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Pillar 1: Create Adventure

Welcome to Day 1 of #JoyWeek2016. Today we're focusing on one of the five Pillars of The Smile Project: "Create Adventure"

Day 1826:

Happiness is.. finding adventure in every experience. Today’s theme is “Create Adventure.” It’s easy to find adventure in grandeur, but this Pillar of The Smile Project is all about creating your own adventure. Adventure isn’t always about the world traveler. Sometimes adventure can be as simple as taking a new route on your walk to work or sitting on your fire escape on a cool evening. Adventure – much like joy – can be found everywhere if you have the right eyes to see it. Become excited about the beauty that surrounds you…and if you can’t find any? Make some.

When I first started to mold The Smile Project into five pillars, I was fascinated by this idea of Adventure. I wanted to encourage people to step out of their comfort zones and fearlessly seek adventure. This is still an ideal, that personally, I hold very close to me.

But I quickly saw things going a different direction.

I thought of the way my high school teammates and I would play elaborate games of imaginary softball while waiting for our bus to take us home after practice. We'd swing at the air and slide into home and have the time of our lives, with nothing but an empty diamond.

I thought of the way my college friends would laugh every time I went through the roof with excitement at the idea of walking into town to go to the grocery store as if it was some grand exploration or as if something unreal was going to occur on the four block stretch of a quiet country town.

But I prefer to think that way.... to be over eager and silly and almost child-like in my innocence of fun.

There's a really great Albert Einstein quote that I find myself often repeating to myself on tired days:

"There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle."

--Albert Einstein

I have been very fortunate in my travels and don't for a moment take for granted any of the grand adventures I've had. That being said, I think it's important that we place value on things like a walk around the block or the excitement of ordering a different flavor of ice cream. If we treat every day as an adventure, we are bound to live into dreams we cannot yet fathom.

For The Smile Project, the idea of having an entire Pillar around adventure came from the "Why Do You Smile" campaign. One of my favorite things is my simple laminated smiley face. I almost always have it with me and am always eager to see how far it can go. I want to #SpreadTheSmile to every state, every county, every country.

The concept of the "Create Adventure" is twofold. Yes, I want people to be brave and bold and make their big dreams come true, while at the same time appreciating the little miracles of every day life. Secondly, I want us to literally spread the smile. I want to send the smile to my friends in Germany and Australia and Chile. I want to see my friends in big cities take that smile to all their landmarks. I want to see this map of our world dotted with happiness. I want The Smile Project to be the best globe trotter our world has ever seen.

You see all these pillars are meant to contain some form of double meaning. From the surface, they're a feel good one-liner to live by. Dig a little deeper and we're talking Smile Project stretch goals.

I think it's possible. Let's go #SpreadTheSmile.

Are you in?

Love always,


Feat. The first "Smile pic" taken circa 2012

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