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Control: Maximize What Makes You Happy

Lesson 6 from: The Power of Happiness

Vanessa Van Edwards

Control: Maximize What Makes You Happy

Lesson 6 from: The Power of Happiness

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

6. Control: Maximize What Makes You Happy

Lesson Info

Control: Maximize What Makes You Happy

I hope you're dancing at home with give a little shake out a rag. Good job guys always like starting off the day with a little bit of dancing cause that releases are endorphins and gets us out of our seats and hopefully at home, you dance with us. So today we're on day number four, which is all about control. Now when I say control, I'm recovering control Holic. So I love control, and what I realize is is this is a really important pillar in success because it's something that we used to do his kids or people used to do for us, our parents and teachers. We've sort of for gotten this skill, so I cannot wait to go into it before we do that. Let's talk about what we've learned so far. So the first day we did now how mindset where we filled out our chart of happiness audience at home, what was sort of the one thing on your chart of happiness which the activity got you most excited. How would how do the numbers stack up? Was anyone have trouble with 1 68 number of hours? So tell me about th...

at yet Well, one I There are a lot of ex activities that I was really excited about. But one thing I realized this morning it was I had read in shower like, really low and is in the shower this morning. I was like, I really like that. Eso just brought some awareness to actually like bringing more happiness into my day when I didn't have that awareness. And now I like plans to, like maximize my show and to make it like this really amazing ritual double down on the show shower palace, Right? Like the best nice smelling bath job, Like a beautiful shower curtain. Like upgrade your like nozzle. So it's like a waterfall shower, right? So I did the same thing in bed. I we're gonna talk about asleep palace, right? Like I made my upward in my bed because I love, love sleep. This is a really good point. Remember how I taught the now how mindset with the Tetris effect, right? The whole point after you feel that exercise was so that you were doing your daily today your shower which we've done a 1,000,000 times before. And you're like, I really like this right? like that is the Tetris effect in action. So I hope that you will go back and keep updating your happiness chart as you start experiencing the same activities in a new way or new activities in a different way. So day number two we talked about mastery and your skills. So I asked you to fill out your skill charter. Take your skill temperature. Was there any skills that surprised you? Were there any skills that you sort of went through? And you didn't realize that was a skill for you? Any surprising skills and wants to share? Yes. Oh, um, auditory, auditory zik. Um I'm like, I don't consider myself, like a musician or anything like that, but I really love music. And then when we went forward to the play activities, there was one that was, like, develop your singing voice and I was like, That is terrifying and kind of exciting at the same time. Yes, that is the perfect play activity. So you gonna maybe take some vocal lessons at some point? I'm I'm kind of interested in this idea, and you could always start off with something small, right? So, like, if you are like, had this inkling that, like training your voice could be something it doesn't mean you have to go higher vocal coach. Maybe it's like buying a book on vocal power, right? Like, just like starting with that were like listening to a podcast about musicians and singing, right? So, like, it's not like putting like a huge amount of money down or doing something with someone else. So take a look. That baby steps of experiments doesn't have to be. We don't have tohave using operate tomorrow, right? That you not to do that. So, on the third day, um, we talked about play and play storming. And this is where I gave you a list of hundreds of activities based on each skill you could possibly do. So I would love to hear What are some happiness experiments that you guys have already thought You're going to try from your place storming list? I would love to hear a couple of home hopeful. You have yours too. Yes. Um, I am going. I have a meet up on the calendar for November 2nd. Yes, for ah, women entrepreneurs. Oh, nice. Are you gonna go to it? Yeah, and you're gonna tend to love it, any others that we have schedules or just thinking about for the play storming list. I'm thinking about a lot. I'm realizing how much attention I'm not giving to this going through and saying all of the things I would like to add to that list that I haven't had the time for haven't made the time for So I'm gonna be a really busy girl. Yeah, eso Actually, I think that's a really good point. Is a We didn't I think a lot of us when I say, Look, let's play Maura's adults A lot of times we draw complete blank or like playing more like What does that even mean? But actually, there's this huge list that's there that we didn't even know was waiting for us. So it is totally okay to be sort of wondering about it today. We're talking about control, and we're gonna be talking about maximizing and minimizing, So I want to talk about maximizing and minimizing. What I'm going to try to have you do is diagnose different parts of your life that you've never given a second thought to so different things in your life. that either we put up with or we sort of do by default. Today, we're gonna be talking about Do those actually work for you or not? Do you want to keep them or not? And this is going to be about taking control of our triggers. And what I mean by triggers are those things that either trigger an upward spiral, who this makes me feel really good and relaxed or those things that trigger a little downwards by what we're like such a bad mood. Now I want to start looking at those different triggers. Of course, we start every day out with a warm up and our warm up today is day dreaming. So I would like to know, What do you daydream about and at home, he wanna pull out your workbook? You could actually fill this out for us. When you're sitting in the car or you're zoning out during work. What sort of topic do you tend a drift towards? It could be something fantastical on agree something practical do you daydream about? Yes, I often find myself daydreaming and standing in front of Ted audience Oh yeah, filled with dentist medical doctors and small Children. Uh huh. And shares the story about the body language, however, oppose yes. And master people skills. I love it. Okay, so that is like, such an empowering of standing on a Ted talk stage with all the people that you want to have your message reach. I love it. That's a big one. Yeah, but they could be small too. Yeah, um, I didn't dream about what the world would look like if, like everyone, but specifically like our next generations growing up. Didn't have to worry about, like, body image and bullying. And like what that would look like, Yeah, whether we'll get that problem was either gone or solves. Yeah, somehow. Solution oriented. Yeah. How to do it. How to work it out. Yeah, it's simple. I just love our door. So I always imagine myself hiking in like a forest, and I can smell the freshness of the air and the leaves and everything, so it's almost like a mindfulness practice right there. So I love these answers. Thank you for that. I actually think that what you did about is a little bit of a personal question. The reason I ask this question because I think that this is actually remnants from yesterday. Daydreaming is an element of play. It's a mental kind of play, and I actually think it's a skill that either we've lost or we've been it's been taught out of us, right? As a kid. If you were sitting and kind of looking off into space, your parents would be like, What do you data about? Stop day dreaming? Get back to work it back to homework about your chore. But I actually think daydream is a very beautiful thing that our mind does. It's a way that we get ourselves ready for play. Maybe we're imagining a career goal, right that we want to work towards. You were relaxing ourselves or trying to calm ourselves down. Or maybe we're trying to get our legacy in order. How we could fix this problem, right? That is actually the warm up to play. So I bring this one up because I want you to think about next time you are driving or you're waiting in line. Where does your mind go to what kind of things you daydream about? That should be something that you should either add to your place storming list, right? That's something you could do. Or is it some kind of a skill that you wanna learn about? Is it about body language or public speaking? Is it about developing your practice, right? How can you add those little dreams into it? Here is the problem. So when we're talking about the opposite of daydreaming are these little tiny triggers. But I like to call the bad mood monster. So one thing that we learned from our research is when we got all those audit responses