Here’s a few things that made me smile today, so I’ve added them to my HappyMap


1. Will Smith and his son on The Graham Norton Show.

 

 

 

 

2. The Perfect Belly Flop 

 

 

3. Beware the Goose.

 

 

 

4. A mummy donkey and her son or daughter (I didn’t like to check) blocking my path.

 

 

This is in the very picturesque village of Beaulieu, in the New Forest, in Hampshire.

 

Wild horses and donkeys wander around without a care in the world and are very happy to be stroked (or pose for a picture).

 

 

And this is the missus (she’s the one of the left ho ho!)

 

What’s important in life?

I often get side tracked into thinking that certain things in my life are important, at the expense of the things that are really important.

 

What's important in life?

 

There’s one question I now ask myself if I’m getting my priorities wrong:

If I knew I had one week left on this planet, how would I spend it?

The answer to this question is what’s really important to me.

 

 What's important in life?

Our new baby, Monty, is 6 weeks old

The longest sleep he’s had so far is 3 hours and frankly that was a blessing. His average snooze is around two hours long.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

To cope with this Meagan and I have come up with a strategy.

I say, “come up with a strategy”, more like we’re exhaustingly clinging onto a last resort routine. It’s the difference between barely coping and slipping into insanity, through sleep deprivation.

It involves me, feeding, changing and trying to keep Monty awake until gone 11pm. Then I hand over to Meagan who feeds him whenever he attempts to scream the house down, every two hours, throughout the night.

Eleven O’clock may not seem that late but my alarm goes off at 4:20am so it’s does start to take it’s toll.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

As I handed over last night, I noticed Fred’s (our other son) bedroom door wide open and him not in his bed.

Where could a three year old be at midnight?

After a few seconds of heart pumping panic, I saw that he’d sneaked into my bed (Meagan and I have separate beds at the moment to help protect the remains of our sanity).

As I climbed into my bed I said, “Back to your bed Fred”

“No”

I didn’t have the mental strength to take on the logic of a three year old, in an argument, particularly since he’d had four hours sleep, to charge him up, against my none.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

“Ok but no fidgeting and you must go to sleep straight away, ok?”

“Ok”, he said smiling, surprised he’d won a battle, he usually loses, so easily.

Three quarters of an hour later I found myself barking, “Fred stop singing”, for the tenth time, “Once more and you go back to your own bed”.

I think I finally dropped off at around fifteen minutes past midnight, only to be woken up by Fred banging his milk bottle on the head board, of the bed, along to another of his made up songs.

“Right that’s it! Come on back to your own bed!”

“No!”

“Yes!!!”

I picked him up and carried him to his bed, as I put him down I said, “Good night, love you”.

“Where’s my take?” he protested. Fred can’t pronounce his C’s so they come out as T’s.

“What? Your cake?”

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

 

“Noooo, my tape?”

At this point my head couldn’t focus through the thick fog of fatigue and my eyes were burning as if needles were sticking out of them.

“What? Your tape?!”

“Yes!”

It’s then that I realised he was wearing Superman pyjamas with a velcro detachable cape which had become detached.

“Cape!”

“Yes”.

“You don’t need your cape now”

He burst into tears and screams, “I do I need my tape!”

“Ok, ok!”

I go back to my bedroom, with throbbing head, and rustle around under the duvet getting ever more irritable about the increasing lack of sleep I’m getting.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

Like an old steam kettle, I can feel the stress increasingly building up inside my skull the longer it takes me to find Fred’s cape.

I look all over for it then finally discover it, in his bed, under in his legs.

“Rollover”

In a struggled fumble, I attach my sons Superman cape to his pyjamas whilst constantly thinking about the fact that my alarm going off, is getting closer and closer.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

I mean, why on earth does Fred think his cape would come in handy at 0:30am in the morning?

It’s not as if he’s about to fly into action to save the planet from and evil force hell bent of destroying the human race, he’s going to sleep.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

I finally get to sleep and it’s only when I wake up in the morning do I find this scenario amusing.

At the time, due to my tiredness, it was a seriously stressful predicament I was having problems coping with.

I learned lack of sleep seriously impairs your ability to carry out simple tasks, like attaching a superhero’s cape with velcro and that superhero’s never go to bed without a fully functioning cape.

There is one real reason to laugh at stress:

Stressful situations are of the moment and can often be laughed at in retrospect.

