Last evening I met with 33 interesting, talented women to discuss happiness: what it is and how we get it.
Thank you to each and everyone, who attended. It was great fun to be presenting in my home town area of Cleveland, Ohio. Seeing family and friends made it extra special.
During the workshop, I asked each participant to write a total of 9 things they liked about themselves.
Usually we add one more at the end, leaving them with a top 10 list about themselves to take home, review and reflect upon to remind them just how wonderful they are. (Sorry, ladies – I forgot #10, now you have homework.)
With a little bit of work, and shot of confidence, I hope each of them, and you, someday has a list of 100 things you like about yourself. (It is worth challenging yourself to create a “100 word list of what I like about me.” in 2010.)
Creating the list also helps folks feel more comfortable with the last activity of the night, which I will write about in a future post. One person commented that the exercise was the first time she had ever done anything just about herself.
Throughout the workshop these great women also listed 9 people they knew. The list was a starting point for another wonderful and proven way to bring more happiness into our lives, and the lives of someone special to us.
Martin E.P. Seligman, author, researcher, professor and leader in the positive psychology field, has each of his students in one of his classes each semester write a 300 word letter to someone they care about and whose help or friendship has deeply touched them. Then they must – here is the surprisingly hard part, read it in person (technology is wonderful, but this really is a face-to-face kind-of thing) to the person they have written about.
Sounds simple, letting someone you appreciate know you care about them – and it is in theory, but actually putting the words on paper and sharing it with that special person can be a bit intimidating, but trust me and the thousands of other folks, who have done it: It is worth the effort for you and the person you are thanking.
Please do not skimp on the words, 300 gives you enough time to round out your thoughts. The in-person part gives you a chance to look into their eyes and tell them how much you care. It is a small act of bravery, and one each of you will benefit from.
Please do try this at home. The weekend is a great time to begin gathering and writing down your thoughts.
Oh, and it is free.
And, to quote a well-known commercial – the feeling is priceless. For you and for them.
Seligman calls it a “Gratitude Visit.”
That’s what I feel like each time I present a workshop.
PS to workshop participants: You gave Marci a perfect score and even some bonus points for her kindness on the evaluations! Thanks again, Marci for hosting the workshop, and for being you.
And, thanks to all of you for your great comments about the workshop, glad you enjoyed it