Monday, 5 February 2018

The little things

My 10-year old son and I are playing a game at the moment: the 30-day Happiness Challenge*. I bought it after he finished his entrance exams for secondary school. A bit of light relief. So each day he plucks a 'happiness challenge' from a little box covered in smiley faces. Two weeks in, he's been smiling at strangers, looking back on old photos and walking barefoot in some rather soggy grass.

List of 'happiness' challenges
My main objective is to keep him on a positive track after the stress of all the exams. Like many of us, he can get lost in the more negative aspects of his day. Apparently, this is a common human trait. "Our view of the world has a fundamental tendency to tilt to the negative," says social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood in a TEDx talk. 

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Dream on...

Dream, believe, achieve is emblazoned on my teenager's sweatshirt when she surfaces late morning. Not that there is any rule about squeezing achievements into the early part of the day - the placement of dirty cereal bowls in the dishwasher is generally good enough for me. "That's a nice thought for the new year," I tell her in my cheery voice (she can be a little temperamental before her first slice of toast so I have to tread gently). If only it was that easy, I think quietly to myself.

Sweatshirt with the words, Dream, Believe, Achieve
Maxims for the new year
Life is about striving in one way or another, no more so than at the start of a new year. The slate has been wiped clean, the days are growing longer and we are buoyed up by the belief that a few new numbers on the calendar will make all the difference. If Theresa May can feel chipper about making progress with her Brexit deal (assuming she believes her own rhetoric), then my own small-scale goals should be relatively achievable.