Week 3: Aim Higher

And we are done a quarter of The Happiness Experiment!

Theme: Aim Higher

This week of the Happiness Experiment was actually quite a mix bag. While the tasks did not heavily stress on avoiding being a nag or Complain-box Karen, the week threw in its own unique challenges that required me to dig deep into week one and week two for solutions. I’d like to say that I handled myself with grace and aplomb, carefully weaving in energy and love into each situation but I think its fair to say that without tirelessly trying to keep up with key concepts from the last two weeks, it could have been a lot worse.

This week my tasks were a lot easier and most of them required little to no effort, but as the true nature of life happens to be, things never go by the book. Following through with these relatively easier tasks brought forth opportunities to practice the more harder ones from the past couple of weeks.

Launch a Blog

Obviously, this was not exactly an issue for me. Not only have I had a blog for over a year, I’ve also been giving the world a play-by-play of my life in the last couple of weeks. To be fair to the task, I did update my blog with this week’s tasks even though I really didn’t feel like doing it this week. What’s more, I also employed week one’s “Act Energetic” to complete this entry. Double whammy.

Enjoy the Fun of Failure

And fail I did this week! For those of you that don’t know me all too well, I tend to take things quite seriously. A cold morning sets the tone for an attitude just as cold. God forbid I should miss my bus. I’m quite a treat to be around when that happens.  And that’s why “enjoying the fun of failure” was such an important task for me to undertake. When you set yourself out to do something that’s a challenge, life has a funny way of really pushing your limits. This was particularly illustrated when I set out to tackle a whole bunch of my nagging tasks this past Saturday. My list of nagging tasks:

  • Go to UPS to send out a box with my defective camera back to its manufacturer.
  • Deposit several cheques in the bank.
  • Go to the post office to mail a letter and buy some stamps.
  • Buy a weekly Metro pass.

Quite simple. I made a decision that this was going to be fun. I would sing to Kina Grannis on my iPod and it would be a fabulous day. Saturday rolled around and the sky was grey with a heavy rain storm to boot.  UPS was a 10 minute walk outside from the subway station. Within the first 30 seconds, the ink on the address label of my box dripped on to my fingers, my umbrella broke (yes…Thor, my umbrella is dead) and I reached UPS with my box dripping only to find out that they were closed. Fail. I went back on the subway and stopped by the post office to buy stamps. The post office was closed. Fail again but no problem. On to the bank. I got to the ATM only to find that they had run out of the cheque envelopes. I laughed and moved on to the ticket machine at the subway to pick up my weekly pass.I stared in disbelief when I read the words on the screen “Sorry, we are out of GTA Weekly passes at this time”.

Believe it or not, all this actually happened on the same day. I went to Starbucks and bought myself a green tea latte. In the midst of this frustrating sequence of events where I got absolutely nothing done, I was able to appreciate the fact that for the first time in my life I managed to find a very comfortable seat at Starbucks and I also was having one of the best hair days of my life. There was nothing else to do but genuinely smile at it all. Enjoy the fun of failure.

Ask for Help:

I always prided myself that I’m a multi-tasker at work. I brag about how I can fold laundry, demonstrate a quadricep stretch and book an appointment all at the same time. The truth of the matter was that however, this did not come without consequences. Just the feeling that I had to do everything all at once was exhausting, let alone actually doing it. This week, I had to make a mental note not to jump every time I heard the phone ring. It was definitely okay to ask someone closer to the phone to pick it up. It was okay to ask another physiotherapist about what muscles were used in a particular stretch, or how to help a particular patient better use his crutch. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t a sign of weakness or incompetence. It was more like a sign that I cared enough about what I did to educate myself better and accepted my limitations on what I could and couldn’t do.

Work Smart

My job as a kinesiologist is surprisingly not solely confined to the floor doing stretches and exercises with patients. I do assist with a lot of admin tasks which causes me to spend considerable time at my desk in front of a computer. And this was precisely the reason why I was always dragging around my feet. It was bothersome tearing away from the desk to do simple neck stretches with an old nonna right when I was in the middle of paper work. My paper work was interrupted and I would get pissed off that the old woman still can’t do simple neck movements without supervision. For this very reason, I knew “work smart” was important. Sitting at my desk made me lazy, lazy made me frustrated, frustrated made me angry, angry made the whole workplace negative. Work Smart made me strategize my day where I would divide my paper work into smaller simpler tasks that at the most would only require blocks of 10 minutes at a time at my desk. The rest of the time I would be on my feet. I actually got a lot more work done this way, I was cheerful and I felt warmer from all the running around.

Enjoy the now:

There is no explanation required for this. Whenever I remembered this line, I stopped all my trains of thought to really appreciate the moment I had at that point in time. Even I were on the bus packed with pissed off passengers, it was a moment in time I would never have again. Enjoy the now.

The Results:

This week’s tasks were satisfactory in the sense that I whole-heartedly embraced them. I really made an effort to “enjoy the fun of failure” when I missed the bus. I tried to make sure I worked smart by getting all the deary tasks like laundry and paper work as much as I could early on when the mornings were quieter. And not a day went by when I didn’t stop at least once during the day to remember to enjoy the now. Did I actually always succeed in enjoying the fun of failure? Not always.

 Did I always fold laundry in the mornings to “work smart”? Uhh…no

And did I truly enjoy the now (or the fun of failure)  in that horrible moment when I just found out that I owed the Canadian government an obscene amount of money in taxes? You figure that one out. In fact, I actually broke the rules of no dumping, complaining and bitching this week. But what was wonderful and amazing was that in making such an effort to calm down, relax and enjoy the fun of failure, I had cleared my mind to come up with some very sensible and rational solutions to the problems that gave me so much grief. I’ve always had problems, and sadly doing a happiness experiment and giving yourself stars doesn’t make it go away. But for the first time ever, I handled it differently. And that was what made me happy about Aiming Higher this week. I guess in a way I had enjoyed the fun of failure after all.

Happiness-O-Meter of perceived happiness this week:   6.5/10

Not too shabby.

Until next week…stay happy. And remember to enjoy the now. Even if you fail at the now.

One thought on “Week 3: Aim Higher

  1. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I haven’t gotten all the way through your Happiness Experiment yet – but I am fascinated! This is really amazing, and the depth and sincerity with which you’re doing this is inspiring. I am going to go find that book and then do this myself!

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