21DPC Day 1 – On a Scale of 1-10, How Happy Are You? And Why?

This is Day 1 of the 21-Day Positivity Challenge (21DPC) for Mar 2012. View all posts made during the challenge: 21DPC Overview.

21-Day Positivity Challenge for March 2012!

Hello everyone, and welcome to Day 1 of 21-Day Positivity Challenge (21DPC)!! :D :dance:

We have over *300* official participants with us now!! Are we in for a month of positivity or WHAT??? :D

To all of you who have duly signed up and helped spread the word to your social networks (or even via blogging about it, for those of you bloggers out there!), thank you. The challenge can only be a success through our collective efforts. The more people sign on to 21DPC, the better it will be for everyone, because hey – that means even more positive energy to go around. :D There is never a limit to how much positive energy there can be – abundance has no lmits.

For those of you whose friends / family read your message and decided to join in on 21DPC too, that’s fabulous. PE Challenges are always particularly fun when you get to do it with someone you know! You can keep each other accountable and learn more about each other in the process.

If you are doing it by yourself, not to fret. We have over 300 official participants here with us for 21DPC, and we’re definitely going to get more people joining us over the next few days before I close the sign ups. In the course of these 21 days, all of us will be doing 21DPC together as one, reflecting on the daily questions, sharing our answers in the comments section of the daily posts, and engaging each other in meaningful discussions.

This is a challenge to be done together as a community, as a group, as one Personal Excellence family, which is really the reason why PE is even here. So do not be afraid to share your answers openly and be fully honest with yourself here. There is no judgment here; anyone who tries to do that will be promptly barred from the site. The .co in the PE domain represents community, not individuality- always remember that whenever you come here to the site.

Important: Sign Up First Before Reading Any Further

If you’re new to 21-Day Positivity Challenge, or you have not signed up yet (your name should be in the official participants list), please read the announcement post and sign up first before going any further: 21-Day Positivity Challenge. All details on the challenge, what to expect, and how to sign up can be found at the post.

If you have already duly completed the 3 sign up steps, your name will be added in the next 36 hours. ♥ Thank you!

Update March 5: Sign ups are now closed now – thanks everyone for your amazing response! For those who didn’t get to sign up - you are more than welcome to participate and join us in the daily threads!

What To Expect for the Next 21 Days

1. Positivity Question

Changing Your Life, Starting From Your Thoughts

As you have read in the announcement post, I will be assigning you a positivity question every day, for the next 21 days.

The question may be simple, like asking “What is your favorite movie?” to something deeper, like “What is 1 positive thing you can share about your least favorite person?” There are days when there will be 2-3 questions combined into 1 (for example, today’s question) – you are expected to answer all the questions, and not just answer the first one and skip the rest.

The idea is to cultivate positivity in your life, via working on the root of it all – our thoughts. Asking ourselves the right questions will help us think in the right manner. And from there, the right actions, habits, and behavior will follow suit. As the saying goes:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” – Anonymous

Your Honesty Required

My request to you is to be as completely honest with yourself in answering the questions. Because the more honest you are, the more insights you will unveil, the more you will grow. Think of it as it you’re in a dark room alone, by yourself, and there’s no one there to listen, comment, or judge. What is the first thing that comes to mind? What would be your most truthful response to the question?

This challenge is not about sugar-coated answers and creating an illusion of happiness and positivity to everyone out there. You are probably kidding yourself if you think we’ll be jumping around in these 21 days, skipping merrily, laughing like little kids and forcing ourselves to smile every day.

Don’t feel that there’s a need for you to write something positive just because this is a positivity challenge, because that’s totally untrue. As I shared in Principle #1 of How To Be Happy, part of being happy / positive includes airing out grievances, unhappiness, frustrations, anger, sadness, disappointment, etc inside of you – whatever they may be. These (negative) energies, when unaired, are merely *stuck* in your consciousness, with nowhere else to go.

In the end, they end up affecting you on a subconscious level, in more ways than you can imagine. The more (unhappiness) you release  through your answers in 21DPC (in a constructive manner, of course), the more happiness can flow your way.