back, we had people who were the happiest people. And we have people who are the unhappiest people. And one of my biggest questions were my biggest hypotheses was that really happy people would have less bad moods, But actually, when we started to dig into their results, we found that they didn't have less bad moods. But they knew exactly what caused them. And they also typically knew how to get themselves out of them. So it's no that they had less bad days or less funks or less bad moods. They just felt more in control of them. So when they had a bad mood, they were able to stop it from triggering into a downward spiral, and they knew exactly what they had to to get out of it. So today I want to talk about how do we understand our triggers? More so maybe it doesn't prevent any funk, but we're at least we feel like we know what would happen we have to do to prevent them if we're having a really important day or we know we have to do to get out of them on one of those bad days. Basically what we're doing today is we're trying toe add steps between you and bad habits, and we're trying Teoh remove steps between you and good habits. What I mean by this is, let's say that on your place storming list, you said, Oh, I want to read more, right? That's on my chart of happiness. I want to read 12 different books every every one book a month. Right now that's on your list. What I would say is, okay, let's remove steps between you and reading. Let's make sure that you buy whisper sync so that when you're cooking, you can listen to the book. Let's add the Kindle app to every one of your devices, right? That would be removing step. So let's say that you said I really want to floss more. Triangle of wellness is coming. We're talking about taking care of my body. I'm gonna floss more like that. Makes me feel really good. So instead of just having floss by your bathroom in your bathroom, maybe you put it in every single drawer by your bedside table by your TV in your car. Right. So the Flosses there just about thinking about what are the steps between the good and bad things bad habits will say you say to me, I really want to eat less cookies. We put a padlock on your cookie jar, right? Actually, so all of my food, my treat food, I actually put it at least five minutes away from me. And what I mean by that is my kitchen is actually too close. It's only about a minute away, right? Barely a minute like 30 seconds. So what I've done is I've taken all my hair foods, and I can still have if I want, but I have put them in a series of boxes. So, like they're in a box within a box within a box in a box in a box. And I put the box all the way downstairs in my basement, on the top shelf with a lid on it so I can get it any time I want right there. I don't I don't like food rules for me. I do really bad, right When someone says to me, No cookies. Well, then all I want is cookies like that's That's what my rain work. So I can have as many cookies I want, but I have to go all the way to lift up the huge get the stepladder, get huge box, open the box, take over the lives so that they were trying to do today. I'm gonna try to get all of those triggers a little further away. So could question How do you predict how happy someone will be in their job? Is it a amount of income? Be number of friends at work. See promotion schedule D feelings of personal control. What do you think, honey? Building. It's a Hello. I think it's B. How will they get? See how to Lincoln City. I know. I should've put this one first. Like I kind of gave away the answer because the day is called control. Very good. So, yes. And I find this really surprising, By the way. I didn't want to put this into a just the greatest predictor of happiness at work is feeling the personal control because I feel it when we ask the question. It has this question. What would be the best indicator of how happy out I'm in my job. So I find this really surprising, right? You would think that when you think about how happy someone is at work, they would want to know there are a really great promotion schedule. They would wanna get a really that we want to be paid really well for their work. Actually, that is not the greatest indicator of how happy we are. It's how much how how in control we are of the things that we do on a day to day basis. So your inner kid, it was my dad sunglasses. So we're going back to that idea of this inner K. This is the second to last day on or in her kid. So when you were little, do you remember that you, Your parents and your teachers worked very hard with your schedule. For example, I went over to my niece's house and I saw a schedule very similar to this. Taped is the summer taped onto her for greater. I looked at this schedule. They're all in pretty colors. You know, It was like, Oh, wake up, Get dressed. 20 minutes of cartoons, Morning chores, reading time. Oh, ride bikes, hopscotch. I'm like, man, that schedule looks really, really good, right? And she had one of these for every day of summer, and I thought to myself that this is actually was done for us when we were little, we were little. Our parents and teachers had conferences right about how they could make our days better. They sat down there, were like, Vanessa might be hungry around 10. We better have a snack then. You know, she gets really tired in the afternoon. We better make sure that we have a story time or naptime. And so when we were little, we had all of these all this control really built into our life to make sure that we didn't get into the bad mood monster, right? With our parents would have a whole bag of snacks and have all these things scheduled. So I actually want to do this for us. I want us to be our own parent teacher conference for a second, and I want a lust, a look at How can we maximize and minimize things on our own schedule? So this is our pillar number four. Maximize the good, minimize the bad. Let me talk about the science of control. This is a really interesting study done by Allen Langer. So what she did is she took a group of nursing home residents, and she gave them a small plant to take care of small little plant. She gave it to them and said, Water this plant, Put on the window sill, trim it, make sure that it's it survives. A second group of nursing home patients were given a plant, but they were told a nurse would come and take care of its. They put the plants on the window sill, and they said, Just enjoy the plant. Don't worry, the nurse will come in water and trim it and make sure it gets enough sun. Six months later, the group that took care of the plant had doubled the survival rate. That's like, I mean, that's a really big implication. And Ellen Langer likes a study control and how we feel. We have control over own environment. Now. Taking care of a plant isn't even that much control, but it's having something in your life where you feel like you are. Your actions are going to directly affect the survival of this plant, and for some reason that seems to also help your internal sense of control. And so I want us to add more control into our happiness. We talks about how there's all these different kinds of words and feelings that contribute to happiness. We talked about capability, and now we're talking about responsibility, and we don't often think of responsibility as relating to happiness. But I actually the responsibility has a huge part to play in our happiness. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, happiness consists Maurin, small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, then then great pieces of good fortune that happened, but seldom so. This is another myth about happiness. We tend to attribute happiness to these really big things, right, Big moments, big wins, big achievements, but actually, some of those really small things taking a great shower, having a really nice nap are looking at your plant that you've lovingly taking care of. Those small moments of happiness are actually much more important. Instead of those one big things, like a raise or promotion that happens once a year, we tend to focus all of our energy on those really big things. And we go days and days that enjoying the little tiny things we're gonna play a game that I call start, stop, continue. So this is a game that I actually do with my entire teams. Of the signs people, there's six of us were small but robust, and we placed our start to stop continue every month together as a team. And I also do this myself once a week. So we're gonna do it together and at home. I hope you'll pull out your workbook for me where I have a space for you to do this and you will see that I have a space under pillar number four. So what I want us to do is in this activity, and you could do this for yourself. You can do it in five minutes. You can do it in three hours. I think it is an incredibly powerful way to diagnose self diagnosis. So we always start with Start. And this is one of those things you want to sort of brain purge anything that comes the top of your head. If I would ask you in your life right now, what would you like to start or doom or of in your life? What have you been waiting for? What's something new that you want to start? What are some things that pop into your head? And if you want to make this easier, you can also pick a certain area of your life that you could pick health like that area that we talked about health or career legacy. So what are some things that pop into your head in the audience for things you want to start in your life? You to pick something? It could be from your place storming activity. If you would like a swell, I'd like to start a group like I'd like to start a community myself. So maybe going to the meet ups is actually a way to see what I like to do one of these myself. Would it be a meet up? Would it be something else? Okay. Make sure write it down and anything that comes along with that, right? Like what it look like? What does it feel like? It start with two or three people to start with paper invitations. How would someone else? What comes your head? Of what? You want to start something fresh? Yeah. Yeah. Idea. Oh, career. So is this any kind of finding a job or starting off your Because you are studying right now, right? Yeah. This is my last summer. So what you gonna do to start? Let's break it down a little bit. I, like, apply for couple of jobs. So I should do like interviews. Yeah, perfect. So even a small is like making a list of your dream companies, right? That would be a great way to start. Or like making ah writing down what you think your ideal day would look like. Like if you had to walk into a company and started that company. Well, how would you like to start your day every day writing those kinds of things down even just picturing what that ideal day would be is perfect. So what I want you to do is spend a few minutes. Any other starts? Yeah. Yes, yes, Yes. First, start doing more things that scare me. Oh, my. Yes, I think, actually, later today, we're gonna hear a quote for Eleanor Roosevelt on doing something every day. That scares you. So perfect. Yes. Yeah. I'm making some new friends. Lots of my friends move away from this area. So just working is your main area for happiness. Social or friendships. Yeah. Yeah, I love it. Okay, so that is gonna be a big one. So what I want you to do is take that initial idea, and I want you to break it down into two or three smaller steps. So you're saying, making new friends, like, what would that look like? And I'm gonna help you with that on day seven to one of the first things. If you're talking about a new job, what are the things you can start either writing about are applying to or doing interviews or filling out your linked in profile? Break those start things into two or three smaller action steps next one is stop. And this one's actually little harder. So in your life right now, what would you like to do? Less of in your life? What would you like to remove or minimize? We don't by the way, often stop and think about this right in our life. Usually we just want to carry on. But all the time parents and teachers and kids are reevaluating activities, things their kids were eating things their kids are doing. So we should do that for ourselves. Yes. Still saying, maybe later. Oh, and do it right now. Yes. Yeah. Stop pushing it off. So I want you to take that idea. And I want you to break it down even further. Like give me three or four specific times when you frequently say maybe later. Like, isn't toe a fun activity? Is it toe work? Activity is to a health activity. When are you? What's your pattern for? When you're doing that? Maybe later. Most. I'd be very curious. Yeah, So I wouldn't stop on focusing on myself and personal growth and reaching out to the larger community. Yeah, we spend so much time. Um, just working on my personal goal would be like health, fitness, education and K. I just wanted to stop at this point in the chalk, too out of people. Great points. So I actually think that sometime. And I love self help. I love personal growth, but sometimes it is the cleverest former procrastination, right? We always could read another book, right? We could always take another course. And so if you need to stop doing personal growth to actually start doing other things I love it. I love and be able to recognize that, like kudos. I have a game on my phone. I at the very least, need to minimize, if not, do you have it up your phone right now? No, I Oh, well, after today, I might have you uninstall it. You know, you know, or at least we could put it in a folder within a folder within a folder with a folder rights like afterwards. We could take it and move it really far off your home screen. And maybe we could, like, make it harder to get into. That's like, maybe on like, we log you out. I think that for a while I just need to take it off of my phone, so maybe we can uninstall it together after this. Let's do it. Yes. Okay, it afterwards, I'm your partner. Enjoy looking over. Uninstalling it. Yes, probably Netflix. I have a few shows that I've been following, and it's just not a good use of my time, but they're so good sometimes that I want to keep watching them. OK, so let's talk about Netflix. We'll talk about media. Okay, So especially like consuming content. So I also have this problem where there shows that give me great joy. I feel like I laugh. I really like them. But there's also times where I watched someone like I really probably don't need to or shouldn't be watching them. So what I've done is I have what I call exercise pairing. So I'm only allowed to watch those shows when I'm walking on the treadmill or when I'm on the elliptical. So what you could do is you could try to pair watching with something else. So maybe, like you turn it on when you're cleaning the house when you turn it on when you're folding laundry so like you get to make unpleasant activity actually more enjoyable And then you're not just just watching Netflix. Maybe think about don't. Don't take it away completely. Maybe think about exercise pairing any other stops? Yes. Stop collecting and gathering clutter. Oh, cool stuff. Yes. The stuff makes us feel really comfortable. Right? Stuff makes us feel like therapy. Yeah, absolutely. Right. So let's break that down into a couple smaller action steps. So what does that mean? What's one thing you could do, even like mawr immediately to stop? Well, there's a lot of any ticket read off. You have made a goal to have a party at my house in October, which meant I needed to have space. Ha, have people come? So the first step is purging all right? And that feels really good, right? Every time you clear physical space, you get mental space back. So if it's enough stuff, you might want to even call and schedule like a goodwill or ah, um, like a truck to come pick it up because if they're coming on 8 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, and you know you have to clean up, that can really help. So maybe it's finding the day that you're gonna purge like maybe this weekend. Maybe this weekend's okay. It's on the books. We should actually make that a happiness experiment, because it could be really hard. Yeah, right. Could be really hard. But it also could be really freeing. That is the perfect example of a happiness experiment. Because you don't quite know how you're gonna make it's gonna make you feel maybe that's one of your first happiness experiments is having a big purge day. Any other stops? That was some really good ones. Yeah. Yeah, about just that concept of happiness. Experian experiments, Germans. Um because I can resume with that. And while the action of it, maybe it might be not as on the happy side and not the other side of it is the happy. So So we take into account both the actual experience and like the out the result 100%. I think that a happiness experiment is really when you have a question. So it's like purging It could be It could be too hard. I might have people to do it alone. That's a question, right? It also could be This could change my life. It also could be I might have to do this every few months, right? So I think that happens. Experiment is that there's there could be a nugget or a kernel of capability or relief or joy, either during or after. But you're not quite sure it might kind of get you out of your comfort zone, make you a little bit more afraid. That is the best how we play, I think, as adults, it brings up questions. And kids are constantly asking questions, right? Like that's the biggest things. They're always asking, Why do we do that? We never usually asked like we'll be doing an activity would be doing every day. It's like, Why do I do this? That's I think we're starts up, Continued, comes in really tight with those experiments. Great clarification. Any other stops before I move on to All right, this is actually so continue is a diagnosis of something that you already do that you think is working for you. So it's actually the opposite of the negativity bias. Now we're looking for things that you are doing that serve you well. They make you more capable, they make you better, and we will probably continue doing them The reason why I add continue to this game is because it actually turns that into more of a happiness making activity. If you know that you are making it up. Look, let's say that you say you want to continue, um, doing extended learning. You want to take more learning on the job. You're like, you know, I really