sammkyu

22 Habits of Happy People

I remember being in India and sharing with the volunteer group a “morning thought” that I had read about and decided to try and adopt – happiness is a choice. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we have the power to make positive choices and to decide to do things that make us happier. I recently started reading Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar. It’s encouraging me to think about the different ways we decide to make ourselves happy. Do we decide to suffer for the time being and believe that our current sacrifices will be worth it in the long run? Do we live for the moment and ensure that we are happy now without regard for the future? Do we make the effort to balance it all – choosing to be happy in the present with the belief that our current decisions, if made well, will lead to happiness later on? 

Even more recently I stumbled upon 22 Habits of Happy People. Kind of like Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People but more habits and (arguably) a better outcome.

  1. Let go of grudges
  2. Treat everyone with kindness
  3. Regard your problems as challenges
  4. Express gratitude for what you have
  5. Dream big
  6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  7. Speak well of others
  8. Avoid making excuses
  9. Live in the present
  10. Wake up at the same time every morning
  11. Don’t compare yourself to others
  12. Surround yourself with positive people
  13. Realize that you don’t need others’ approval
  14. Take time to listen
  15. Nurture social relationships
  16. Meditate
  17. Eat well
  18. Exercise
  19. Live minimally
  20. Be honest
  21. Establish personal control
  22. Accept what cannot be changed

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

VIDEO FIND: A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

Little kids giving pep talks are undeniably adorable. But this kid really got me with his emphasis on dance. Literally he says “it’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.” How perfect is that?! Watch it because you like dance. Watch it because you need some encouragement. Watch it because you’re curious. You’ll like it. 

Paris in January

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My mom and I took our first January trip to Paris during my Freshman year of college. With my birthday being in January, both my mom and my being huge Francophiles, J-term being perfectly timed, and “les soldes” coming right in the middle of the month, we decided the stars were aligned and urging us to take a mother-daughter trip to Paree.

It’s kind of become a thing. In the last six years we’ve done our January Paris trip four times. Once we made short stops to Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels beforehand. Once dad and Will were able to come along. Each time has been extremely unique and memorable.

This year felt special for completely new reasons. I think it had something to do with the fact that my family is now scattered all over the place. Mom and dad in Jamaica. Will and Dexter in Weston. Me in New York. We used to be within a 20-minute-drive’s distance from each other. Being able to reunite for a week in Paris was perfect.

Previous trips have been filled with a sense of urgency to make sure we hit all the shops and tourist sites. This trip was different. We went to Paris and just lived there for a week. We stayed at an apartment in the 3rd arr. and planned our time around restaurants we wanted to try. We managed to make 11 reservations in 7 days and every meal we had was absolutely incredible. We saw friends. Shopped a bit. And explored neighborhoods we’d never been to before. We went to the Musée d’Orsay because we really wanted to see “L’impressionisme et la mode”. Not just because it’s a popular tourist attraction. It snowed! Everything we did was just so superb. 

I have the best time with my mother. And, of course, Paris, je t’aime. 

For some reason I am totally into the new year’s resolution, new-year-new-you, thing this time around. My mother’s forcing me and my brother to create resolutions when we were younger has rubbed off on me and now I’m happy to do it. Above is a (kind of) random sampling from this year’s list in no particular order. I’m 4 for 4 on vitamin-taking so I’d say I’m doing pretty well so far!  
A random thought: I originally put “stay in touch” thinking it would be obvious that I want to make sure I’m keeping in contact with friends but then I realized leaving it open-ended also allows me the option of resolving to stay in touch with myself. I know that sounds like the craziest, crunchiest, hippiest thing to say but whatever I’m 100% on board. I want to make sure that I’m staying in touch with myself so that I’m doing what makes me happy, feeling physically strong and healthy, accomplishing my goals, and finding balance throughout it all.

For some reason I am totally into the new year’s resolution, new-year-new-you, thing this time around. My mother’s forcing me and my brother to create resolutions when we were younger has rubbed off on me and now I’m happy to do it. Above is a (kind of) random sampling from this year’s list in no particular order. I’m 4 for 4 on vitamin-taking so I’d say I’m doing pretty well so far!  

A random thought: I originally put “stay in touch” thinking it would be obvious that I want to make sure I’m keeping in contact with friends but then I realized leaving it open-ended also allows me the option of resolving to stay in touch with myself. I know that sounds like the craziest, crunchiest, hippiest thing to say but whatever I’m 100% on board. I want to make sure that I’m staying in touch with myself so that I’m doing what makes me happy, feeling physically strong and healthy, accomplishing my goals, and finding balance throughout it all.

MUSIC & VIDEO FIND: I plan on watching this video at least once a day this holiday season. Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots came together to shoot a quick video backstage before Fallon’s late-night show. But this is not just any video! The Roots are playing children’s instruments, kids pop in and out of the screen expectedly (well, unexpectedly at first but it still gets me even when I know it’s coming), and “All I Want For Christmas Is You”! Everyone’s favorite holiday song done in the most adorable way ever. Like I said, once+ a day. 

{Weekly Wednesdays} So excited to have been able to dine WITH Shereen AT Shereen’s for the first time at dinner #6! And what a feast it was! I made spicy shrimp pasta, Esther made fried rice, Caroline brought canolis for dessert, and Shereen made salmon AND butternut squash!  

{Weekly Wednesdays} So excited to have been able to dine WITH Shereen AT Shereen’s for the first time at dinner #6! And what a feast it was! I made spicy shrimp pasta, Esther made fried rice, Caroline brought canolis for dessert, and Shereen made salmon AND butternut squash!  

DANCE & MUSIC & ART & FILM FIND: Holy smokes! This video is a stunning combination of many things beautiful, romantic, sensual, intense, creative, haunting, surprising, and more. Probably shouldn’t be watched at work (watch it at home and you will understand why) but definitely needs to be seen, for sure. A man and a woman meet in a stunning and spacious industrial setting, first mimicking each other’s movements separately and then coming together - figuratively by dancing in unison, literally by intertwining their bodies. Antwerp-born Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s choreography is set to one of Icelandic band Sigur Rós’ tracks from their newest album Valtari. The dancers move really beautifully - demonstrating interesting lifts, shoulder roll variations, and balances. What art!