The Happiness Folder Strategy


1Life sucks sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t. We all know this. We also know that, unless we want to make ourselves miserable, focusing on the bad stuff is…. well…. bad.  So we all remember the good stuff.

The A in Geometry, a casual complement, we all focus on these things when the going gets rough. But, if you’re like me, then there are days when you’re just fed up and can’t remember as many happy memories as you’d like.

My Mom is an amazing person and, several years ago, she gave me a really cool idea. We call it the Happiness Folder. Every time I receive a thoughtful note, or a good grade, or anything like that, it gets put in the Happiness Folder, which then gets referred to when yours truly has a terrible day. It’s amazing! Complements that I had forgotten I’d been given sit in there, and it’s wonderful to look at! I don’t go to it only on the bad days, either. It’s great to look at a great job review in the morning! It gives me that, “Yes, I can do it!” vibe, which is really awesome to feel on Mondays.

By focusing on all the good, instead of all the bad, it improves us as people. And it improves us as Americans. Just because people don’t like what we have to say doesn’t mean that others feel the same way about us. If we focus on all the good, the glass is half-full, and America is amazing. It does something to your worldview. I don’t know what, but remembering and sharing good to put in whatever kind of Happiness Folders we or our friends might have changes people.

Below I’ve shared a video that shows how awesome this is!


Cultural Music

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMusic has gone over many changes in the last decade. I mean, lots. Rock used to be what we now call ‘Soft Rock’, and Metal has gone through growth spurts, too. Country is different, Pop is different, everything’s just…… different. Different’ s not bad, it’s cool! Truthfully, I’d rather listen to Hunter Hays than Johnny Cash. But I Want Crazy (Hays) and Ring of Fire (Cash) are the same genre, even though they sound completely different.

During the many changed all genres have gone through, I’ll single out Country for the sake of discussion, we’ve gained a lot, but also lost a lot. Over the past ten years some genres were completely swallowed into a category, such as Blue Grass. It got pulled right into Country, which was then affected by Pop and Rock artists, and so Blue Grass was left in the dust. The cultural music genres of our Nation have been swallowed into the bigger, broader genres, leaving almost no breathing space for them to grow.

But, excitingly, that was in the past. Cultural music in America is making a comeback, and it’s so cool! Our peers are learning to fiddle like Cowboy Copus, to pick at a guitar like George Jones, to find their fingers flying over a harmonica like numbers others!  And, to cap it all off, some instruments that haven’t seen a stage light in decades are being played in Talent Shows, and put into albums. The music of our past, of our pioneering days, of the Anti-Bellum South, of the Gold Rush, it’s all coming back! We’re tasting the songs and listening to the tunes that were being sung during the childhood of our Country. Even if you don’t like old music, and it’s fine if don’t, you’ve got to admit that the fact that these songs are generations old, yet still making their voices heard, is absolutely amazing!

American Phrase Friday

President_Roosevelt_-_Pach_Bros.tif“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

The Geography of America

download.jpegThere are many wonderful things about our nation. Mixing cultures, amazing schools, a people’s government, but yet another one of these beautiful pieces of our Nation is something that we cannot claim a hand in shaping. Her geography. Think about it!

When I say ‘desert’, you might think of Arabia. When I say ‘tundra’, you might think of Norway. When I say ‘island’ you might think of Britian or Japan. Either way, each bit of terrain above is almost the exclusive type of terrain found in the countries above. Yet, here in America, we have it all.

Mountains, deserts, tundra, tropical islands, prairie, swamps, forests, all right here! We don’t need to leave out country to see the North Star and the Southern Cross in the same sky, we don’t need to leave out borders to see the Northern Lights, or one of the few coral reefs left. Its all here, it’s all home.

Our culture and our Nation complement each other, they pull differences together to make it a masterpiece, a mural of color and life. We live in a country that has the whole world in its borders, how cool is that?

American Opportunity

downloadHey, Americans! Do you know that you live in one of the most amazing countries in the entire world? Well, obviously you do, but still! People risk everything to find the American Dream, and our people are born with it free. You can do anything you want in your life! Anything! Make a movie? Yup! Become a government official? Go ahead! FBI, singer, artist? Why not! We American teens have one of the most amazing futures in front of us, one of dreams, of beauty, of awesomeness! I don’t mean that word in the slang tense, by the way, I mean awe-provoking. Ground-shaking, history-altering futures. At our fingertips!

We have amazing Universities on our soil, we have outstanding scientists, fabulous writers, people here who teach whatever you can think of! I mean, how outstanding is that? Our generation is growing up in one of the most amazing places in the world, we have everything we need to change our world right here. In our cities, our Nation. We can change the world by living to the fullness of our being, by throwing ourselves into our dreams, not matter what they are.

Here, in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, we can do anything. We. Can. Do. Anything. You can make your life what you want it to be, that’s the beauty of America. Your dreams are never too big, the sky is never out of reach, it’s always just around the next corner.