like that. I think that's really working for me. We have just added that to your happiness chart, right? It almost like, turns it into happens activity. Because you've identified, I am purposely continuing with this again. The more feelings of personal control we have, the happier we are. So if we feel that we're doing our activities purposefully, it makes us have more personal control. So what's working for you? What do you want to continue to do in your life, or even ramp up anything you want to dial up in your life that you're already doing? It's working. Yes, I recently started taking a cooking class, and that was really a big step for me because it used to be really tough for me and taking the cooking class. I've gotten remarkably better. Yeah, but I'm still not at that point of really enjoying it yet. Got it? So I know that I'm making progress and I can see the benefits of it. But I'm just not there. It doesn't make me happy. It's not something that that I'm doing That makes me happy quite yet. Yes, but I can see that that might in the future, there's like a colonel there of something. So do you have to re up your cooking class or just keep going? I just have to do, uh, do it more often on make sure that I make time to do grocery shopping and figure out which meals I'm going to make and plan to do that. Is there someone you know who really enjoys cooking? Who could give you, like, Who could like you could cook with on a Sunday afternoon? My sister. Okay, So maybe, like, the really small action step here is to text fister and be like, have a free Sunday coming up. When we cook together, she and I actually live together s oh, well, that's even easier. Maybe you can text her later and because she wants to cook dinner tomorrow night or something like that right? Really small. So when you think about those things are on one of the really small steps that love. It's the perfect continue one. Any other continues What's working for you? Yes. To continue to write more in my blawg. Ah, so I like to write. And I have a great feedback from my friends that I kind of who did it. But something stops me. So I need to be more persistent. Was the least us Okay, So can I ask you when is your favorite time of day to write? Do you know, like, the first part of the day? Morning. So I That's also my favorite time of the day. So I like to, by the way, look at your rhythms, Right. So if you know that you write best in the morning Is there a day coming up where you have a little bit of a later day where you can block off like an hour to before doing anything in your day? Okay, so my challenge for you, for your happy calendar is to think about what's a day that you have kind of a late day that you can block out on your calendar for writing and always go with your rhythms. It's really, really hard if you want to. Can you? Doing things to try to force shelter right at night if you're not a night writer. So I'm going to challenge you to try to schedule in one of those morning writing sessions. And you send me your blawg after you write it. Yes. Treat me your blood after you, right? Okay. I love it. Someone else had her hand up. Yes, To continue to lap swim or Oh, swimming. Wonderful. Yeah, I love it, but it is. It's it's getting there totally. So I need to start removing. What's the little baby actually said for that? Well, I already have my bag already like packed, ready to go. So that's done. Is there an easy day of the week that, like it's always swimming Fridays? Well, I do swim once a week at least once a week now, and I wanted one more night in. Yeah, so I guess you just get scheduling it out. Whatever the other days are and also like, I find that when I say like every Thursday, I do X it's so much easier than like I'm gonna do it twice a week, cause by Wednesday, Or like Oh, look, it's already Wednesday like out the window so I would actually pick, like, the two days That's like You swim every Monday and every Thursday. That's really good, cause I take other fitness classes and that's that's the mentality I have that I do this every you know, these certain days, these certain times, so make that it will always get pushed. So pretend that it's a class, right? And then it's like a dance class or fitness class and make it, like, always every day. Perfect. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like it. So what I'm doing with the audience here is I'm hoping that at home, what you're hearing is, as you pick your start, stop, continue. Is your breaking down some of the bigger ideas into really small action steps? A simple of the text to your sister or picking a day for swimming? Those little tiny actions F is actually how we begin to start them right? Otherwise, they're just a grand idea. We'll give you some examples from my life and from a good friend of mine's life. So this weekend. This past begins the weekend before creative life. Eyes always very stressful. So this is my third creativelive class. And who leading up to it I am like a big ball of nerves and the weekend before, it's always have this sort of crisis, which is like, Do I spend all weekend memorizing over 1000 flights? Or do I try to relax to come in sort of nice and calm for my students? So this weekend, I knew that I had to really start memorizing Slide. Like I knew that I had to actually finish up memorizing my slides. So I decided, OK, gotta sleep a little bit less. Got to get rid of some my fun activities, right? Got to make this a priority. But then I realized that actually, these things fuel me to do, though, is better. So part of start, stop, continue is also thinking about what activities fuel you on what activities take away from you. Right. So instead of stopping these, this actually fuels me to memorize better. I decided. No. Instead, what I'm gonna do this weekend is I'm not gonna do any Aaron's. I'm not gonna go grocery store. I'm not gonna pick up the stuff I need for my trip. I'm gonna pay a little extra news. Amazon now, right? I don't usually do that, Usually. Go on, do it. It's a no, I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna have someone else do it this weekend. You know what? Laundry? Just gonna have to have to make it work, right? I'm not. I'm ok wearing bathing suit bottoms set of underwear like that's totally okay with me, right? Gotta figure priorities. Because I knew that errands and laundry, we're not going to help me in any way memorizing slides and certainly was gonna relax me those air to activities that I did not need to continue. However, I did know that having lots of sleep and having fun time would fuel me both memorize better and be more energized for you. So sleep time, I decided. No Netflix. So I got rid of Netflix this past weekend cause I swapped out Netflix time with sleep time. And then it also was like, OK, if I'm gonna do fun time, it has to be recharging. So what I did is actually pulled out my paints. Painting is like a very rare relaxing activity for me. Normally, I would never paint That's not productive right before a big week. But I was like, actually a way for me to synthesize what I memorized. In between slide decks, I would do a little bit of painting. That's a way that you can think about. Start, stop, continue of what activities are fueling your starts, right? Your start to the most important thing things. You have to get a lot of energy for its hard to start new things, right? So what's gonna fuel you in that start on? What can you continue? That's going to keep boosting you, to try to have the bravery and the courage to try new things? Have another example for you? So my good good friend Anna Lauren, I think she's watching. I did ask her permission to use this example, and I adore her. This summer she was finishing up her dissertation, and her dissertation was a huge deal, and she is a little bit of a procrastinator and sexually writing her dissertation on procrastination. Funny thing, And so she's writing. This is a dissertation on because station she's procrastinating. And so she's telling me She's very stressed. Oh, I got a really go start writing. I really got started in my salutations. I really got to sit down and do it. She's like, So what? I'm gonna dio I'm gonna make my dissertation a total priority this summer. I'm going to stop. I'm not gonna see you a lot this summer. I'm really sorry. You know, I'll see you back in September, and you know, I'm not gonna read. I'm gonna take all my fiction books in the stop reading them. And also, like, I'm just gonna gain a little weight. This summer is going to be fine. I'm not gonna have any gym time. I was like, Hey, l we call her Ailes like ales. Those are actually things that will help you do better with your dissertation, right? Like if you have friend time, you can recharge very much more motivated to get up earlier and plow through that dissertation. If you have reading time Pictionary time, that gives your mind a break like you can't think about your dissertation constantly. And the gym is a great way to process. You love going to the gym, right? That's a fun way for you to process. I said What if instead we took things that don't fuel you, right? So I talked about what? What do you dread were so activities you hate? She's like, Well, I do spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram and I was like, We're uninstalling them for the summer, right? Let's let let's take them totally off your phone those even those five minutes of times you're checking, you're gonna get those minutes back. Let's also, I said, cleaning times to go hate cleaning. I'm like, Well, like she's your house, really have any spotless all summer like no one's really going to see it. Like, just let's just make it work, right? Like, don't do any cleaning the summer. Just tell yourself it's gonna be a little bit of a dirty house. And last one, you know, do you have to cook this summer? Why don't I know you don't like ordering out, But how about just for this summer you order your favorite meals on Postmates, saves the cooking time, and you have a really yummy dinner to look forward to either before or after you work your dissertation. Right? So we decided we stop these and we continue the friend time in moderation reading time. But Onley books that were fun to read, right? Not business books, not nonfiction books. And Jim Time. Real quick, minute workouts. So I want you to start playing. Start, stop. Continue with yourself So that you are prioritizing these starts and not putting some of things that fuel you in to stop time as adults, we have this tendency to say no to the activities that we like most. We have to get done. The first thing to go are the activities that fuel us typically. So I wanted to start framing it into this game where you can start swapping it out. The best thing I like to do by the way they take post its I write a bunch of the things I have to go on post its and they actually put them into start, stop and continue, and I shuffle them around until it looks good to me. So if you're a physical kind of visual learner, you could do that with post its Let's do an activity. So this is in your workbook for you, and this is called a life, Pebble activities. You want to turn to that page right in your pillar number four. So you know, pebbles. If you're hiking or running and you get a pebble in your shoe, it ruins your entire run, right? Even like the smallest little pebble, the silly thing would be to try to keep running on it, right. Every single step you would take would just, like be so annoying and it really is annoying. It's not like a pain. It's really annoying. So of course you stop. You'll entire shoe lace. You like balance, you know, like you dump it out and then put it back on. I think there are life pebbles. I feel like there are things that we have in our life. Like annoy us a little bit, but not enough to take off our shoe. And so we end up having these things in our life that, like, just every day, we kind of put up with it, tolerate it. And so I want to sit down and I want to actually look at the pebbles in our life and try to take them out of our shoes are emotional shoes. We're gonna do this with something I call your minimize er charts. So I actually have a whole bunch of activities for your life. Pebble in your workbook, I decided that instead of doing this together, it was actually quite personal. So I decided that I would let you come it on your own. So I have seven questions for your life, Pebble activity in your workbook that are gonna help you fill out your chart. So once you fill out those pebble questions, I want you to fill out your minimize er chart in your minimize her chart. We have four different columns. First, is the pebble right? What is that little thing you've been tolerating or putting up with? Second? What can you control about this? So certain things you can't control everything like can't Control of the bills you get can't control. You have to eat right where humans. But there are things you can control on a lot of the time. When it comes to negative things, we forget that right? We forget we have some level of control here. I want to get really specific about what that level is. So what you can and can't control. Then Lastly, we're in a break it down into action steps. As we've been doing what I want to do, I want to give us some examples. As I'm going to the examples here in the audience, You guys wouldn't mind thinking about one or two of your pebbles. I'm gonna ask you for examples at the end, as I go through mine here, the four things I'm gonna I'm gonna fill out for you. And I'm gonna use really personal examples in my life partner tasks. So when I sat down, I was thinking about my little pebbles. By the way, I got this idea from one of the happiest people in our audits When I asked her, You know, do you ever get into bad moods? Tell me about your bad moods. She was the one who brought the pedal metaphor. She's like, Well, I have pebbles. I've done everything I do I can do to minimize them and remove them as quickly as possible. Interesting. So I realized that one of my pebbles was what I call partner tasks. Partner tasks are those things you have to do with your partner like bills or putting up that painting you wanted to put up or asking about this weird, like nail that you want to put in the wall. There's all these little things that can kind of gather. And we have this big bowl in our kitchen of all the partner tasks. And every single day after work, I'd be like, Oh, are we gonna do that tonight? Uh, we're gonna do that's night, every day. And so every day after work, I realized I felt this like, little bit of dread. And then we like he dinner. Have you like that? Seven like, well, one show, one show, just one show. And then we'll do the partner task. Just one show. We watch the show and they were like, Oh, because we really have to hang the painting now like we don't need It's eight o'clock. Okay, let's just let's just read. And every day it was like this where we kind of have this back and forth of if we're gonna do it or not. So what I realized is I cannot control that we're gonna have deadlines and tasks and built especially for tax season, right? You can't control that it on April 15 you have a lot of stuff you gotta get done. However, I could control the timing and perspective of it, but I realized the pebble was not necessarily the actual bills of once we actually sat down to do things that wasn't a problem. The problem was the waiting and wondering and being like, should we or shouldn't we? So we decided is that every Thursday night is tasked me. Everything is in his task night, but we get to order our favorite Indian food that night or whatever other food we want, right? And like Indian food, the place we get it's like it's really spicy and like, makes the whole South smell like garlic. It's amazing. So, like, that is gonna be the night. Like we just know it. We know that we get our favorite food. We do whatever tests are in the bowl, and whatever extra time we have left, we can watch our favorite show. That turned something that was like this neg ing kind of activity into something I actually kind of look forward to right. Thursday night, we crack open a bottle of wine, had great Indian food, and that's it. So it took a pebble in, turn it into something neutral, maybe even slightly positive, but really just a neutral night. Another example. So one of my pebbles used to be video editing. So a huge part of my businesses videos, you know, we have eight million people on YouTube's. We put out a lot of YouTube videos, and so I love doing videos. I love writing scripts. I love filming. I do not like getting I am batted it It is not a hair it thing. And so every time we'd have a shoot, I would know that I had, like, days of editing. And I would dread the shoots even though I like shoots, because I knew that I had video editing afterwards. And so it made me dio less videos it won't do. It made me do shorter videos simply because of this video editing. So I was like, Look like how can I delete this part of the task? I cannot control that video video courses require video, right? I'm gonna make a video course is gonna have in You can't control that. However, I can control who and who doesn't how we eat it. So what? I decided to do a couple of inaction steps is. I wanted to try either hiring a part time editor and seeing how expensive it would be like how much it would eat into our revenue or training a current employee to do video editing, paying for them to take a video editing class. And you know that he would take two or three days to edit toe learn video editing, and then he could do it for us fully. So I did this in the beginning, and that was fine. But it actually ended up taking a lot longer. And so I asked our employees, We did start, stop, continue. And I was like, Anyone want to start learning video? Is that a thing that anyone's interested in Starting? And Robbie, one of our employees was like, Yes, I actually know a little bit anything for my last job and I could totally do it. I was like, Great, I'm get you some creative live courses on video editing and on photo shop, and I'm gonna turn you how to do it. I will pay for your classes in your hours, and now we have a video editor. He does all our video editing And he's amazing. Robbie, I hope you're watching, right? So this was something that a He actually doesn't way better than me. So not only do I get rid of the task I don't like, but he now is doing