Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Hump Day Hacks are for everyone: those of you who love going to work everyday, some days, or hardly ever; those interested in building cultures of appreciation, innovation and purpose; and those who want to create better conditions in all aspects of life (you can use these tips at home or at family gatherings too).
Hump Day Hacks come from the fields of positive psychology, design thinking and coaching. It's not just stuff I make up!
This Hump Day Hack is brought to you by video. In it I explain "Three Good Things"- arguably the best known intervention from the field of positive psychology.
For those of you who prefer to read, rather than watch, I'll share the explanation below.
Three Good Things is an exercise that entails writing down three things that went well during your day and reflecting on them at the end of the day.
In a 2005 study, Dr. Martin Seligman and his colleagues asked participants to do just that every evening for a week. The research demonstrated a significant increase to their subjective reports of well-being and life satisfaction.
So here's the assignment.
Each evening for one week write down three good things that happened that day and reflect on WHY they happened.
That second part is important. We tend not to notice the effort that we or the people around us put into the good things that happen. Reflecting on why good things happen allows us to cultivate a broader perspective and more gratitude. For more on gratitude check out this post, and this one and this one.
Here are some guidelines to this activity:
Your good things shouldn't be cynical, they have to be sincere,
They can be small things, like someone buying you a coffee,
They should be specific rather than general,
This is not meant to avoid or deny the negative things in life,
Sometimes people interpret the exercise as a way to put things into perspective: “People in Africa are dying, I should be grateful for this mail”. Gratitude is not about (downward) comparison. Of course, things can always be worse, but this is not the essence of gratitude. It is possible to be grateful for something without making the comparison to people who are worse off.
It's shown to work better when you write the good things down, rather than just think about them.
Here are some of my own examples that fit the criteria:
1) David took the kids to school this morning so I could work. This happened because I asked him to and he is really trying to help me.
2) We Work gave me the green light to do coaching sessions with their clients tomorrow!! Woo hoo. This happened because I offered my services and I had an authentic talk with their community manager (who is awesome).
3) I settled on a fantastic venue for my workshop series. This happened because I asked my network for help and they delivered. I am so grateful for my friends, acquaintances and supporters.
Good luck and keep me posted on how this impacts you!
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