A few months ago I went on a workshop that explored personal and company values. I’ve always been very aware of living true to my values and creating opportunities that allow me to express more of my true nature.
One of the values I commit to is: Create Fun, Happiness and a Little magic
Here are 8 of my favourite recent experiences with a few things I’ve learnt along the way about promoting happiness…
I am awesome project: Conversations, photos and inspiring messages from 50 passengers on my flight to attend AwesomenessFest. The fun purple hat, handmade ‘i am awesome’ paper sign and unexpected situation for meeting strangers/making new friends.
New York Mets Fans Send Us a Message: In response to my act of fun on the aeroplane, my housemate James managed to record a video of a whole carriage of American Football fans to say in unison “we miss you Andy and Kate”. So much fun and well initiated from an individual English guy well outside his comfort zone!
1,800 high fives in 3 hours: On National Happiness Day last year, myself and a good friend spent an evening outside Liverpool Street Station in London giving people ‘high fives’ and ‘low fives’. The reactions were amazing! Again handmade colourful paper posters was the secret. It gave people a little warning that they were being offered a FREE high five! We began walking around and then stand at the top of the escalator exit to maximise our happiness spreading rate!
One Poster than made 2 Nick’s really happy: We made a huge ‘Go Nick’ banner as a prop for a video message to our friend competing in a triathlon in Thailand. As we went for dinner afterwards our waiter turned out to be called Nick aswell. He thought the message was for him. We played along to convince his work colleagues that it was for his awesome customer service! So much fun and we got to learn a lot about Nick 2!
Meeting People with a Rubber Chicken: As the rubber chicken was a company mascot, an international team meeting in Nuremberg began by meeting at the station. What better way than to attach a rubber chicken to a long stick! We all appreciate it and passers by couldn’t help but want to squeeze it! Happiness was spreading.
Birthday Bus Stop Greeting: When our housemate asked us to meet her at the bus stop to collect some bags, we saw it as an ideal opportunity to make it a memorable bus journey! We made a handmade long sign that read ‘Happy Birthday Kate’ and proceeded to sign as soon as the doors opened at the bus stop. When the doors closed, the rest of the bus continued to sing the song. Happiness by singing.
Group Massaging in a Theme Park Queue: After queueing for 30 minutes, we decided we all deserved a massage. We formed a circle and massaged away as the rest of the snaked queue looked on with surprise. Some people laughed with enjoyment whilst a token few thought we were silly! We hope secretly they wanted to play too.
The Crab Dance: A fun story after reacting interestingly to a crab crawl over my foot, led to an interpretative dance designed to promote fun in public. A group of us continued to do it in fun public spaces to watch people’s reactions and then teach the art of the crab dance! A simple dance with so much meaning.
I hope this gives you a few ideas of ways your can promote fun, magic and happiness. Fun and happiness in public takes an extra level of stretching your comfort zone, but the ripple effect is well worth it.
My invitation to you, go make other people happy.
3 Top Tips
- Use Props
If you need props, make things by hand. It shows you to be authentic and fun. It also gives the impression that it was an improvised thing so it probably be temporary. Therefore making it seem more special to them because other people won’t get this opportunity.
- Engage People
Your happiness invitation must be offered, not forced upon people. Even though your intentions are to make everyone happy, the moment of doing it won’t be right for everyone. Let the people that are attracted come forth and engage. The ripple effect will spread in ways that you can’t control anyway!
- Commit to a time
Commit to a time to do it for. If fear is making you nervous, don’t allow it to stop you. Equally, once the moment is complete, let it go. Don’t force it beyond it’s time.
Happiness is not something ready made.
It comes from your own actions.