it better. I also began to write my scripts to be more easily edited before I was writing my scripts and I'd be like, Oh, I'll deal with that in post. I'll deal with that and edits But I was like, Wait, let's cut down on the editing time for everyone and let's rewrite my scripts writes. This was a task that I changed around or took differently. Another pebble for me. Hopefully you guys are writing your pebbles down is getting in a workout on busy days. So my downward spirals those little moments right to tell like I have a bad day and I have bad sleep typically happened when I was expecting to get a workout and didn't get one in business crisis. Too many emails, longer phone call. So I realized I cannot control a busy schedule, right? Like part of my job is media happens. They call you there like be ready and media ready at 7 a.m. like I have to be. But what I can do is change how I work out. On certain days I can build in workouts into my work schedule. So what I do is I actually do exercise pairing. I mentioned talking about Netflix pairing I. Also, whenever someone asked me to go to coffee, I always counter them. So I always say I would be happy to go to coffee. But would you like to go to coffee and go on a hike? Because in Portland's, we live in like a beautiful park and there's a coffee shop right by a trail. So ask people, I don't know if you're open to it, but would you? Ryan, throwing on some tennis shoes, will grab coffee will go on a hike. So I knew that even in my business meetings, I was getting some kind of a nice workout. I also tend to do like casual walking meetings with my team, like we do hikes brainstorms that I'm just sitting and we also I also do friend workout classes. So when friends will hang out, I'll be like, let's go grab through a class and then we'll go to dinner. Just a way for me to build it into my schedule so that I wasn't missing them as much. What's popping into your head? Anyone Think of some pebbles that we can break down together into this. Yes, mailing. Pretty much anything is a level for me. Okay. All right, that's a good one. And so I think they're, like, two different facets. And I actually realize that I was thinking about this in the shower today. That so, like, even just a rent check mailing the rent check is like, I don't mind paying the run. It's no big deal. It's just getting in the mail. Totally. And so I was thinking that for the run track, I think there's a service that through my bank that I could just have them mail a run. Chuck. Yeah, I don't have to worry about that. Love it. Yes, but then, like mailing packages that I have to return, I got I need to think of a better First of all I love that I love the cannon can control on having your bank set up that kind of auto payment. Yeah. The second thing that I do. So I also have to mail sometimes a lot of packages. So we have a body language trainer program or people come to science people. We train them in our techniques. So we mail them like gifts, we mail them certificates, and it was a big deal every time and email them some things I to put their certificate in an envelope. So I actually set up like a little tiny home mail station. So I got a bunch different stamps about postcard stamps, regular stamps that I actually got, what I usually like, how much it usually weighs. And I got a bunch of prepaid stamps. I bought all the envelopes, and so I usually can do it all at home and then shove it in the mail. So I don't know if there's any part of it that would be the same. Um, but, yes, I love that. Um, I think that having like that all at the ready would be really good. Um, but sometimes this is I'll even have, like, a card that is like a card to someone that I really wanted to send in this car. Like, addressed and as a stamp and I don't get myself to, like, even just put it in our lobby. I could probably put in our lobby and go even That part is hard. So maybe you should have a male day, right? Like so that's one of those tasks like it's even just like knowing the envelope is on your death was the same thing of knowing I had this bowl of stuff. Maybe like, you don't do any mailing ever except in the last Friday of the month like returns. What happened that day? Envelopes actually make it your rent day, right? Like make whatever you're built. Look, if you have a bill that you regularly have do that's your entire male day for everything. So like, yeah, you're gonna have a little bit of irritation on that day. But it's only that one day, right? It's one trip. Yeah, and then it would be like me get an all male, and it's all that I know my loved ones. Yeah, these thoughts that I have wanted to send them, and so it's one day a month, and I would compare it with when you typically do return to typically have a bill. Great That is the perfect example of a pebble something. There's some things you can't control. They were gonna have to mail stuff, but we can minimize that affecting having you have because, like, the problem is, you see that letter on your desk? You're like, uh, right. And every time you see it, it actually triggers you to feel like, uh, right. So let's look, let's get rid of those little moments of unhappiness into, like, one kind of thing. The other How late is too two boys and their young. And so each boy has 20 friends in the class, and they always a birthday said to days a year. So I'm always run to target or something to get president 40 times and pack it so I can't control that there. Um, there's a birthday party to go to what I can control. And what I can do is buy them in bulk, okay? When they're on sale. Yes. My mom actually had growing up what we called a gift closet. I'm not even joking. So, in, like the back part of our house, she had birthday cards, anniversary card, holiday cards. She had a bunch of gifts for a bunch different ages. She had housewarming gifts, candles, things like that. And most of the time we could and should buy them in bulk or should be out. Should be like, What a beautiful candle. Someone's gonna enjoy that this holiday season, and she would buy it knowing she would give it away to someone. And she did it about once every 3 to 5 months, and she would just re stock the closet. And if their worst haven't forbid, there's like, not something that would work for someone. You could go out Amazon now or go to Target. But that gift closet was like and all the cards were in there. All the wrapping paper was in there. So me and my siblings, if we had to get a gift, we knew we had to go. We know where we had to go. We knew we had to wrap it, and there was always cards in there. I would try doing that a gift closet for like, a gift cabinet. So a couple more examples. This is actually from our beta class. So cooking on weeknights with someone's pebble. She loves cooking. But she did not like cooking after work, when everyone was starving and hungry and when the grocery store she knew she can't control the kids had to eat. But she knew that she could control what eat and when to cook it. So what she decided to do that you don't want to do a lot of ordering out because of budget so she decided to do is to make Sunday a really big cooking day, so she would usually do 45 different meals and big crock pots and pans That would be dinner for dinner and lunches for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. And then she would freeze stuff. Then Wednesday, Thursday were usually freezer stuff coming out the freezer, and Friday was their pizza night, right? So she was doing all over in one day, and by the way, she would often assign her kids that her side, her kids to help on some of those things. So it actually became a family activity. Other things to think about. So another pebble that I had was packing before business trip, so I travel like two or three weeks out of the month, so I'm gone a lot. I'm constantly unpacking and repacking, and I realized that that was such a headache for me that I was like I just needed by doubles of things and just have a suitcase packed. And that felt ridiculous at first, but actually realized I had a lot of doubles anyway, Lying around, I had an extra, you know, tank top hat, extra toothbrushes. So I have a fully packed, ready to go suitcase that is always totally packed for myself. And that was like a huge pebble that I got rid of, um, checking email before bed. I want you to think about your digital life. Order some digital pebbles that maybe cause a little bit of headache. When do you check your email? Did that change your mood? Um, and can you hire a professional like, Yes, there's so many things you ways. You can remove pebbles on your own, but is there a way that an accountant or an organizer or cleaner or a task rabbit can do it? Go and do that for you, right? Sometimes hunger professional can be a very easy way to get rid of a pebble. As I mentioned digital life in social media, wanting to think very carefully if that is a pebble in your life. One study that looked at Facebook found study was called Everything we Know About Facebook's secret mood manipulation experiment, which found that when we look at our Facebook feed, it effects are mood. If there's a lot of negative things in our feet, it makes us feel negative. There's a lot of positive things