So if it’s possible, we need to realise this at the time because laughing, is not only good for our health but its been proven that people who laugh more are, generally, less stressed.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

Ps – Meagan told me she saw Fred having a sneezing fit this morning and he used his cape to wipe his nose afterwards, so it’s more functional than I originally thought.

I suppose if he uses it for this purpose enough, it will gradually become stiff enough to give the impression he’s actually flying.

 

One real reason to laugh at stress...

 

 

 

 


I was reading about the devastation caused by the tornado, in Oklahoma, the other day.

I was on my computer in work, sitting next to a colleague.

“Awful isn’t it?” she commented.

“Yes dreadful”, I agreed.

Then I sat back and thought about it a bit more and asked her, “Where’s the positive in this story?”

She said, “There isn’t one”.

It seems that way.

So many people were seriously affected by this disaster. At least twenty four people died, most of them children and between 12,000 and 13,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.

Is there a positive here?

On average, Oklahoma experiences so many tornadoes every year (around 50) that the area in which it’s located, is referred to as Tornado Valley.

So you could say that a tornado as devastating as this was bound to happen, sooner or later.

The above statistic doesn’t make what happened more palatable or any less mortifying, of course its beyond sad for all the people involved. Nothing will ever bring back what they’ve lost.

No right minded individual would ever want to see anyone subjected to this level of adversity, not now, not ever and therein lies the positive.

The mayor of the tornado-devastated town of Moore in Oklahoma has vowed to push for a new law on shelters.

Glenn Lewis said he would propose an ordinance requiring a reinforced shelter to be built in every new home.

 

This new law will not bring back the people who perished. It’s too late for that but now there’s only two ways to act in the aftermath of this disaster.

Do they do nothing (which is what’s happened previously) and be almost guaranteed that a natural occurrence as devastating as this will happen again?

Or do they learn from it and do their best to prevent it?

Yes it’s the harshest lesson the people, in the town of Moore, could ever learn but hopefully it will stop a future generation being exposed to similar hurt and devastation.

The point of this blog post is not to prove there’s always a positive but to train ourselves to always look for one, no matter how adverse the circumstance, as it’s always more productive and effective than the hopelessness of the alternative.

 


I’ve added these 5 items to my HappyMap because they made me smile today, I hope they do the same for you.


1. Lionel’s Lost.

 

For more pictures like this click here for HappyMap

 


2. Beatbox Bird

 

 

 

 

3. Toilet Demo

 

4. Irresponsible dog owners, shut your mouths.

 

 

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5. Go ahead make my day.

 

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Every week I write a list of 3 things I’m grateful for as there’s enough happy things in my life I just need to take more time to appreciate them.

 



If you’d like to know more about why writing lists of positive gratitude helps you feel happier click HERE 



I’m Grateful:


1. For my 20/20 vision.


In work I have an amazing colleague who is partially sighted and despite this, has no problem doing his job very well.


As I left work today I saw him working at his computer. Due to his restricted sight he has to maximize the font on any document and get very close to the monitor to read any text.


On the bike ride home, the sun was shining and as a result my surroundings, especially the trees, grass and flowers exuded a wonderful array of vibrant colours. I see amazing sights like this every day but I often take them for granted.


There is nothing more awesome than the ability of our eyesight.

 



2. Fred my son making me laugh on a daily basis.


Yesterday I arrived home from work and he said, “Daddy sit down with me”, almost in the style in a headmaster.


So as I sat next to him, he held his right hand towards me in a gesture similar to that of someone who wants to shake hands and in a stern, authoritative voice said, “Have you been to work?”


“Yes” I replied.


“Have you done your running?”


“No”


“Have you done your biking?”


“Yes”


“Have you been in there”, he said point to a little butterfly net.


At which point I burst out laughing.

 



3. For the way my son Monty stares at me with his wide, blue, innocent wondering eyes as I’m about to feed him some milk.

 

 

Is it possible to daydream your way to happiness?

The imagination is the most powerful tool we possess, in order for us to be happier.

 

Is it possible to daydream your way to happiness?

 

I’ll prove it to you.

Close your eyes for 10 seconds, breathe smoothly and imagine yourself on holidays.

Go on – do it now, enjoy yourself for ten seconds.

10

 

9

 

8

 

7

 

6

 

5

 

4

 

3

 

2

 

1

 

0

What did you think about?

Were you lying in the sun?

Were you comfortable?

Was it warm?

Was it the right temperature?

Was it quiet?

Was there any hassles?

I bet there weren’t.

 

Is it possible to daydream your way to happiness?

 

Did you imagine any of the following?

  • Getting delayed at the airport.
  • The passenger in front of you, on the plane, reclining their seat in your face.
  • Having trouble finding a sun lounger.
  • Other peoples screaming kids running around the pool and accidentally splashing you.
  • You feeling a little too hot.
  • Feeling uncomfortable because of sunburn.

That’s because the dream is always better than the reality.

This is the same with any dream.

 

Is it possible to daydream your way to happiness?

 

Imagine yourself winning the lottery.

The chances are, you won’t even entertain the problems or hassles associated with a life changing amount of moolah and there are plenty.

 

Is it possible to daydream your way to happiness?

 

The tabloids are littered with stories of people who will unhappily attest to the fact that winning the lottery ruined their lives.

The text below are the conclusions of a the study from Stanford Graduate School of Business:

Research in the field of neuroscience has shown that the part of the brain responsible for feeling pleasure – the mesolimbic dopamine system – can be activated when merely thinking about something pleasurable, such as drinking a favorite brand of beer or driving a favorite type of sports car.

In fact, this research shows that people sometimes enjoys anticipating an activity more than actually doing it. For example, reading guidebooks in advance of a big vacation and anticipating the food you’ll eat and the activities you’ll do while there could actually give you more pleasure than the vacation itself. 

In short, research suggests that we can be just as well – if not sometimes better – off if we imagine experiences without having them.

So to increase happiness, spend plenty of time happily daydreaming.

 

Is it possible to daydream your way to happiness?

 

So if you want to be happier, take a little time each day, to daydream about something you really like doing.

The chances are it will be more pleasurable than doing the actual thing. 

 

I often slip into the belief that having more money would make me a happier person.

Gratitude-List-Some-People-Are-So-poor-all-they-have-is-money

And even though it is a deep held belief, I know it to be untrue.

So why do I believe this?

I’m not struggling financially but I’m not rich or well off either.

I get by.

gratitude-list-you-can-never-have-enough-of-what-you-don't-need

So why do I WANT more?

I don’t NEED more, I HAVE plenty.

There are 3 parts to the equation here.

What I NEED.

What I HAVE.

What I WANT.

gratitude-list

If I don’t NEED anymore than I HAVE, why should I WANT more?

If I can’t appreciate what I HAVE already (and it’s all I NEED) then I’m hardly likely to appreciate stuff I don’t NEED but WANT.

gratitude-list-express-our-gratitude

So, on a weekly basis, I’m going to write a gratitude list.

On this list are 3 things things I have, of which I’m grateful for.

This will, hopefully, reaffirm my belief that I’m already rich.

gratitude-list-money-quotes-if-you-want-to-feel-rich

The items on this list also, invariably, happen to be things money can’t buy.

1. I’m grateful I was raised by a parents who cared and loved me.

2. I’m grateful my family are fit and healthy.

3. I’m grateful I was born in a country where, food or water isn’t scarce, where freedom of speech is celebrated not persecuted because it’s wasn’t my choice, it was just luck.

gratitude-list-life-perspective-quote-if-you-have-food-in-your-belly

For more quotes like the above check out HappyMap

 

 

 

sense-of-humour

 

We recently stayed at my mum and dad’s house.

Every time we spend some time there, I end up arguing with my mother.

We are very similar in temperament so this place is an argument hotspot I find impossible to avoid.

 

sense-of-humour

 

Before pulling the car up to the house, whenever I visit, I mentally have to say to myself, “Keep calm, relax and don’t get involved in any arguments. Let everything go”. 

It never works.

I know arguments are pointless.

Nobody wins an argument, both parties feel bad after taking part in one.

It’s a lose lose situation.

 

sense-of-humour

 

I apologised to my mother after the argument but I still feel bad.

I won’t go into the details of the argument but at one point my mother shouted, “I’m not going to go out and buy 40 bloody bananas!” then stormed out of the room.

At the time I didn’t find this funny because we were both in state of high emotion but now it’s making me laugh.

 

sense-of-humour


The fact that neither of us found this line funny proves how blinkered our perception was, whilst we were engrossed our verbal battle.

This is a good lesson in life generally.

When we lose our sense of humour, we lose, full stop.

No laugh, no win.

 

life sense of humour

 

After the argument, mum and took Fred out to see his cousin.

I want to make it up to her so, when she arrives home, sitting on the table will be 40 bananas.

 

Screenshot 2014-01-06 19.28.32

 

I hope she sees the funny side.

 

sense-of-humour

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