Monday, April 25, 2011

Make Happy A Habit

Everywhere I turn I am bombarded with this idea of being happy.

During a Professional Staff Meeting last week, one of my colleagues presented on Positive Psychology and the importance of happiness and how being happy affects our work. Although I was intrigued by the presentation, I will admit that I have not thought much about it after that day. Well, that is until today while perusing Facebook.

A friend of mines posted a Facebook status where he challenged his friends and associates to join him on a movement: The Make Happy a Habit Movement.

I am a sucker for a catchy theme and/or phrase and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. The first thing I did was tweet to all my followers about the new movement encouraging them to hop on the bandwagon as well.

Now as I sit here and think about this movement and this phrase, the following question continues to come across my mind: What does being happy really mean?

I am sure that I could easily Google the definitions of the words happy and happiness but I am looking for something deeper than what Webster says. I want to know the true meaning behind the word happy.

As I sit and think about all the times that I have heard people talk about being happy I can safely say that some people associate happiness with a sense of enjoyment and/or contentment. Other people may associate happiness with things. As we think about this notion of making happy a habit we must first define what being happy truly means for us. Once you have defined your own definition of happiness then you can go on to work to make a happy a habit in your life.

What does happiness mean to me? Happiness is an inward emotion. I must be able to look in the mirror and smile at the person I see staring at me. If I can do that, then I am happy. Happiness in my opinion is not something that I can find outside of myself. Yes, things in the world can impact my happiness but they cannot give me happiness.

When I am happy that does not mean that everything in my life is perfect and peachy keen. It simply means that I have decided to look beyond the imperfections in my life and see all the good.

As we begin to embark on one of the biggest times of the year for us in Student Affairs I want you to embrace this notion of Making Happy a Habit. Determine what true happiness really means to you, what you need to do to get there, and start making it happen.

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've
decided to look beyond the imperfections.” ~Author Unknown

Follow me on twitter @BDeniseCole

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How will you Change the World?

It’s student staff appreciation week and with that comes all the warm fuzzy feelings, thoughts, gifts, and expressions of love and appreciation that all of us supervisors can muster up for our staffs. If you have taken the True Colors assessment, you can accurately deem this week a “Blue” Week.

Yesterday during our Student Staff Appreciation Bonfire I handed out bookmarks to my Resident Assistants with inspirational quotes on them uniquely chosen to reflect their experiences and encourage their future journey. One of my staff members received a quote that he himself came up with a few alterations made by me.

“Everyday you wake up, make sure you change the world”

I remember the first time I heard him utter the phrase. He was on his way out of my office after a very humorous impromptu 1:1 meeting and the last leg of our conversation went something like this:

Me: Go out and change the world
Him: Bobbie, every day I wake up I change the world.

Although I know he meant that as a joke, I can’t help but see it as motivation for everyone and a theme for life. Could you imagine how different your days would look if you woke up with that mentality? I am sure that you would feel like you had an invisible cape on as you flew out of bed and floated to work every single day. I can imagine the passion and enthusiasm that you would put into your conduct meetings, your weekly reports, your programming initiatives, and your 1:1 time with your staff. Everything you do would be done with intention, enthusiasm, and purpose.

So I ask you, why not start now? Why not wake up every day with the notion that you are going to change the world? Do you think your actions are too small to change the world? Think of yourself as an Ant. Ants thrive on community to spark change. In order to build their homes each little Ant has to bring over soil, crumb by crumb, until the finished product is complete. The same goes for us as people, each person has to contribute to the greater cause in order to spark change. Not one person will be the change, it will take all people working together.

So what is your contribution? What will be your crumb of soil that you bring to help build the home?

Tomorrow when you wake up in the morning remind yourself that you are
changing the world with every step, word, and action.

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." ~Edward Everett Hale

"Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something." ~Author Unknown

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Ghandi

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Diddy, High Heels, and Fast Flats

My favorite pair of high heels are practical yet stylish. Trendy yet classic. They exemplify my personal style having a little touch of femininity bundled with some sass and sophistication. They have a red sole and are leopard print with a platform and 4.5 inch heel, but if you ask me tomorrow this might change. I love shoes! I love high heels shoes; the higher the heel, the better. I love slipping on a pair of 4.5 inch heels and adding those additional inches to my barely 5’1 frame. It’s something about a pair of sleek heels that just gives a girl a ridiculous amount of confidence.
Of course the great deal of responsibility associated with the hotness radiated from wearing a pair of heels comes with great sacrifice. Heels are not practical to wear on a daily basis, although I will try my hardest to accomplish that task. The new heights that I gain from wearing my heels come with pain, discomfort, and the occasional blister or two.
Let's think about that: Discomfort comes with new heights; platform comes with pain.
Diddy has a song titled “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and although I am not making “mo money” right now, I can completely understand what that means. As I have began to try and elevate myself, building myself professionally, stepping through new doors and windows that have been opened for me, I have begun to experience a new level of discomfort, burnout, and pain. Whether it is associated with professional relationships, not having time for family, feeling strained, feeling stressed, etc…I have begin to realize that the higher I take myself, the more discomfort I have.
As we continue to strive to achieve new heights in our careers we will experience some level of pain, some level of discomfort, and maybe even a few blisters on the way. Nothing worth having comes easy. We must keep our minds focused on the goal. When you are deep in the midst of your discomfort, remember that you are on a journey of elevation. Keep your eyes on your goal and keep your mind set on the new level you are trying to achieve.
I will admit my high heels become a little bit too much to bear. I remember being at the GLACUHO 2010 Conference, it was late into the evening and we were about to begin practice for the infamous flash mob performance. I had been in my gorgeous navy blue peep toe 4.5 inch heeled Nine West booties all day and my feet were on fire. I knew that I would not make it one more minute in those shoes. I begged and pleaded with my friend/colleague to go pick me up a pair of Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats from the local drugstore. When he came back with those rolled up flat shoes, I was in heaven. I never took my heels off that fast in my life. As I slid my feet into my new “Fast Flats” I was at ease. The pressure was taken off my feet and I could walk, jump, and dance around without pain. If you were to look in my handbag any day of the week, you will see my “Fast flats”. I keep them in my handbag just in case I need that immediate rescue from my heels.
Sometimes when we are in the midst of our discomfort we have to find a temporary way of escape. On your way to the top you need to find your “Fast Flats”. That one thing that will alleviate your discomfort while helping you to stay on track. Maybe it is a person, maybe a place, or maybe even a hobby. Take some time to reflect on the “Fast Flats” in your life. Who or What are they?
Share your Favorite Pair of High Heels with me or tell what your “Fast Flats” in life are on twitter: