Years ago, there was a challenge on Twitter called 100 days of happiness. The objective was to click a picture of something that makes one happy for 100 days and tweet about it. I decided to take it up and started clicking pictures of things that made me happy. For the first few days, it was an effort to remember to tweet, but there would be enough things to tweet about. My amazing family, my cozy house, my faithful car, my beautiful office, my wonderful friends, my favorite TV series, my favorite food, strong hot coffee, chilled beer, and so on. Relatively easy.

But after a few days, I would remember but I had to find newer things to tweet about. That is when it started getting a little tricky. However, as it was meant to happen, I observed an interesting shift in my psyche. The challenge was always present in my awareness somewhere and I began to specifically scour all events to check if I could tweet about them.

This was amazing because I was looking for reasons to be happy about. Did I find them? Hell, yes! I tweeted about a pigeon’s nest outside my office window that had two squabs (baby pigeons). I tweeted about seeing a 5-year old urchin proudly strutting in a Superman costume. I tweeted about the fish tank in the office. I posted about the greenery that was visible from the office. I posted about clearing a largish puddle in one stride and feeling super-heroish.

I am not sure whether people on Twitter were reading my tweets or not. But people in the office were. Some of them would come up to me and laugh at what I had posted, questioning me about how that made me happy. My response was that if the post had made them chuckle, it made them happy. Similarly, it made me chuckle to write about it and it made me happy too. Soon, some of them started the challenge themselves.

I followed the same practice for much longer than 100 days and do it every day even today. I also got a Whatsapp support group for OCD that I run to start this and not only do people feel happy with what they post but also vicariously for the others who post them. This has also led to a few people becoming genuinely happier than when they started off in the group. The temporary affect translated into a permanent disposition. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of a gratitude journal.