I saw some artsy looking graphic on Pinterest last week that said “1 year = 365 opportunities.” I thought that was a nice substitute word for days and, as someone who thrives off New Year’s Eve, I thought about all the ambitious and wild goals I could make for myself.
I thought about how cool it would be to do something wild and crazy every day. To explore a new neighborhood until I knew every inch of every borough of New York. I thought about how fun it would be to do some exciting ‘bucket list worthy item’ every single day. And how cool it would be to eat my way through every dollar pizza place (okay maybe that was a once a week goal. Mom, I promise I eat my vegetables).
But then an ounce of realism crept in. And an ounce of sense. I don’t need an adventure every single day. Plus, it was January 3rd when I re-remembered the quote so it was basically too late. *sarcasm detected.
Then one final ounce of rational thought came to mind. I don’t need constant chaos.
I already have something radically uncommon.
I pulled out my notebook about an hour ago to add my 1884th consecutive day of Happiness to my collection. I put it back on my shelf, next to five other completed notebooks, each filled with 365 opportunities.
The Smile Project was built off an opportunity that we all have.
When I first saw that quote, the dreamer in me went big. I imagined a world and a lifestyle that simply doesn’t make sense for where my goals and responsibilities lie at this point in time. I also imagined a world where I could live off dollar slice and teleport from country to country fluently speaking every language and learning so much about every culture. But I digress.
I think too often we see these quotes and we find ourselves riddled with reckless ambition and trust me, that is a good thing. But sometimes, we take it a little too far. We think that 365 opportunities means we need to have 365 perfect days.
365 perfect days of making our bed and eating a health smoothie for breakfast and going to the gym on our lunch break and organizing our desk at work and catching up with old friends over dinner and maintaining this flawless, untouchable life.
But what if your opportunity was on a smaller scale.
What if your 365 opportunities weren’t about losing 10 pounds, going to the gym every day, going to bed at the same time each night, or finally picking up that bestseller?
What if your 365 opportunities were just about being kind? What if you woke up each morning and thought, no matter what else happens today, I will be kind.
What if you took an extra five seconds to hold the door for someone? to take out the trash even though it’s not your turn? to smile at a stranger? to help your coworker with a project? to tell someone you love them?
You have 365 opportunities this year to make someone smile. I think that’s the kind of resolution we can all stand behind.
And even though we’re a few days into 2017 – or if you stumble upon this blog post in July – let me remind you that the first “Happiness is” was posted on November 9th 2011. That’s certainly wasn’t a noteworthy date then.
Looking back now, I recognize November 9th 2011 as the day I took control of my life and made a conscious effort to focus on the positive so much so that my life began to flood with joy.
You have 365 opportunities this year to choose happiness. You have 365 opportunities to believe there is good, to be the good. You have 365 opportunities to spread the smile.
How will you use them?