Whenever I get into a rut at work, I always turn to one of my colleagues, Sarah. Sarah just always seems to know exactly what I need, whether it’s a baked good from her kitchen, a song, a list of “How You Know Your A Child of the 90s” or even a TED Talk. Girl has a gift.
A few weeks ago, Sarah sent me this TED Talk from Shawn Achor, CEO of Good Think Inc. In just 12 minutes, Achor explains, in a charming way, how to better your work simply from happiness. You simply taking a step back and changing your go-to-way of thinking. By being happy, you’ll be more productive.
It’s through this notion of “positive psychology” that you’ll become a happier human. I remember back in 2007 some author was on Oprah and talking about having a “Happiness Journal.” On that day, I went out, bought a journal and since then, have written down at least three things each day that have made me happy. It’s funny to see the pattern over the past 4 years (a sunny day!!) and the simple things back in college that just seemed to brighten my world (class canceled).
Sometimes you just need a Sarah reminder that the work stresses don’t really add up to much.
My friend Katie recently made the plunge into the blogging world. She’s talking of fashion and home decorating and anything else that pops into her head on Ella Bella Bea & Flo. Needless to say, I was worried I wouldn’t “get” much of what she’s writing about. But I was wrong. Way wrong.
Last week she posted about making a “Leap List.” Instead of creating resolutions that take a year to accomplish, you make little goals that require a leap. Katie’s leap list focused on buying art. It got me thinking, what’s one thing I’ve always wanted to do, that takes one simple step to actually do? Then it hit me. Or rather, it tapped me.
Tap dancing is something I’ve wanted to take up for years. I blame one of my favorite movies, Singin’ in the Rain, for implanting this fixation. A few years ago, Tony Danza was on Oprah and talked about how he built a tap dancing studio in his basement as a way to just get away from it all. And frankly, I thought it was genius. Mom can attest, the best scene in the Mary Poppins: The Musical is definitely the chimney sweeps singing “Step in Time.”
Tap dancing just seems to exude a breath of fun. You flail your arms and legs around while stomping and creating a ruckus sounds like the perfect way to burn some steam and stress. I’m not sure why I’ve never scratched my tap dancing itch. All it takes is a simple phone call to find classes, buying the shoes and then going to class.
So I did it. I called, bought and now, I will dance.
Yesterday, CNN Living re-published an article from Oprah.com about dreams that you should never give up on. I’m quite the dreamer, and have an ever-expanding list that I feel guilty moving away from. Like the dream of producing a Broadway play? Pretty sure my copywriter funds are never going to be able to make that one happen. And learning a second language isn’t going to be happening anytime soon, I could barely handle it in high school and college.
So how do you know what dreams to hold on tightly to and when to let the wind carry them away?
Leigh Newman proposed a list of 9 dreams that you should never give up on. That you should continue to strive and achieve at some capacity. My personal favorite one was “5. The dream of the amazing, life-changing trip you don’t have time for.”
I’ve always been in awe of traveling, no matter where it was, just seeing a new setting and surrounding myself with complete strangers was always a thrill. And why many of my dreams involve travel. From seeing the sculpture in Dublin with my two eyes and standing underneath the Eiffel Tower with my mom to doing AIDS community work in South Africa and attending a Euro music festival that lasts three-days and requires me to camp.
But after seeing this Dream Never to Give Up On #5, I found myself reverting back to the idea of standing on every continent. To feel like I’ve touched all parts of the world and left an impact, even if it was with my feet.
So continent-exploring is back on the table. Maybe I should just turn all of my dreams into a “Around-the-World” trip to knock out more than a few birds with one stone.
Are there any dreams you find yourself holding on to?