My recent post about integrity was an amazing learning experience for me. I am truly grateful to everyone that participated in this discussion. The purpose of my post was served. To my surprise a lot more happened … I discovered a few things about the world and myself.
Every time I saw a comment I had a strong urge to jump back into the discussion in order to learn more about the person’s point of view and get into an intellectually charged argument. But I refrained from the fear of turning it into a battle of emotions and principles. I figured that I would much rather enjoy seeing the perspectives of other people and picking up on what ever I could learn from them. I did and I really enjoyed it.
My attitude seemed kind of boring but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that perhaps this characteristic of mine is what contributes to a lot of the happiness in my life. I do not seek people like me or that necessarily have a liking for me, but I seem to seek people and experiences that “teach” me. I love to explore and learn. It does not disturb me when I meet people that have incredibly different opinions/principles than I do. I usually respond with awe when someone tells me something that I had never thought of before …and that eventually results in learning.( Of course, there are exceptions – these relationships turn out to be exceptional only when the tolerance and learning is mutual – I do fight/flee when mutual respect is lacking).
The more I think back into my life, the more of this pattern I see. The happiest times in my life have been times of exploration and learning for me. Times when I have had a solid goal that involved learning and gone after it. Times when I have not had to worry about what I do/say every minute – when I have let my passion flow through for a cause/goal I believe. Over the years, I have learned to forgive my mistakes and focus my energy forward. As I saw this pattern emerge in my brain I started to think that If I weaved the “happiness quilt” of my life, this would be the pattern that would repeat – learning, exploration, passion. When life gets hard and I start to slip, my quickest way to bounce back is to set a goal and go for it – through exploration and learning. I do not know if the characteristics are good or bad by themselves (really, they could be either), but I do know that they are good for ME.
The Happiness Quilt Project
And then I started to wonder what patterns other people see in their Happiness Quilts. Around the time I also saw the 100 Squares for Christmas at Oktober5’s blog. I put the two together and thought about how wonderful it would be if we all sewed the Happiness Quilt together. I envision it will look something like this – it is a gratitude wall I have on my other blog.
So, what do we do now ?
I need you to find the pattern on your quilt
What does the pattern on your happiness quilt look like? I am curious. If you think back to the happiest times in your life, do you see a pattern emerge? It could be relationships, career, writing, reading, helping …..What is it about you that makes you so happy during your happy times?? Thanks to Tom Volkar for a very similar process he used to help me find my strengths.
Finding the pattern: Think about the times in your life that you have been the happiest. Think about why you felt so happy – was it an event, an accomplishment, a relationship? Slowly, move on to thinking about the kind of person you were while you felt so happy. What did those happy times bring out in you? What were the qualities about YOURSELF that you were celebrating during the happiest times of your life?
Think about the various happy times in your life and what characteristics they brought out in you. Do you see a pattern? Are there 3-4 qualities that come up over and over again?
That is it. If you have done a good job of traveling inwards, you should have the “things” about yourself that make you happy. (When you make a choice in life, make a quick check to see if the choice you just made brings out those 3 or 4 things about you …if yes, chances are you are making a “happy” choice – but let us talk about that in another post)
I need you to give me a piece of of your Happiness pattern
Share what you found in that process – on your blog as a post, on this post as a comment or in an email to me. I will need the following:
- A picture – like your gravatar
- A link of your choice – to your blog, to an article or a pretty picture – anything
- Your Happiness characteristics – 3 or 4 of them
- Optional – A short story(3-4 lines) to put your characteristics in context.
If create a blog post make sure you link it back here.
- Feel free to make submissions for other members of your family or your friends too. You will see you own private quilt emerge and it will be a wonderful tool for you to make “happy” decisions/choices for the family!
And then I will sow it together
I will put it all together on a separate tab on this blog.
And we all can share it.
I will give you the quilt or I will give you a link so you can share this on your blog. I will share my code as well, if you want to implement something like this someplace else – any way we can share it, I will.
Why is it cool?
- It will grow – always. It will be a tab on my blog – always. A place to be surrounded by Happiness.
- You need not be a blogger to participate. You are here and you love happiness.
- It will be an experience for now and a tool for the future. What better than to find stories of happiness from around the world in one place.
- Personally for me, it is a great way to honor you all and “know” the thinkmaya community better.
I look forward to hearing from you! I want to have a substantial quilt for the new year, so I appreciate early submissions 🙂
Please forward it to friends/family and have them participate – the exercise is the really important part of the experience – so share that with people as well. And I really appreciate if you could stumble/digg/tweet this post. Thank you!
If you have enjoyed this article, I would really appreciate it if you could stumble/digg it.