If you haven’t noticed by now, I like national awareness events and obscure holidays – a day or week that is celebrated but may not be widely recognized. The third week of January (which is January 18 – 24 in 2009) is Hunt for Happiness Week; which is sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People.
Did you know there was a Secret Society of Happy People? I didn’t. In fact, I find the SOHP more intriguing than the fact there is a Hunt for Happiness Week. From the Secret Society of Happy People web site about the founder,
Pamela Gail founded the Secret Society of Happy People in 1998 to provide a missing voice for those who experience happiness and want to express it without other people raining on their parade. The Society provided her with a unique opportunity to earn a school-of-hard-knocks Ph.D. in the philosophy of happiness thanks to her interactions with thousands of people about their struggles to find happiness, their actual happy experiences and her studies in the science and philosophy of living happily-ever-after.
She is the author of Don’t Even Think of Raining on My Parade: Adventures of the Secret Society of Happy People (PJ Press, June 2000).
A native Texan, Pamela lives in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, works in business development for a Fortune 500 company. In her "free time" she writes the almost monthly newsletter Happy Attitudes, an occasional column The Happiness Perspective and manages the daily responsibilities of the Secret Society of Happy People.
What is the SOHP?
Founded: August 1998
Purpose: The Secret Society of Happy People encourages the expression of happiness and discourages parade-raining. Parade-rainers are those people who don’t want to hear your happy news. And no, we don’t tell people to be happy if they aren’t or how to be happy.
Motto: If you’re happy and you know it … tell somebody!
Members: More than 7,000 people in 34 countries have joined the Secret Society of Happy People.
Go to the SOHP web site to learn more about the history of the Secret Society of Happy People.
Before you scoff at Hunt for Happiness Week or the SOHP … answer these questions – Am I happy? Do I want to be happy? What would make me happy? And most importantly – Do you feel like you make your own happiness?
I discovered years ago that I make my happiness – happiness is an attitude. Of course, there are tragedies in our lives and life can throw things at us that make it hard if not impossible to be happy at times. These are the times when you have to "hunt" for your happiness.
Even if you answered yes to the question "Am I happy?"… practicing "hunting" for happiness now will make it easier for you when things have you down and happiness seems out of your grasp.
I believe everyone can find something that will make them happy. Today’s task is to hunt that "something"; and claim your happiness. One great way to find something that makes you happy is to think back. Sit quietly for a few minutes and remember your childhood. What made you feel happy when you were a child? Children are almost always happy, so let’s take a lesson from them.
Here are a few ideas that may help:
- Coloring – get a coloring book and crayons and color. Coloring relaxes me… which in turn, makes me happy.
- Play in the snow – it’s snowing here at the moment and reminded me of how much I loved playing in the snow. So if it is snowing where you live go play in it. Build a snowman.
- Reading – for enjoyment – grab a book for just the sheer pleasure of it. Get carried away in a book; in fact, read one of your favorite books from your childhood again.
- Play with Lego, wooden blocks and Play-doh, to name a few – if you have kids this is easy but even if you don’t, I say go for it. Get in the floor and build/make something.
Sometimes we need a little motivation or inspiration. My hope is to do just that … inspire you. This week (and every week) find your inner child. This week "Hunt for Happiness"… and find it!
Before going I want to add that we have two occasions this week for happiness — Martin Luther King Day and the monumental Inauguration of our new President, Barack Obama. What better ways to start off Hunt for Happiness Week!