Experiments in Wellbeing – 100 Happy Days

My #100HappyDays journey is complete, an enjoyable, useful experiment.

In November 2014, I started a journey which only 29% of people who begin it will complete. In January I reached the half way mark, and over the weekend, I became one of the 29%.

My #100HappyDays journey is over, which means I managed to find something to photograph which helped me feel happy in each and every day for 100 days straight. Those who know me well might be struggling to believe I managed this small achievement, and yet I have the photographs to prove it! Here are a few pictures from the latter stages of my journey.


I’ve really enjoyed finding something genuinely positive in each day that comes along. Each individual find might be quite small in itself, though the approach behind it enlarges how it feels to me, and the journey as a whole is fun and useful too. In addition to the reflections I observed in my previous posts about this experiment, I now have a much firmer hold on the notion of small things making big differences. Small repeated actions matter on their own, and can definitely accumulate into something significant.

I am printing the 100 photos into a book so I can reflect on the experiment from time to time and continue to learn from it. I’m also aware that now, when I hit a bump in the road, I am consciously, and yet gently looking for a positive way to move forward. Things still make me feel angry, fearful, jealous and all the other emotions we’re less likely to acknowledge, I simply feel better equipped to deal with them now.

As the journey neared its completion, Keira asked me two questions. ‘Are you going to carry on for another 100 days?’ followed by ‘Will you try a 100 miserable days?’ The second question received a resounding no – primarily because I’m convinced such an experiment would have a powerfully negative affect on me. Keira’s first question is much more interesting. Right now, my #100HappyDays experiment has finished, and I realise that making some visual prompts to trigger useful, productive thoughts and actions, is enjoyable. So I will continue the idea in my own way…somehow. My friend Callum Saunders sent me a quote by Anna White when I was over 80 days into this, which I think will be helpful as I ponder how to develop the experiment further.

“Maybe it’s not about having a beautiful day, but about finding beautiful moments. Maybe a whole day is just too much to ask. I could choose to believe that in every day, in all things, no matter how dark and ugly, there are shards of beauty if I look for them.”

If you fancy giving 100 Happy Days a try, you can sign up for it here, or just do it yourself. You don’t receive any reminders, so the experiment continues (or doesn’t) based purely on your own motivation. I found that self prompting to be really helpful and satisfying. I hope that sharing my experience has proved useful for some of you, and if anyone has any questions – feel free to ask.

Author: Doug Shaw

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

2 thoughts on “Experiments in Wellbeing – 100 Happy Days”

  1. Doug,

    Firstly well done on becoming one of the 29% – or maybe you pushed it up to 30%? 🙂

    Secondly I wanted to support the power of this sort of exercise. When I did my standup comedy course which spread over almost 100 days, I found that while I was constantly looking for material for my final performance it was hard to feel down. Just looking for the humorous (or happy) in things just sets you up for a positive outlook on the rest of life.

    As I said, well done.

    1. Hi Ian – thanks for being in touch. Heh heh – wouldn’t that be good if me completing this, tipped the scale up another 1% 🙂

      Based on my experience, I agree with your observation, and I appreciate you sharing it too.

      Cheers – Doug

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