2. Positivity Task

Most of the days will have a positivity task assigned. This task is linked to the day’s question, and usually comprises of a simple action that can be done on the day itself. Do complete the task as part of your 21DPC participation.

3. Positive Thing For the Day

Last but not least, you are to identify at least 1 positive thing that you got out of the day, for every day of 21DPC. If you can identify more than 1, that’s even better! The more the better! :D

Sharing To Help Yourself and Help Others

As with every challenge, I highly recommend you share your responses in the comments section of the daily posts with the other participants, to get the most out of your 21DPC experience.

If you’re not comfortable sharing your answers under your usual name/nick on PE, then create some fake, random nick (so no one will know it’s you) and post your answers under that nick (for the remainder of 21DPC, if you want). Replace others’ names (if any) in your answers with fake nicks as well. There is always something powerful about transparently writing your thoughts out there in the open, vs. keeping it to yourself in your little book.

Besides, do not underestimate the change you can make in others’ lives just by sharing your answers here. After all, have you not benefited in the past from reading honest sharings by others, be it on Personal Excellence, or on other websites? What would the world be if no one wants to share? Think about the people out there you can effect. By helping others, you are also helping yourself.

21DPC Day 1 Question

Given that this is a positivity challenge, for Day 1 today, I want you to think about how happy you are. Not just today, but as a person.

On a Scale of 1-10, How Happy Are You? And Why?

On a Scale of 1-10, How Happy Are You?

Share as much as you want in your answers, from a few words to a few pages long. Be honest as you can. Answer both questions, and not just the first question.

And if you did not give yourself a 10/10 for your score, I have one additional question for you:

Why Did You Not Give Yourself a 10/10?

Again, be completely honest in your response. There is no judgment here at PE. Only positivity and love.

While we’re on the topic of happiness, be sure to check out the related articles on how to achieve happiness (or unhappiness, as per the second article) at PE:

  1. How To Be Happy: 10 Timeless Principles for Lasting Happiness
  2. Are You as Happy as You Can Be? 10 Surefire Ways To Be Unhappy in Life

…and the manifesto versions:

  1. [Manifesto] 10 Timeless Principles For Lasting Happiness
  2. [Manifesto] 10 Surefire Ways To Achieve Unhappiness

Your Tasks Today

  1. Reflect and answer today’s question(s). Write as few or as many words as needed to fully express your thoughts. There is no word limit.
  2. Identify at least one positive thing about your day. It may be something small or something big – as long as you deem it as something positive, it counts. If you have more than 1 thing to share, then by all means, go for it!

Share Your Answers!

After you are done, share your answers in the comments area!

If you’re doing this at the start of the day, you can post your answer for today’s question first, then return at the end of the day to answer the 2nd part, on identifying at least one positive thing about your day.

Check out other participants’ answers. Pick 1-2 participants’ answers and make a meaningful reply to them. Engage in the discussions. This is a group course, so let’s support each other in these 21 days!

Look forward to reading your responses!

Image: Grass

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456 Responses | Share Your Results!

  1. Darlene says:

    Thinking that I’m 8.5 out of 10 in positivity … perhaps even a 9, which reminds me of the song by Trooper “3 Dressed Up As A 9″ … great song!

    So why did I not rate myself as a 10? Guess I’m fairly realistic, and know that I have my ups and downs. Today, I could be a 10, as all seems pretty darn good in my world, in spite of the snow and minus 15 degree Celcius weather. I’m still trying to talk myself into going cross-country skiing after work, but I’m not sure that I’ll win that battle. Brrr….

    Today’s positive experience: Parsley tea is delicious! I read about it recently, and decided to try drinking it at work. Bought a gorgeous (used) bright red teapot … the color is so inspiring!

    Cheers to all … D

    Like: Thumb up +1

  2. Celi mostert says:

    I had a good laugh with a childhood friend and we vowed to get closer again.

    I actually acknowledged that I :heart: myself without feeling a tiny bit of guilt about it! Now is that something to dance about?!

    Like: Thumb up +2

  3. Lexi says:

    Hello people ! Here we go with the Positivity Challenge then !

