At the beginning of 2014, there was a spree of challenges being thrown at people in general across social platforms. Some were started by an individual and some by a company. Either way, I tried three and failed in all. But of the three I tried, I would totally recommend two – the #100HappyDays Challenge and the #BrunchBookChallenge.
#100HappyDays: I took up this challenge when I spotted pictures on a dear friend at work, Shirin’s (@foodchants) Instagram with this hashtag. The concept is simple and brilliant. All you have to do is take one picture everyday of anything that made you smile even if it was for a millisecond for the next 100 days. Makes you say, “What’s the big deal in that?” or “What’s the point?” Try it and a few days in you will find yourself explaining the point to others.
I managed to find those happy moments and capture them for 78 consecutive days. Yes, that’s what happens… people fail to take a picture, they get caught up in life. But those 78 pictures changed so much for me. I found myself looking for an extra reason to smile everyday (and I made sure I clicked a picture of it). Silly things were enough to brighten my day within minutes. On days when I felt low I simply clicked that Instagram icon on my phone and scrolled through the photos. Smiling within minutes was given side effect.
The back story to this challenge can be found on – http://100happydays.com/about/ – and goes something like this, “Hi, my name is Dmitry Golubnichy. My friends call me “alien”, because I have a no nationality passport, or “shchochki”, for cheeks and constant smiling. In fall 2013 I tried to help myself to bring my happiness back but happened to help the whole world.”
Why should you take this challenge? Because you cannot live life being caught up in the daily grind. Stopping to smell the roses (literally and more) is the one habit we all need to cultivate. And if you can take that 3 minute break to smoke, you can surely take a 2 minute pause to smile about something…anything.
You need to choose either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to execute this challenge and to participate visit http://100happydays.com/
#BrunchBookChallenge: For all the bookworms, this hashtag was like a war cry when HT Brunch (@HTBrunch) first started tweeting about it. To read 24 books in 12 months was the challenge in 2014 when they first started it. This year HT Brunch has decided to add another rack to the bookshelf – 30 books in 12 months is the target.
Last year I dropped off at book no 4. This year though I started a few weeks into January, I’m at book no 6. How does it work? You tweet the name of the book and what no it’s at to HT Brunch with #BrunchBookChallenge. How do we know if people are actually reading the books? I don’t believe people are so jobless that they will tweet about so called books they are reading without actually reading them. Why not? Because life is stressful enough without people googling names of books to tweet just to seem all intellectual on Twitter.
Anyway coming back to the challenge and why it’s worth taking up. Many of us who like to read (and those who love it and are always ranting about the book being better than the movie) are unable to find the time to flip a few pages everyday. Also, given how addicted we are to all things Internet and the crazy amount of content we skim through daily, reading a book even if it’s just a few pages allows us to take a breath minus million to-lists running through or mind.
Those of us who like to read already have a ‘to be read’ list and we add more to it than strike off. Here’s our chance to demolish that list one book at a time. And those who have always wanted to cultivate the habit to read, nothing will keep you going better than the #BrunchBookChallenge. The magic of Twitter is in it’s communities and HT Brunch has managed to create a wonderful book loving community to help you stay on track. Another incentive is that at the end of the year a few lucky bookworms get a big stack of awesome books to add to their collection and to make sure they reading through the challenge the next year too.
There are a few quick rules… quoting from their web page itself:
1. Only books tweeted about will be counted. It is imperative to tag @HTBrunch and hashtag #BrunchBookChallenge.
2. Unless you are a child, you cannot include children’s books.
3. No textbooks. Just so we’re clear, a textbook is any ‘manual of instruction for any subject of study’, you can’t include it. In short, your engineering/GMAT/IAS books don’t count.
4. Graphic novels are allowed, encouraged in fact. If you’re reading comic books, then one volume (or a set of 10 comic books) may be counted as one.