The quest for ‘happy’

Hello good people!

As of late, I’ve been making a point of paying attention to the happy details of life. If you’ve read Neil Pasricha’s ‘The Book of Awesome”, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, you’re missing out on one of the greatest secrets ever published! The Book of Awesome is basically a high-five for humanity and a celebration of life’s little moments presented in a hilarious, honest voice. An anecdote from this book, combined with a Sunday afternoon read of, whilst listening to Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ will guarantee a flash of white, maybe dimples for some.

For those that know me, I don’t exactly have an award-winning smile. I’m more of a ‘smile with your eyes’ or in the words of the great Tyra Banks, ‘SMIZE!’, without revealing my pearly whites. But this post isn’t about how many muscles it takes to smile v. frown. Rather, it is about being attentive to those details in life that put a smile, or even a smirk on your face. A teacher of mine always said ‘God is in the details’, and though he was referring to APA citation style, I’ve found they are words to live by.

Drumroll … so once again, I have conjured a [growing] list, of the details that make me a happier, healthier person. Call it mental health if you like, and call me loopy if you think all of this is irrelevant to my psychological state, but I know that the moment I began paying attention, my world has been a significantly brighter place. Here goes: 

  • Walking home in the dark, and spotting my house from a distance because of a bright porch light, left on for me by my considerate roommates every time they know I’m working late. 
  • Complimenting strangers when I get the impulse. The voices in my head seem to go crazy when I see a brilliant smile or an excellent moustache. Lately, I’ve been vocalizing their views, and I usually get a good response. There are times when people give me the ‘are you hitting on me?’ look, or the ‘weirdo’ stare. All the better! Ha!
  • Going through old bookmarks on my Safari, and finding this gem: The Leaky Cauldron (which I used to frequent several times a week).
  • Naming my iPod ‘The Titanic’, so every time I update it, it says:
  • The smell of gasoline. How is this meant to make me healthier? I can’t explain my love for the smell, it makes me so happy! Talk about endorphin release… especially when it’s unexpected. You would expect it at a petrol station, but those random walks, where you just get a whiff? #THISISWHATHEAVENSMELLSLIKE
  • The peace I get when my funeral song plays. Right, no one wants to talk about death; but I expect it in an unthreatening way, so why not embrace? I don’t plan to live a long life, or a short one. I don’t plan because it’s not my plan, it’s God’s. Therefore, if I could contribute one thing, it’s a song to be remembered by! My sensible choice is Zoe Keating’s ‘Tetrishead’. Thinking about it makes me all tingly. If you’re anything like me, embrace it folks!
  • Walking barefoot in Australia. When I first witnessed this phenomenon, I thought it was trashy, classless, and dirtayyy. The Australians have another name for this: Bogan. So it’s Bogan, who cares? The day I gathered enough courage and went to the mall (on public transport), strutting through the stores in my bare naked feet, was glorious. It’s all very poetic in my head. This is me, barefoot and sandy on new years, 2014:
    Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 2.09.18 AM
  • People-watching in museums and art galleries! The art is the cake, but the people viewing is the cherry on top. You can learn a lot by watching people watch art. Usually a good laugh comes of it… that or inspired rap lyrics. Also, people-watching usually provides good contemplation sessions with the folks in my head. I took this photo at the GOMA, in Brisbane. I schemingly followed this couple around the ‘Falling Back to Earth’ exhibit for half an hour:
    Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 2.05.51 AM
  • Eavesdropping, with good intentions. Meaning, I am willing to intervene when I see an opportunity to make someone’s day, solve a problem, or give my (unwanted but usually appreciated) advice. I do this a lot at work, especially when cleaning tables. I recommend you try this with a ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ attitude.
  • Actually remembering to pray for others. How selfish does that sound? It’s not about forgetting others, leaving out any trace of self-righteousness here. It’s just that sometimes (yeah right, most times!) I want to hog all the praying for my own miserable struggle. When I remember to pray for others, and in detail, I sometimes feel like I am exploding with joy and peace. An instant burst of happiness is guaranteed when I stop being so selfish.
  • The title of this blog post, and other posts of mine and it’s lack of capitalization! Well i’m in Australia now, and they only capitalize the first word in any title. How annoying, and oh so liberating! This is life on the edge people.
  • Being wrong about people. I absolutely LOVE when I misjudge someone and they turn out to be the complete opposite. It’s a good humbling for my ego, needed every now and then. I know i’m not the only one that goes through this; the detail here lies in acknowledgement.
  • Never missing the opportunity to say “FOUR FOR YOU GLEN COCO” to every Glen I meet in this lifetime. I need this shirt:

Hmm… That’s all I could think of for now, but I will be updating this post soon. In the meanwhile, think of the details in your own lives. Whether your list is a practical one, or as random as mine, try to make a point of recognizing the daily overlooked details that make you happy.  



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