    One positive thing I did today is go to school on my bike. It’s 25km to bike to my university, and I hadn’t done it for almost a year. You have no idea how much sitting down makes me want to die… and how proud I am !

    I would rate my happiness to 5.
    I failed my first university semester, things are really bad with my parents (and I haven’t even told them my grades yet..), I have no money left, I took on lots of weight (again..) and I seem not to be able to stick to my resolutions no matter how hard I try.
    On the other hand, this weekend I’m going to do something I really love (a conference for a videogame I’m working for), I finally found great friends in my university, I’ve started doing sports again, and I’m having lots of fun most of the time when I’m not home. I also started taking swimming lessons and swim 2-4km every Tuesday now – it’s tiring but I feel really glad doing it, plus, I’ve made a friend there too.

    So for now, I’d say 5. But I know it can get better rather easily !

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Squiggle says:

      Good for you for getting back into regular exercise! I found that when I started exercising regularly, loads of other aspects of my life that had been bugging me fell into place – I concentrated better at work, slept better, and just generally felt happier.

      Is there someone you can talk to at university about maybe re-sitting the classes you failed last semester? Failing a semester is completely not the end of the world, especially if it’s your first – university life can take a lot of getting used to and the first few months often teaches you more about what you shouldn’t do than what you should ;)

      Like: Thumb up +1

    • Joana says:

      I have to say that I wish I could say the same of the bike! I live in a really large city and the traffic is chaotic, so I am quite scared to go biking anywhere! Get doing it, just being able to change things will make you feel better.

      I am just starting my forth semester at university and, despite having passed all my classes, I am not content enough about my grades. So I decided to analyse why my grades aren’t that good and realised that I study the wrong way! I focus on the wrong things, I don’t take notes, I start studying too close to a test. It made me change a lot the way I do things, but I don’t know if it will be enough because classes didn’t start.

      About sticking to the resolution, have you ever thought you maybe at setting goals that are impossible to reach? Sometimes doing a small thing everyday is better than a doing nothing,

      Like: Thumb up +1

  4. Bazik says:

    It is just past midnight where I am and I couldn’t wait any longer to start this positivity challenge!

    I would rate my happiness at 7/10 at the moment, because even though I can find pleasure in the simple things, and I have a roof above my head in one of the most beautiful cities on Earth, a steady income that lets me maintain a nice lifestyle, a good bunch of friends who are all wonderful people, it is peaceful in the near proximity to my habitat, and my parents are both fine, I feel that I am not using my potential to the full, that I haven’t found my true purpose yet, and that I do not bring too much to the world. I am a little bit stuck at my current job, and I am not developing in any way, just getting more dumb, disengaged and less creative. I am conteplating a major change, when I can get away, clear my head, and then really pursue something worthy. Also, I feel that I need someone to share my life with, a real partner with whom I could think of building a family. Right now I am not in a relationship for quite a while, and I am afraif of getting used to it.
    I am really hopeful though that the new self-awareness level that I got to after 30DLBL will help me raise my happiness level to 10/10 real soon!

    Since 1st of March has only started for me, I will share a positive thing from the evening before, which ended just now – I went to see a live hockey game for the first time in my life! I really liked it, I could feel the energy of the crowd, and our team won, too! Plus I got a free T-shirt :)
    Another positive thing is that I just got two messages – and two of my friends signed up to this challenge after my post about it! And thanks to them I am now even more committed! (I have to admit I had trouble sticking to 30DLBL all the time)

    Hip-Hip-Hooray! :dance:

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • mlgLA says:

      What you said about not feeling like you’re living to your full potential really resonated with me. I’ve been feeling a bit like that myself, and I’m hoping that this challenge will put me on the right track. Best of luck to you!

      Like: Thumb up +1

  5. Debra says:

    My relationship with God/Spirit. 10
    My sons. 10
    My best childhood lifelong girlfriend. 10
    My best teenage acquaintance now best friend. 10
    My rescued cat. 10
    Positive changes , healing and growth inside and outside of me. 10
    Finances. 3 but improving
    House environment 3 but moving on within a year or less
    Relationship with ex. Letting go and moving on….great move!
    Future relationship. 10
    Enjoying life 10
    Being thankful 10
    La vita e’ Bella. Life is beautiful

    Like: Thumb up +3

    • Squiggle says:

      :) I’ve recently dealt with a bad breakup and am looking forward to the future in my new relationship (and our new house :)) too. Despite how painful it was at times, being able to look back and see the healing that took place is actually very heartening, isn’t it?