in our feet. It makes us feel positive. So I want you to be in control of your moods. I don't want Facebook to dictate them. So think about Facebook is not just an idle activity. Um, the check in your feet is actually a very emotional activity, and I want you to pay attention the next time you check. How do you feel afterwards? Right. That's something I want you to think about. It's by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having his little misery and as much happiness as possible. Study your little things. We did take your life right now and on Lee. Look at the little things those little tiny pebbles, the good and the bad, and figure out what are causing upward spirals. Big question here for this minimize her chart that I want you to think about is what do you tolerate or put up with that drains you? What drains happiness? What drains energy? What makes you feel tired when you think about it? Pebbles are these slightly draining things. So that's the question that I really want you to dig deep and think of everything in your life that you're just tolerating. You're gonna do it for yourself. Pebble can't control, can control and action steps in your minimize er chart. And I also want to talk very briefly about maximizing the good. So we talked a lot about minimizing the bad, but I also want you to maximize the good. And luckily, we've already started this. The researchers coupons asked. Cubans Sanski and Richmond found that optimism and happiness source from two main emotions. Any guesses what to mean? Emotions do you think are the biggest source of happiness and optimism? Any guesses? Feeling engaged, engaged, good guests, other ones, a sense of purpose. Purpose. So they found that the biggest source of happiness and optimism the 1st 1 is hope. Hope is this beautiful anticipatory state where you feel like you're going to get something good. So actually, the pre feeling of happiness is the biggest cause of happiness and curiosity. Curiosity is one of the best forms of optimism. Happiness. You'll notice it on this list. There's all these moments of hope and curiosity, right? If you brush your teeth, remember how your parents to do this. If you brush your teeth, you can watch minutes of cartoons, right? If you read, you could have outside playtime for half an hour. If you make sure that you do your schoolwork time, you'll get a story time and maybe a nap, right? So we have to also do that for ourselves. I want us to have activities that we look forward to for that hope and that curiosity. And this is where those happiness experiments come in. That was my secret way of getting you to be hopeful and curious about things. All of those that coding that you did of that process someplace storming was figuring out what would make me feel most hopeful and curious. So in your bonuses during your free bonus materials I have for everyone's life to do is click the R S. V P button for that, I have a happy calendar. And in your calendar, you can use this calendar of you can also use your regular calendar. My challenge for you today is to think about hope. What place Charming activity do you want to try specifically, When do you want to try it? And for curiosity, What happiness experiment do you want to try? What I want you to do is take your calendar. And of course, what can you minimize, which hopefully we're gonna start doing right away with your action steps I have below your little bonus calendar. Happy makers and happy experiments. These your pluses and your question marks. What can you schedule in the next 30 days in your calendar? Right. So in my calendar, I typically have at least six outs a lot. I'm high open, right? So I was also I It's my job to be hopeful and curious. So I have a lot even if it's just one in each category. I want you to start scheduling those in. You might actually already have one. Open up your calendar, see what you have coming in next 30 to 60 days and see. Are any of those experiments are any of those things that could possibly be happy. So I will have, you know, pop up dining nights, tango class, wine tasting night, bamboo appoint plant. Bamboo, I decided, might be kind of exciting thing. All these different things. I wanted to schedule into your calendar and do one thing every day. That scares you. I think that's a lot. So I put parentheses and Eleanor Roosevelt's quote. I don't know if I'm allowed to do that, but I was like, every day like that sounds so scary. So do one thing every month. Okay, like every month. Depends how open your every week that scares you. I like to do these happiness check ins. Start, stop. Continue. Sometimes in the last Sunday of the month, every Monday, once per quarter. I want you to also think about when are you going to do these check ins when you're gonna look for these diagnoses in your life? There is nothing wrong with a failed experiment. So one of my happiness experiments was riding a bike, so I don't ride a bike. And I thought, Well, maybe that's something you know, I love being outdoors, so I rented a bike and I got myself on the bike and it was not fun. It was not fun. I really wanted to fund. It was not fun. And I like I like unlike leaving in Portland's of bike cities like I'm in the bike lane, I get like, you know, seven or eight blocks and I'm, like, done, Call my friend, Do you want to get pastries? And I realized like that. I'm so glad I tried it. And now I have never appreciated my own two feet so much. But that was that happiness experiment didn't work for me. However, I was very hopeful about it. And I have a funny story to tell about my failed bike lane experience, so there's nothing wrong. If you try something and it's not have making that's okay. It's a great story for the books. You can tweet me for it. So tomorrow we're going to talk about wow with the five stages of Wow, which is the last section of your inner kid. And your challenges, Sure he talked about is to fill in your minimize her chart schedule. 123123 Happiness experiments and find one thing each week that you could be hopefully curious about. By the way, this can be as small as watching a recommended documentary, right? Or as big as taking a road trip by yourself. Right? These don't have to be huge things. One of mine was planting bamboo like a little tiny little bamboo plant. That was one of my experiments. So they could be small and big. They don't have to be Major. Let's talk about the most important thing you learned today. Remember that I have some extra credit prompts in your workbook. So here. What was your happy? Ah ha! Moment at home. Please tweet me or happy Ah ha! Moment so I can hear what? You're happy. Ah Hawass What? Ah ha Moments Did you have? Yes, I loved when you shared the examples off the start up. Continue. Yeah, specifically, when you challenge your friends on what they thought that they should be stopping and really just so let's get real for a minute. Those are the things that are paying attention to the, um gives you energy and we'll help you have the energy to get this stuff done. Yeah, and really look at the things that are the time socks and and you had some really creative ways of life hacks and how toe adapt them and change them. So I thought that was brilliant. And, um, the pebbles, Yes. I don't even think that their little those things that gnaw away at you every day That's what keeps you up at night, is it? It's really a huge drain. They might seem like the little things, but they really are the big things. And so I love that process and all the examples you shared and I could took away some really great ideas. Thank you. So this is the perfect remember high set earlier. Your happiness is a gift to the world. So I would not have been able to help Anna Lauren. If I had not done that for myself, I had to actually be like, This is a pebble. How do I fix this? What can I control that? When she was telling me things before I might have been like, Oh, yeah, that's so hard. I guess I won't see you all summer by Look, I wouldn't have known, but I was like, no, like a lie. I can help this. I can make this better for you. Right. So when you do this for yourself, you learn this skill than you teach it to your Children. You take it to your spouse, your friends. It is a gift. And we have to learn at first. Yes. Your conference. I thought that was really great, because it is somebody who's planning your schedule. And I know that when I was a kid, sometimes I would go through. Uh I had brownies and pottery and I had swimming and dance, and I would do all the activities. And then I would just get burned out of it and saying, You know what? This time I'm gonna have one activity this week for a little while, and I'd go back and forth between them because I didn't have that balance. But I wanted to try a with the things. Yeah. So you are going to have on your happiness check ins your own parent teacher conference, right? You gonna be your parent and your teacher, So I want you at home to tweet me. Your favorite. Your biggest. Ah ha. Happy. Ah ha! Moment. I will be giving away copies of my book Captivate at the end of it And I will see all of you tomorrow we're gonna do a little dancing Outro Everyone stand up at home Stand up, shake it out and dance with me

