Make fear your friend

Halloween costumes of QR codes
We go big for Halloween at our work–the year we dressed up as QR codes

It’s Halloween, time of ghosts and goblins, spooks and spirits. A time when our imaginations run wild and fear permeates the soul.

Halloween is such a fun holiday. From picking the perfect pumpkin, to dressing up in costumes and trick or treating and all that delicious candy, what’s not to love?

If Halloween is so much fun, why do we make fear our friend for only one week of the year?

I read a blog post the other day by TV anchor Betty Liu about fear. In the post, she talked about Felix Baumgartner,  that crazy guy sponsored by RedBull who broke the sound barrier doing a freefall jump from 39,000 feet from an airplane. Felix was torn between two types of fears: the fear of the actual act of jumping out of the airplane, and the fear of not seeing his dream through and not making the jump. At one point, he was apparently so scared about the mission he literally fled the project for several months.

Liu experienced something similar when she had to make a big career decision. In the end, she asked herself a very important question. If I was in the same spot as I was now, would I be happy?

This week’s #HappyAct is to make fear your friend. The next time you are at a crossroads or have a big decision to make, think of the consequences of not taking action. Will staying where you are make you happy?

Have fun trick or treating this week. This week’s tip: Make fear your friend at Fort Fright, on every night this week in Kingston—guaranteed a frightfully good time!

Girl in Halloween costume and helmet
Clare “crossdressing” this year in her costume and hockey helmet


Crush the seeds of doubt

Seeds of doubtI thought about starting this blog for about two years. Then I finally did it, and posted my first post.
At first, it was encouraging to see other bloggers follow me, and friends commenting. This was going to be fun. But as the day went on, and as nighttime creeped in, seeds of doubt started to germinate in my mind.

Was I crazy? What do I know about happiness? And who is really going to care one iota about my stupid blog?

Doubt is an interesting emotion. On the one hand, it’s good to doubt ourselves. The world would be
a pretty obnoxious, arrogant place if we didn’t. On the other hand, doubt can seep into your consciousness and eat away at your confidence, causing you to question yourself, your abilities and everything you believe in. Doubt is insidious. I actually think the word is spelled wrong. It should be a four letter word (what purpose does the “b” serve anyway)? It serves no purpose, just like the emotion itself. It’s negative, destructive, and the biggest buzzkill around.

This week’s Happy Act is to crush the seeds of doubt the next time you find yourself questioning your abilities. Make it a physical act. Write the word doubt on a piece of paper, crumple it up and throw it in the recycler. If you’re chewing gum, chew up your doubt and spit it out. Crush the seeds of doubt and revel in newfound confidence. Leave a comment: what do you doubt about yourself?