I saw a car with eyelashes this morning and it made me laugh. Then I stopped and took a picture of it, so I would remember that I’d laughed, and so I could have a reminder of laughing. It also let me check Appreciate off on my daily to-do list, because it gave me a nice moment of joy, of pleasure to be alive in a world that can be silly. I put the car on my gratitude list when I wrote my morning words, too. I wonder whether the person who put eyelashes on her car questions whether she’s spreading joy in the world or just knows she is?
This week’s book that I am forcing everyone in my life to listen to me talk about is called Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg. When I started it, I was sure I was going to dislike the author, because he names things after himself (Fogg’s Maxim #1, etc.) and capitalizes everything and I felt like his words radiated too much “I have invented sliced bread” enthusiasm. But by the end of the book, I really liked him and I really liked the book.
One of his inventions — sliced-bread style — is a name for an emotion, Shine. I’m capitalizing it because he capitalizes it, although if he wants it to catch on, I really think he needs to lose the capital. Real words don’t need random capital letters in my opinion.
He defines Shine as a feeling of success, something like “authentic pride.” The feeling you get when you ace an exam or make someone laugh (when you’ve been trying to) or delight yourself with your own cooking or writing. The feeling when you look at your work and you’re happy about it or someone gives you a random compliment that pleases you, that feeling. And he believes that the best way to develop good habits, which will in turn lead to living a good life, is to celebrate successes, no matter how small, and give yourself lots of opportunities to feel Shine. His argument for this actually isn’t just feel good — it’s based on brain chemistry, and the fact that we form connections between neurons more easily when they’re tied to pleasure. If you want to form a habit, you need to make it feel good, and the easiest way to do that is to celebrate it.
So today I ate some healthy food, including sliced radishes for a healthy snack. Yay, me! And I wrote some words on a story and while Past Me would say there weren’t enough of them, Present Me is patting myself on my back and saying, Good job, self! And now I’m finishing a blog post that took me forever to write, so congratulations, self, you rock!
And while I can’t exactly say I’m feeling happy, at least I’m smiling. Tiny Habits = totally worth reading. My favorite self-help book of the week.