      Like: Thumb up +1

  6. Squiggle says:

    I would probably give myself about an 8.5 or 9, and this has been improving pretty much daily since last year when traumatic life events left me very depressed. I’m happy because I have been taking positive steps to ensure that I am. Joining a meditation class has made me more focused and better able to concentrate with my research work, which makes me feel accomplished and happy at the end of the day – and better able to relax without that nagging feeling of guilt that I should be working harder! (One of the problems with being a researcher – hours you pick for yourself.) I have also been thinking a lot about the philosophy that only I can make myself happy – other people, situations etc might have a fleeting effect on my mood, but true, deep, lasting happiness comes from within, so I’ve been learning to cultivate that. To do this, I’ve been doing lots of journalling, introspection and working on my life handbook. I’ve also started a far more committed exercise routine, which has allowed me to shed the few pounds I gained last year and I feel a lot more confident in myself. I also sleep a lot better.

    Relationship-wise, I have a group of friends who mean a lot to me, and a partner who is pretty much everything I’ve been looking for in a life partner. I have loving and supportive parents who I’m really grateful to – they’re real role models.

    I have everything I need, and enough money to save up and buy the things that I want. These things are useful things, like new exercise clothes – I don’t find happiness in objects very much which I think is useful :)

    I’m also happy because my future looks positive. My PhD will hopefully lead to a job in academia or language research, which is my goal – with plenty of publications and conferences along the way :) I’m moving in with my boyfriend in July and I can’t wait to find a place of our own to make it ours. I’ve also learned how to resolve the issues in my past which were causing me unhappiness.

    The reason I didn’t give myself a 10 was because I do sometimes have the tendency to dwell upon unhappy things. Meditation has helped hugely with that, though. I can sometimes be a bit melodramatic, and can see the worst in situations. It’s something I definitely want to work on.

    Identify at least one positive thing about your day:

    I got lots of work done today and I’m happy with how it’s going :)
    I had a meeting in the afternoon that was cancelled at short notice without my knowledge, but the people at reception that I spoke to were so friendly and helpful that it was almost worth the wasted time.
    A meditation session that left me feeling centred and relaxed – and lovely friendly discussion with the other people in the group.


    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Bazik says:

      Hey, Squiggle, that sounds really great! I totally agree with the philosophy that happiness can only come from within. I really applaud you on doing meditation, as from the little (so far) experience that I had, it is quite hard to start, but it soo much helps to focus.
      Good luck with your research, language is a very fascinating field for me, and maybe I should read your publications some time!

      Like: Thumb up +1

  7. 1. On a scale of 1 to 10, I consider myself an 8/10 for happiness because it does take work for me to stay happy. I was diagnosed with depression a few years back. There is not necessarily a cause for depression, so it is difficult to say WHY I am not happy at times. Upon diagnoses, I was given a prescription for depression meds, which I took dutifully each day for over a year. During that time, I began seeking and instituting positivity exercises. So, I may not know why I am not happy at times, but I am always learning ways to combat the depression.
    2. Today was such an easy day at work… all three hours of it! The tasks were simple, and I was able to joke around a bit with a friend I hadn’t seen in a few days. Today was a good day.

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Irvin says:

      Hey Shannon, that’s awesome! You were diagnosed with depression, but look at where you’re now! (: You are an inspiration and I wish you strength on your journey.

      Like: Thumb up +1

  8. Michelle says:

    I would have to rate myself at a 7 out of 10 today on the happiness scale. When I think about it, I should be a 10 out of 10 though because I have nothing holding me back. So, I then must ask myself WHY I am not a ten out of ten on the scale???? This may require somw thought!!! :rolleyes:

    Like: Thumb up +1

  9. Mel says:

    I would say I’m a 5/10… I’m in a financial rut, I don’t enjoy my job, and I want to help my family out financially, but I can’t. I feel stuck, and I don’t know what to do… Other than that, I’m healthy, I have a great family, what more can I ask for but a purposeful career?

