100 Happy Days – An Exploration of Happiness

A friend recently shared a link to the 100 Happy Days website. I curiously clicked on through and learned that 100 Happy Days is simply a voluntary challenge to share a photo every day for (you guessed it) 100 days. The photo has to connect with something that made you feel happy on that day. Simple enough – though the website says that 71% of people who embark on this journey don’t make it to the finish. I’ve been looking for a couple of new, regular habits to explore – so I signed up.

For the record, I have mixed feelings about happiness. I often find it occurs unexpectedly, and that chasing it is a bit like the just out of reach impossibility of trying to recapture that first heroin high, probably. I’ve not tried heroin so I can’t be sure about that, but I do know that like a lot of people – I’m fond of being grumpy from time to time too. Will I be able to cope with 100 Happy Days? According to the website, people successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;
– Fall in love during the challenge.

What’s not to like about that lot?

I’ve just completed day thirteen of this experiment and when I started, I thought I’d wait for some of that grumpiness I mentioned earlier to hit me before sharing my initial thoughts. Having experienced a wobble on my happiness perch during Day Thirteen, what am I noticing so far?

  • Happiness is indeed elusive, and when found, best left to purr quietly in the background. Don’t make a fuss or it’s likely to move on again.
  • Experiences trump things.
  • Family and friends – when they’re happy, you are more likely to be too.
  • Belgian Beer is lovely, but on a Monday night, maybe not so much.

When I started this experiment I did so unsure that I would even make it this far. Day Fourteen is here and so am I. If any of the pictures intrigue you enough for you to want to know more – let me know. And if you are looking for something little to do for the next 100 days, maybe you’d like to try this too?


Update: I successfully completed the 100HappyDays experiment.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

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