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Desktop Backgrounds
Power of Happiness Workbook

Free Bonus Materials

Best Future Selves
Citation List
Happiness Audit
Happiness Benefits
Happiness Means Forgiveness
Happiness Scripts
Happiness Structure
Happy Calendar
Happy Reading List
K10 Test For Distress
Partner In Joy
The 4 Motivators
The Giving Warmup
Virtual Toolbox

Ratings and Reviews

Naomi Leila

I am so grateful for this course and for Vanessa. I took this course a few weeks ago and my happiness audit was at 100 neither happy nor unhappy. Now i feel so much happier and everything in my life has improved as a ripple effect and i am 134 on the happiness audit. This course really pays off if you put the work in and follow Vanessa's amazing guidance. It is such a fun, uplifting and brilliant course, i highly recommend it to everyone.

Jennifer Lee

Do you want to find happiness? And take control of your life, and ignite happiness in others? Are you looking to boost your self confidence or looking for ways to make your world a better place? If you said YES to these questions and are curious about the power of happiness, please check out The Power Of Happiness course with Vanessa Van Edwards! This course will awaken you and empower you with practical steps. Check it out. I guarantee you will be glad that you made the investment! Jennifer Lee A student of The Power Of Happiness

user 0f04a2

Vanessa's Happiness class is a perfect mix of tools and play. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to create true happiness in life, and create visibility with other like-minded happy people!

Student Work