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Compounding Joy

Sitting in a rocking chair last week, adding photos of our newest Smile Project Ambassadors to the website, when something struck me. I, personally, have been recording daily joy since November 9th, 2011—almost ten years, over 3,300 days. That’s a lot of “Happiness is.” But then I looked at the faces staring back at me on the screen. That was a lot more.


I looked at Kristen, the program manager, who has been recording for almost 700 days. I saw our founding ambassadors, Ari, Matt, and Alli, who, between the 3 of them, can account for 2,689 days. I thought about the dozen other ambassadors who have reached at least 100 days of daily joy and suddenly the math was dizzying.


There’s an African proverb that I’ve loved since I was a teenager that says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of compounding joy. How no matter how many times I type “Happiness is” on my computer screen, I can only get there one day at a time. But what about when Christina starts recording her “Happiness is?” Or Erikka? Now, each day we put 3 jolts of joy into the universe. What about when Josie or Rebecca join? I felt like I was rediscovering exponents.


I made a commitment to myself at age 17 to write one “Happiness is” every single day. And every single day, I show up with my journal. Now, though, I’m realizing the best way I can spread joy through this nonprofit is by bringing more people into the journey. To give others the kind of brain rewiring, gratitude-muscle building, all-encompassing, life-changing adventure of recording daily joys is suddenly the most obvious thing in the world to me.


If you are interested in joining a community of kind-hearted folks who are dedicated to showing up every day, loving even when it's hard, and leading with gratitude, let’s connect. There is always room for you here. We would love to have you.


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