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“When you elevate your happiness it builds mental strength and mental strength is what it takes to get through tough times.”
Sarah Trimmer is a hero of mine. She lived through the fairly young death of both her parents, a divorce and two devastating breast cancer diagnoses after having a double mastectomy to avoid said breast cancer.
Her journey has been harrowing to say the least – and – what is truly remarkable about Sarah is not WHAT she has gone through, but HOW she has gone through it. She devised a lifestyle plan she calls “Start Happy, End Happy.”
I think this simple plan could transform the way we live our lives. It could transform the way we feel about our lives. It’s a plan that asks you to take a moment and throw a spotlight on what feels good, which in turn, amplifies it in twenty different ways and helps you to build mental strength.
Sarah’s simple “Start Happy, End Happy” plan goes like this:
Everyday, twice a day, (morning and night) she answers 5 questions. The questions are:
Today I am grateful for…
(Did you know that according to numerous studies gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness?)
Today I helped someone by…
(Thinking about this one and knowing you have to answer it tonight and tomorrow will help you seek out opportunities to be helpful – in big ways and small ways. It will also help you recognize how helpful you actually are on a daily basis.)
Something that made me happy today was…
(It can be anything! Last night my son was playing the piano and singing and it filled me with absolute joy – even though it was WAY past his bed time.)
Today I learned…
(Einstein said that when you stop learning, you start dying. If you aren’t learning something new everyday seek out ways to do it. You can fill this in today with, “Today I learned how to transform my life by answering 5 questions 2 times a day!”)
Tomorrow I will…
(Sometimes we don’t have the strength to think positively about tomorrow (believe me I’ve been there) so the answer to this sentence could be, “try again.” AND know that studies show that when people have something to look forward to it raises their level of happiness. So if you’re up for it think about what tomorrow will bring and what one thing may make you smile.)
If you want to get physically strong – you go to the gym. If you want to get mentally strong you commit to a practice such as “Start Happy, End Happy.”
They say a habit can be formed in as little as 21 days. I’m definitely doing this AND because I’m that kind of mom – I’m going to make my family do it too. This is perfect breakfast/dinner table conversation. I would suggest doing one just on your own-as not everything can or should be shared with everyone.
Sarah says that statistically she may not survive her cancer. But every day of her life from the moment she started “Start Happy, End Happy” has been transformational, strengthening, hopeful, beautiful and happy. I don’t know that we can ask for more from the days we have on this earth.
Today I am grateful for you, the beautiful folks who have loved and supported our vision for SoulKu and have gone on this remarkable journey with us.
Today I helped someone by sharing what Sarah has created. I hope feels as powerful for you as it does for me.
Something that made me happy today was seeing the lake this morning as I headed off to work. It was spectacular.
Today I learned that if I am willing to commit to happiness – no matter my circumstance – I can be happy and I really want to be happy.
Tomorrow I will make myself French pressed coffee and drink it in bed in the morning all warm and cozy.
As always, we’re rooting for you.
To see Sarah’s TED talk click below:
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