On the 3rd of August I finished the #100HappyDays challenge.
The challenge requires you to submit a picture of something that makes you happy every day for 100 days on Facebook Twitter, or Instagram. The challenge’s ultimate goal is to make you appreciate the better moments of your life, which will assist in creating longer term happiness.
For me this challenge had the opposite result, where posting on Facebook every day for 100 days about something that made me happy resulted in feeling increasingly unhappy.
Days 1 – 30 I found fun and was excited to do this challenge and have something to post on Facebook each day.
Days 31 – 60 weren’t as fun. When looking back at my first 60 days it looked like all that was making me happy was eating chocolate and drinking tea. It made me think that if that’s all that was making me happy then maybe I had to improve my life. In effect this made me unhappy and unsatisfied.
Days 61 – 90 felt more like #100RoutineDays instead of #100HappyDays. I was posting the same sorts of things all the time just for the sake of completing the challenge. During these days I felt mostly unhappy and frustrated and tried to grasp at anything I could to be happy for a moment. There wasn’t anything in particular that made me feel like this, I wasn’t having a hard time in life. I was finding that the repetitive wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed repetition of life wasn’t a life that would produce elements of happiness each day. How can you be happy when you do the same things over and over? It was like I was forcing myself to paint my life a certain way and it wasn’t happening.
By days 91-100 I wasn’t really sure about the challenge’s relevance and felt no improvement on my overall happiness levels, let alone working towards creating longer term happiness. I felt nothing different and certainly no happier.
So two months on how do I feel? Reflecting back on this challenge I feel that it was a waste of time for me. All I can remember was everyday trying to think about what I could post that day as my happy moment that wasn’t a repeat of anything I had posted previously.
I also felt like I was irritating my Facebook friends by showing them a life that was all roses, which in reality we all know isn’t possible.
Life as we know it isn’t all beer and skittles – no matter what one puts online, and this challenge made out like it was. So when I tried each day to post something that made me happy and I couldn’t think of anything I stared to think that my life was boring and that I wasn’t entirely happy, which isn’t the case.
By highlighting just the happy moments every day for 100 days I wasn’t being true to myself, I was forcing myself to feel things that I wasn’t. I was searching for something I didn’t always feel, and then thinking my life was crappy when I couldn’t think of anything that made me happy that day.
Looking back at my entries, the top things that made me happy during the challenge were:
- Eating 31%
- Shopping 12%
- Muffin time 10%
- Sister time 8%
- Gardening 7%
To me these things aren’t anything earth shattering or soul searching, just little things I wanted to post about that weren’t too showoffy, or fitted the challenge well.
Happiness isn’t the number one goal of life. It doesn’t determine how successful or how great your life is. Life is much more complicated than that, and as a society we place way too much emphasis on being happy.
This is the first and last challenge that I will ever do. Life is a series of emotions, events, relationships, and internal and external factors that influence how happy, sad, successful, grateful, and any other multitude of emotions that make up who you are and how you feel about your life.
There is not one thing that will make our life great, life is about the good and bad and appreciating what you’ve got, how you feel, and how you deal with things.
Two months on I’m sometimes happy, sometimes sad, at the moment a little heavier than I’d like, and about to travel to Japan. So yes, I’m happy when I think of Japan, a little frustrated that my clothes don’t fit like they did at the start of the year, grateful that I’m healthy, and looking forward to what the rest of the year brings. I don’t have one emotion that dictates the course of my life.
Life is about living, making the most of what you can, and enjoying your time whilst you have it.
Since writing this post I’ve completed this challenge. Here’s the remaining days: