No time to be happy? Want to be part of 100happydays and give it a try? Take the challenge

We’re almost at the end of January, the month of new beginnings, learning from the mistakes of the year gone by, and most importantly the month of making (if not faithfully keeping up) new resolutions made! While hitting the gym, taking regular vacations or reading at least one book a month are archetypal resolutions we make, this time around, a good number of people have decided to… be happy!

While you might have that quizzical expression on your face, if you’ve been active on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, you would have noticed some of your friends post pictures on a daily basis of something that made them happy that day with a public hash tag #100happydays. According to the creators of this challenge, “we live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being. 71 per cent of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed quoting lack of time as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. Do you?”

And for people wondering why they should participate, the website (100happydays.com) states: “People successfully completing the challenge claimed — to start noticing what makes them happy every day, be in a better mood every day, become more optimistic…”

Bangaloreans are quite upbeat about 100happydays. An enthusiastic participant, Niveditha Rao who runs The Dessert Island opines: “It’s a great idea. It might sound gimmicky but at a time when everyone’s a busy bee these days, taking time off to reflect and capture what makes you happy is a luxury. I also loved that at the end of 100 days, I’d have 100 happy pictures to look back on. For me, the simple things in life make me the happiest from baking the perfect goodie to cuddles with my furry friends to a cold cup of coffee and conversations on a hot day.”

Project manager for Radio Active, Vandana R. Jaikumar, is also quite kicked about the challenge she’s signed up for. “I think it's a nice concept because firstly I love pictures and this way they become even more meaningful. With respect to the concept, I think it's a good way of making us realise that little things have always brought us a lot of joy,” she says. Some things that have made it to her 100happydays album include “a reunion with my school friends, hot water when you really need it, walking around in a book store, getting that cup of coffee when your system needs caffeine!”

Another participant, Aishwarya Vijay, a content producer at CVC Network, says: “I love seeing what makes other people happy. To an extent people will make sure they have an exciting day, I guess. And more importantly value their time more and cherish the little things. A variety of things have made me happy so far include new movies at the theatre, having lunch dates with friends and sampling a new dessert at my favourite pastry shop in the city!”

With a challenge like this that calls for not just dedication to post pictures everyday but more importantly appreciation of life’s little blessings, one wonders if we really need reminders! While Niveditha feels: “people don’t need to be reminded that life is not all that bad, it's about learning to see what makes you happy and savouring that moment and capturing it for posterity,” Aishwarya thinks: “Everyone needs a reminder in some way or the other. I value my life a great deal, but sometimes even I forget how blessed I am. And when I'm going through a rough patch, these little happy moments really picks me up.”

Even before this challenge took the social media world by storm, city-based illustrator Alicia Souza created ‘The Grateful Calendar’ for 2014, each day of which has a little illustration of the things she and her followers appreciate/are thankful for.

She says: “I realised that I feel the happiest when I'm just satisfied with what I have and how things are going, regardless of how many frowns there were in the day. So, the calendar idea popped in my head while I was showering because aren’t we call just so grateful for showers!"

Ask her how easy/difficult it was to be thankful for a good 365 things and Alicia quips: “Because everyone was so generous with their grateful ideas, it was so much easier than I thought. I just drew everyone's thanks, besides Richard Gere!”

Whether through an online challenge, signing up at a laughter club or having a table calendar like the one designed by Alicia, it sure looks like being happy and thankful is at the top of a lot of people’s resolution list for 2014!