    = (

    I guess the positives today were that I got complimented on my hair and outfit = )

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Irvin says:

      Isn’t getting new hair cuts so fun? :)

      Maybe you can’t help out your family financially yet, but I’m sure they’d love any help you would give them— even just spending time with them and everyone having a great time! (: Hope you have another good day!

      Like: Thumb up +1

      • Mel says:

        Thanks Irvin,

        That’s another one of my depressors. I’m out here, moved to LA, to try and “make it” and cannot spend those happy hours with my family… = (

        But yes, when I do it’s great = )

        Like: Thumb up +1

    • CWI says:

      Hi Mel. I totally know what you mean about not enjoying your job and feeling stuck in a rut. Sometimes you’re on autopilot and sometimes you stop and think – what am I doing wasting my time doing something I don’t want to do? Funny, I also get comments for my hair/outfit and that shows that you still respect yourself and your appearance and just because there are areas of your life you want to improve it doesn’t mean you can’t look great each day. I say well done for taking pride in your appearance! I think change will happen for you at some point if you are conscious of the need for it to happen and that you are the person who can make or stop that change! Scary thought I know, but ultimately a positive one! I tell myself – will I be in this exact same situation in 1 year, 2 year, 5 years, 10 years? I know I won’t be, and I think about what steps I am going to take to make that change. I’m going to go part time next year to give myself some time and space to work out how I want to spend my time and earn my money. Jobs take up so much of our lives I don’t believe in them not being the stuff of dreams!! I’m a teacher and right now up at 22:30 with nothing planned for a full day tomorrow. It makes me devastated and feel like a failure, but this isn’t quite right for me, what I’m doing – and perhaps it’s the same for you? It’s not quite right and there are some things you need to change? Baby steps will get you there! Have a good day Mel xx :dance:

      Like: Thumb up +2

  10. Ginger says:

    I would rate it a 7/10. I’m feeling a bit unhealthy now, which is contributing to my unhappiness.
    A positive thing that happened today is that we purchased a travel trailer so I’m excited about creating many happy and lasting memories with my family.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  11. Irvin says:

    Here’s a tale about a young and tender vine. All its life, others had watered it and guided it towards the sunlight and the other vines and flowers. The kindness showed in its delicate, verdant leaves.

    But the vine did not want to grow there, it wanted to be elsewhere; however, the vine knew growing there would be near fatal as shade lay in the way. So it continued its known path, until it realized it was self-sufficient.

    Stronger now, it still itched to go to the other side. But the shade had only grown deeper at this point. So it stumped its growth to distance a decision. Finally, it inched towards the shade. It felt itself growing weak and yearning to return, but knowing it had made the right decision kept it from turning back.

    Eventually, the vine felt the sunlight and perked up. It wasn’t as big as his brothers and sisters, nor had as many beautiful leaves, but here the vine was happy. He got to be next to the hydrangeas, his favorite flowers.

    My happiness is a 6 out of 10, but rising. Over the past months, I have been in a slump— constantly sleepy and tired. At first I thought I was doing too much going to work within a week of returning from a 2 month backpacking trip in Europe after graduation. Yet despite sleeping plenty and having a great job, exercise, cooking, and getting to see friends didn’t lift my spirits.

    I realized I might be depressed. I needed to confront my fears of rejection as I had graduated. This fear not only petrified and drained me, but was real as I had decided to break from my “perfect” mold and had gaps where others didn’t (such as my previos self); but I knew I rather make less money to work towards my life goals.

    That direction, perhaps language, is currently art and scares me. I have internalized since having thoughts the impossiblity of pursuing art as a career. So as I found myself standing on the metaphorical side of the road and cliff, I just sat there shaking. Sometimes I got up to walk in circles.

    Fortunately, I had been exploring these fears and like a flower, or an onion, I slowly emerged. An energy slowly filled me. This time, the energy has soaked deep and when I feel it again, it will be due to oversaturation. Previously, my energy was like a flash flood in a desert, deeply quenching but ephemeral. This time, the sand has become soil, and I will have my own wells; I can nourish not only myself but others along the way.

