The Secret Society of Happy People (SOHP) was founded in 1998. Their mission: encourage people around the globe to recognize happy moments and think about happiness in their daily life. Founder, Pamela Johnson of Irving, Texas, created the Society as a place where people can come together to share their happy moments free from the criticism of parade-rainers. Does that mean you have to be happy all the time? Certainly not! In fact, it’s quite the opposite. By sharing happy moments, we teach others to appreciate the little things, and to notice even the smallest moments of happiness. Being aware of those moments can make all the difference when nothing else is going our way.
August 8th was declared Happiness Happens Day in 1999, and in 2000, the movement was expanded to the whole month of August. SOHP is not so secret anymore! Happiness Happens Month now celebrates its 20th year in action with Smile Starter Awards. If you have internet access, you can submit your Smile Starters at SOHP.com. If you want to keep it personal, you can make a Smile Starter Award for someone who really lights up your life.
Tips to Find/Inspire Happiness
- Happiness is much bigger than you think. It includes amusement, gratitude, relief, and so many other feelings. Just because the feeling isn’t intense doesn’t mean it isn’t happiness. You can find happiness in the satisfaction of finishing a chore. You can find happiness in helping others. You can even find it in your morning coffee.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. One of the most common causes of a burst bubble is the minor annoyance (losing your keys, internet not working, getting your food order mixed up). Will you remember it in a month? A year? If it’s not going to matter next week, does it really deserve a whole day of your happiness?
- Keep it personal. Don’t compare your happiness to anyone else’s. If you go seeking happiness in the same places you see your peers finding it, you may be disappointed. Just like shoes, your neighbor’s happiness might not fit the same for you.
- Happiness changes with you. You won’t always place the same value on things. It’s okay to let go of goals that no longer move you toward your best outcome. Life is all about adapting.