Question: What’s the first thing you do when you have a happy moment at work?
If the word “nothing” just popped into your head, you need to get a happiness jar!
It’s exactly what the name implies – a jar that collects happiness.
Keeping a happiness jar is not going to revolutionize your world, or suddenly turn you into the happiest human ever. But it’s an easy first step towards a more mindful work life where you acknowledge – and feel – the pride and joy of each small win.
I don’t remember where I heard about happiness jars, but it was probably online, since I’m online 1000 hours a day.
Obviously exaggerating, but I’m a content consultant so I do stare at a screen most days – and I fall down rabbit holes regularly. It probably popped up in a search for something wildly unrelated to happiness. Or jars.
Mine is a mason jar. Nothing fancy. And on many days, it just sits on the corner of my desk, taking up very little space and quietly minding its own business.
But when something especially good happens, my happiness jar reminds me to take notice of the moment.
I jot down the date and a brief description of my accomplishment, fold up the paper, and pop it into the jar. Note: I use 3 inch square Post-Its because they’re colorful.
That’s it. That’s the whole process. As months go by, the jar fills up. And at the end of the year, I set aside an hour to read, and savor, each note.
It may sound silly and inconsequential, but here’s the thing…
Before I started keeping that happiness jar on the corner of my desk, I generally did NOTHING to acknowledge those small wins.
Now, four years into the happiness jar habit, I can say that the first thing I do when I have a happy moment is WRITE IT DOWN.
My happiness jar helps me in several ways:
- I’m more conscious of positive moments and when they happen, I pause to appreciate them.
- I feel more capable and confident because noting small wins naturally makes me feel more successful.
- When I have a not-so-amazing day, I can look over at my happiness jar and be reminded that this is just one day. Those colorful Post-Its are concrete evidence that I enjoy my work.
To quote Oprah Winfrey, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Keeping a happiness jar is a small thing. But it’s also a lovely idea. And you can do it right now. All you need is a jar. And some colorful Post-Its because they do make it pretty!