I was inspired by Nellah Grace to participate in 100 Days of Happiness. The idea of the challenge is to find something that has made me happy or something to be grateful for every single day, for one hundred consecutive days. So I documented my happiness from the end of March to the end of June via my Instagram Stories. Instagram has deleted my first six days, but you can check out the remaining days here.
Now you may be thinking that’s quite a lot to ask. Posting on social media every single day isn’t as easy as it looks! And on top of that, finding something to be genuinely grateful for everyday requires more introspection than I anticipated.
So what have I learned over the last 100 days?
Seasons are temporary
When I started the challenge I was in a very transitional period in my life. I wasn’t enjoying my graduate job, so I built up the courage to hand in my notice and change my career path altogether to pursue my genuine interests. I believe Day 1 of 100 Days of Happiness was my penultimate day at my previous job, and I didn’t have a new job lined up, so I was entering the gloomy world of unemployment once again. This time I wasn’t worried though, I knew I’d land another role soon and I was confident that God’s plan would make complete sense (since my faith had already been tested so heavily in this area when I spent over a year looking for a job post-graduation, I genuinely felt peace this time). Whilst I was looking for a new job, instead of moping around, I focused on restarting my driving lessons again and I completed an online digital marketing course to build my skills.
Fast forward 100 days and I’m in a new job working in digital marketing, which matches my skill set perfectly. And I’ve also finally passed my driving test (more to come on that in a future blog post lol). I want to encourage you guys to know that no matter what you’re experiencing right now, keep making steps towards bettering your circumstances. Avoid the temptation to wallow and try your best to enjoy yourself regardless. From my experience, hardly any endeavour is a complete waste of time, there’s always a lesson to be learned from it if you’re open to learn it. No season in your life will last forever!
Some people live vicariously through others
This challenge also reinforced to me that people truly do feed off the energy you put out there. As I was posting stories to my Instagram, some of my followers started to count down with me (which was really encouraging so thank you if you were one of those lovely people!). Especially when I got to the half way mark at Day 50, several people commented on the fact that 1) I’m encouraging them to count their blessings too and 2) watching me be consistent at something somehow motivates them. Everyday they knew that if they checked my Instagram story, there’d be a moment of gratitude. And I’m super excited to see that a couple of my friends have started up their own variations of 100 Days!
So if it’s true that some people do live vicariously through what they see around them/displayed by others, I want to do my best to ensure that the life I’m living showcases something good:
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5:16
For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! – Ephesians 5:8
Even on your worst days, there’s still something to be grateful for
Ironically, I realised that I wasn’t always “happy” during this challenge and it was on those days that I really had to search myself to find something to appreciate about my day. It’s completely normal to experience highs and lows. But despite that, I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what sort of day I’ve had, God is still good. I know I say that all the time, but I really believe it. God is actually the only constant in my life and I’m grateful that He doesn’t change.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. – Hebrews 13:8
I learned to be more attentive in noticing the little things that people do for me e.g. smiles from strangers or people just showing that they’re thinking of me. And I learned to be more grateful for things that I take for granted sometimes like leaving my house in the morning and actually coming back safely. Or having the means to do food shopping. These things are actually luxuries. Although I am very accustomed to them, someone somewhere else in the world would give anything to be in my position. There’s alwaysssss something to be grateful for.
True contentment is a mindset, not just a feeling
The thing about our feelings is, although they’re valid, they’re very fickle. Our feelings come and go like the wind, and to be honest they’re often dependent on external factors.
For me, this challenge has highlighted that true contentment is actually a mindset that we have to condition ourselves to strive for. If we allow our happiness to be dictated by external factors permanently, we’ll probably be more susceptible to feeling constantly disappointed and unhappy.
As the days passed and the challenge progressed, so did my mindset. I actually wanted to see the good in every “bad” situation because I’d committed to showing my appreciation every day. It’s almost like lifting our privilege-tinted glasses can show us the real joy that life brings.
Overall, it was a really cool journey to document and I gained a whole lot from it. I encourage you guys to try this challenge. Whether or not you want to post your journey onto social media is up to you (but I do think it helps to keep you consistent since people will be watching!). Practising mindfulness and gratitude on a daily basis for 3 months has been really beneficial to me and I’d highly recommend it.
What do you think, is real happiness a feeling, a mindset or both? Would you do this 100 day challenge? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading 🙂
God bless you!
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24