    I am ready. I need to backtrack some to find another path where I will jump, but it’s not so bad. I’ll survive this one. I believe now that greatness comes from perseverance despite adversity. Bit by bit, I’ll get to my hydrangeas.

    No more regrets.

    My favorite positive thing today was something I realized while waiting in the car for my dad at the bank. Everyday, I want to make someone smile, or at least happier.

    So while not truly selfless, today my dad said he was tired and didn’t want to cook and I drove back to Costco and we grabbed food togo. Still, I think it made him happier, having less work. In time, it’ll take more, and that means I’ll have to try harder— but by then, my gratitude muscles will be stronger!

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Jo says:

      Hi Irvin. I was reading through the comments trying to find one I could reply to, and then your story caught my eye. Thanks for sharing the story about the vine, and I think you write beautifully. I can see why you want to pursue a career in art. I believe you will find your right path, and your hydrangeas ;) And I for one certainly believe in no regrets. Whatever things that happened in the past, good or bad, they have led you to where you are now.
      Over the 21 days you will certainly be working your gratitude muscles. A while ago (almost a year ago now) I started a gratitude diary where you write down at least 5 things from the day that you were grateful for. And as you keep doing it, the more you notice what you feel grateful for! It’s amazing.
      Anyway, good luck for the challenge! Jo x

      Like: Thumb up +1

  12. CWI says:

    Day 1: On a Scale of 1-10, How Happy Are You? And Why?

    I would say I am a 7. I know what it feels like to be a 6,5, 4,3 and possibly even a 2. I think I know what it feels like to be an 8, but I’m not sure how often I’ve felt a 9 or 10. I would say 7 because overall I am intuitive enough to know what makes me happy and how to find happiness. I have a lovely family, a house, a job, my health and an amazing fiancé. I have great friends and there are people worse off than me who I work with every day. It is not more than 7 because I currently feel lost and a bit trapped with my current work/life situation. I know that my current job situation is not bringing me satisfaction, but stress and frustration; I want to do so many things with my time that I am angry that I am too tired at the end of the day and week to do anything. I think to get from a 7 to a 10 I need to make some big changes and find a way to get energy and motivation back into my life as I know I am capable of being 10/10 happy.

    A positive thing that happened today:

    I taught a year 7 class who are normally very tiring and frustrating to teach, and although the lesson was completely unplanned they were calm and learnt a lot today (it was the first time I had taught them grammar and they did it really well!)

    Like: Thumb up +1

  13. CWI says:

    Another thought: today I received some sad news that the boyfriend of one of my best friends recently tried to commit suicide. While this in itself is not a positive thought I was so shocked that I am trying to find positivity from this 1) he is alive 2) this will hopefully be a wake-up call that enables him to make the changes necessary to move on from his depression 3) I and many others have overcome depression, it can be done. :)

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Jo says:

      It’s great that you are able to find positives from this shocking and potentially traumatic situation. And having read the rest of your post I can empathise with how work can affect our happiness/unhappiness. I am a teacher too and can understand the demands of the job.
      Anyway best of luck with the challenge, and with any potential changes you make in the future to move up to 10/10!

      Like: Thumb up +1

  14. Kendall says:

    I would say a 7.5/10 Although I’m following my dream, it has caused a lot of extra stress and financial strain on my husband and I, and we have had to sacrifice a lot. This of course, makes me think that I am on the wrong path.
    A very positive thing that has happened today was that I was able understand on a deeper level, a particular professional relationship that I have, and see it/ and approach from a different perspective.

    Like: Thumb up +1

  15. islam says:

    I would rate my current happiness at about 5/10 as my life is for my family and my work i had a very but. wife and intelegent son so take 5 to my famliy buuuuut
    take 0 for my work because i work with a manager who think usually that my skills is bigger than him and not support me at all an additon he live to collect gold to save money.

    one postive thing to day I work in promotion for madiacal drugs one of them become amarket leader last month .

    Like: Thumb up +1


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