Many moons ago, as a high school sophomore, this marvelous book came into my life:
From that point on, I decided to keep my own list of happy things. By the time I was in college, I had about 1,000 things to be happy about. It’s not as difficult as you think. The trick is to be very specific. For example, don’t say food makes me happy. Say honey goat cheese spread heavily on a Wheat Thin makes me happy. With that sort of specificity, it’s amazing what you can come up with!
Although my actual list making has faltered in recent years, I continue to make those I know and love play a game I like to call “5 Things” or more often “5 Things… Go!” I created this game in college to help my friends cheer up and ponder the lighter things in life. Being who I am, I also created rules for the game. They are few, but they are important:
Rule 1: No saying generic, boring things like “family,” “God,” “friends,” or “my significant other.” Those don’t count.
Rule 2: It can’t be a backhanded complaint. This rule was created because of entries such as “That moment when you finally turn in a really long, stressful paper after being up all night with no food because the cafeteria had really lame dinner that night…” Again: so doesn’t count.
Rule 3: Yes, it has to be 5 things. Not 4, not 6, 5.
So that’s my 5 Things game. I really love to play it with people I am just getting to know because I feel it is a really good way to learn about people without boring or awkward icebreakers. Around here, you’ll probably see 5 things from me about once a week. It’s a lovely habit to get into. You should play too!