The Happy Jar
One lady's effort in sharing makes The Happy Guy's day.
just delivered a free speech. I am a great believer in free speech,
but an even greater believer in paid speech. However, there are
good reasons why someone like me would happily deliver free speeches.
For instance, to support a charity or a cause I believe in (generosity
and sharing). Or if the audience is full of people who hire speakers
(selfishness and self-propmotion).
you've ever spoken at a dinner or ran a workshop at a conference,
you'll wince when I mention the dreaded "token of appreciation"
presented to the speaker. In your head you think, "Oh no, not
another T-shirt." I have my share of T-shirts, golf shirts,
letter openers, books that do not interest me, sweets, ball caps,
and pens. I don't need any more.
I suppose that's the price of free speech.
brings me to my recent free speech on happiness and self-actualization
(Can there be any other topic?), at the end of which I braced myself
to face "Dreaded Token". I was presented with a lovely
gift bag brimming with colorful paper -- the perfect camouflage
to conceal "Dreaded Token" until he was ready to pounce.
Mercifully, Madam Group President did not make me open the bag in
front of everyone. I thought that was the height of generosity.
Sharing a personal effort
As I was preparing to leave, I sneaked a peak inside the bag. To
my surprise, there was a candy jar with dozens of tiny plastic smiley
faces glued to the lid. Around the lid were foam-rubber multi-colored
letters that read "Happy Guy". Wow! It was hand-made.
Madam Group President took the time to craft a personal gift. You
might call it "The Art of Happiness". How thoughtful.
Dreaded Token, you have met your match. Meet Happy Jar.
If you have ever been a parent, valuing more the hand-made card
your little daughter scribbles for you than any present she could
buy, you understand the pure joy I felt when I met Happy Jar. I
can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to draw so I can feel
that kind of happiness more often.
life, little things really do count. You might be tempted to dismiss
them, but they are the seeds of daily joy that grow up into the
garden of your life. Not all little things are good, but yours can
be ... if you are willing to make a little extra effort. Madam Group
President could have handed me a T-shirt or a ball cap or leftover
fruit cake from last Christmas. (Yes, I was once presented with
left-over fruitcake!) But she invested her effort and her generosity
instead and I have a tale of deep personal happiness to write about
A small, but important, effort
You can fill someone's day with joy just by making that same little
effort. I sent an encouraging e-mail to lift a friend's spirits
today. It worked. Those carefully chosen words put a smile on her
face. I'm sure you can guess how happy that made me feel, too.
When Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the epic This Is The Place
and Harkening , raved to me about the upbeat writing in my book,
I felt on top of the world. (It's not the huge $75 royalty checks
every three months that inspire authors to write – please
see related article.) She then raved to Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com
and a dozen other book review web sites. Do I have to tell you how
excited her little extra effort made my pulse race?
know I am blessed to be surrounded by so many thoughtful, sharing
people, but I also know that we reap what we sow. What are you sowing?
Are you making the time to give a little extra to people around
you? Are you sowing seeds of happiness in your garden of life? Are
the right seeds and a little extra effort, you may find more Happy
Jars in your life than Dreaded Tokens. And of course, let us not
forget the magic words to keep those Happy Jars coming: "Thank
you Madam Group President."
Leonhardt is author of Climb Your Stairway to Heaven and The Get
Happy Workbook. He also runs a Liquid Vitamins Store and a website
marketing strategies web site