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Come On, Get Happy

IMAG0886Readers of this blog may remember that I have a New Year’s Resolution to do something new each and every day. I call this my happiness project because the act of trying to find something new every day has pushed me to explore things in life and in my community that I wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. That makes me happy. I’ve written about it a couple of times this year and promised to provide an update in early Fall.

2014 was the summer of my life. I can’t every remember having so much fun, such a diversity of experiences in a short time.

Some of my new experiences were performed in under 30 seconds, like on Saturday when I tried my first ghost pepper. If you watch the culinary shows, the ghost pepper is the most feared of the peppers, with the highest rating on the Scoville scale. You must handle it with heavy gloves and have 911 on speed dial.

This is my take. It was quite hot. But I didn’t die. I seemed to be more chatty after it. I’m fearless. Next.

Other things have taken much longer to do, from a few hours to a whole day. In August I went with a friend on a white water paddleboarding excursion. It was quite an experience. It was terrifying at times. I got caught up in rocks and rapids and fallen trees. I fell early and often. I even broke my left index finger and had to continue to paddle with it for several more kilometers before I could stop. I knew I was in trouble when my guide told me that all I needed to bring was my health card.

This is my take. I was in over my head. I did something that was genuinely risky. And I was a little worse for wear. I laughed at my clumsiness. I admired my own audacity.  Next.

Well actually, “next” occurred two days later when I attended a punk rock concert and even danced near the mosh pit. I’m still young in spirit. Next.

Fast forward three more days and I found myself stepping off the ledge on a zipline ride down Blue Mountain. I’m terribly afraid of heights. And I was still nursing my wounds from the paddleboarding experience. The world rushed by me with dizzying speed. I was able to keep my eyes open and experience the wind in my hair. Exhilarating. Next.

When I look at my tracking spreadsheet, the list of new things is amazing. A walking tour of Toronto’s chocolatiers. A day as an official blogger at a big conference. A hat box made. Attendance at the Grand Opening of the Sahmat Collective exhibit at the Mississauga Arts Gallery. Rebuilding a retaining wall all by myself. Eating at dozens of new local restaurants. Booking an upcoming trip to China and getting Visas. I made a bucket list one day.  I finally met Piper, Pam Ross’s #dogofinstagram.  Perhaps the most impactful has been that I joined the Lifetime Fitness Club near my house which has given me several days of new things. I’ve never been a member of a fitness club before. I’ve done workouts before work in the early morning, used the Stairmaster, taken an aquafit class, and even run for a full minute on a treadmill. People, I don’t run! I’ve increased my stamina three-fold already. Success!

I want to encourage you as an HR professional to find some new interests. It doesn’t mean that you have to find 365 of them, or spend lots of money, but try to expand your horizons. And, each day that you do, reflect how that experience will change your view of HR. It is day 266 my project and I have an entirely new perspective.

More on that soon.

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