easier to tell oneself "this too will pass". And that there are bigger forces that give us the strength to handle all stresses if we look for the strength and accept it. 

And then I must share two more things that have been like a miracle - at least I choose to see it that way, just as I choose happiness in every situation:

The first:
In the last week I started working on myself ... started noting down what all I wanted to do, to become a healthier person and work even more on my character and competence. This obviously means changing one's habits. And... I am sure everyone has experienced how TOUGH that can be! 

And guess what... a friend of mine - Swapnil Deorao Bawane happened to share on FB - just what I needed - "Transform your habits" an Ebook by James Clear

I strongly recommend this small 46 page E-book to anyone who wishes to change any habit. James Clear recommends that we do not focus on the results (the changed habit), but the process (the steps we need to take to change). And advises - that we make small and incremental process efforts at committed time frames. This he assures will make us arrive at the changed habit! 

(For example - starting with even 5-10 minutes of exercising / walking  2- 3 times a week and gradually increasing both time and frequency, makes a process change in us that helps us get fitter / trimmer. He assures us that in a few weeks, we will not be making efforts - it will happen as easily as brushing your teeth)!

The second:
I had for long, wanted to resurrect my blog - which - if you go through the archives, you will note is very sporadically updated. Well - I have done it now :) With this piece! 

And - with James Clear's advice - I now plan to make a commitment to write at a frequency that I will set, and write may be just short pieces first. The my set frequency will get me to be a regular blogger! 

Thanks again - Roshan and Gayatri! Thanks - Swapnil Bawane. And thanks to all those who told me they were inspired, and who actually have read every post during these 100 days  - Anujaa Navaratna, Maithili Karnad, Ramya Gollapudi, Roopal Parab ... and more  hope each one of you takes up the #100happydays and experience changes!! 

God bless! 


Roshan Radhakrishnan said...

Been waiting for this post for a 100 days :D
I am glad you took it, glad you completed it and overjoyed that you felt it made a positive impact in your life. I know it did for me... in fact, having done it for 2 years in a row, I intend to make it a yearly thing now. Can't have enough of happiness in our lives, can we?

Vasumathi said...

Thanks once again Roshan! And yes - will do it all over again! After reading "The Magic", it is actually a daily habit to be happy and grateful for a number of things... even in the midst of "problems / issues" that occasionally arise.
But documenting the pieces of happiness and going back to them off and on is another joy in itself :)
I hope more people take it up!