Friday, February 20, 2009

Special Types of HAPPYMAKEEs: LHH


Now I know that's not a very happy picture :-( and indeed it looks pretty creepy and scary, but that's because people are not always happy. And you may say "Yes, but most of the time we don't look like that" which is true, BUT there are also other kinds of people, persons with personality disorders, living next to us, working with us, being part of our lives and interfering with our world. I will name them the LHH: Less Happy Happymakee.
The reason why I am writing this is because I was reading a book on personality disorders and how to deal with each type and I realized that you can't possibly try to make a paranoid person happy the way you would try making a narcissist feel better. So in order to know what to do you really need to understand this types of personalities first. As the book was in Romanian here is a link to a good&short article in English explaining the major differences among these personalities.

Now I know that you may be reluctant to this as most of us think LHHs are usually living in hospitals or consider ourselves perfectly sane until someone proves that we are wrong and that's why we need to understand that everyone has some characteristic patterns of perceiving and relating to other people and events. The difference is in HOW MUCH, HOW OFTEN and HOW INTENSE we tend to behave in a certain unnatural way. For example some people minimize problems; others exaggerate them, some cry for nothing, others laugh when they are in pain, some always feel threaten, others through themselves in the most dangerous situations without carrying and much more. Regardless of their usual style, however, mentally healthy people are likely to try an alternative approach if their first try is ineffective.

Another reason why I consider this extremely important is because what we say, do or try can be fatal if it's applied to the wrong type of personality. For example if you have a very paranoid colleague, you wouldn't start laughing with other colleagues in a corner without explaining why you are laughing loudly- he will automatically think you are laughing about him...and he'll get sad, angry and eventually drive you to say something mean to him and then he'll feel good proving that he was right all along thinking that the others were really hiding something from him and feels pleased that he has such a twisted mind and can identify something bad before it really happens. Hope you understand what I mean and I am sure some of you have already identified some persons you could never joke with.

Anyway, as taking each type would probably be way too long (didn't even get the chance to talk about my favorite: the hysterical colleague, which although you love and is a carrying person may drive you insane sometimes :-)) wish you will read the article or any other article/book on this and adapt your HAPPYMAKING to the types of personalities you'll identify. Wish you luck! And remember: LHHs also deserve to be happy, so give it a try;-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Funny Shoes

They say "diamonds are girls' best friends" but we all know that this is not valid for a financially restricted budget. So for the rest of us it should be like "shoes are girls' best friends" :-) (or diamond shoes if you can afford that ^..^). In the attempt of showing my appreciation to OUR best friends and happymakers here is a short collection of pics with funny shoes. Enjoy it!

Some interesting facts about shoes:
  • In Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries heels on shoes were always colored red.
  • Shoes all over the world were identical until the nineteenth century, when left- and right-footed shoes were first made in Philadelphia.
  • In Europe it wasn't until the eighteenth century that women's shoes were different from men's.
  • In the Middle Ages a father passed his authority over his daughter to her husband in a shoe ceremony :-) At the wedding, the groom handed the bride a shoe, which she put on to show she was then his subject.
  • Today in the U.S. shoes are tied to the bumper of the bridal couple's car. This is a reminder of the days when a father gave the groom one of his daughter's shoes as a symbol of a changing caretaker.






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something for the boys: the new Opel Agila shoes ;-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!



Couldn't miss this occasion? Could I? :-)
Now although Valentine's Day is not established in the Romanian tradition, as we celebrate love on the 24th of February due to our dear Dragobete (drag=dear, Draga Silvia= Dear Silvia :-)) I must admit more and more young people and adults start celebrating it, mainly cause it's dedicated to the nicest feeling in the world: LOVE.

And as I am a person who usually doesn't like to miss any occasion of celebrating, having fun, showing her feelings, spreading love and making gifts, you can imagine that I also really like this day :-) Supposing that you have something better to do today than reading my blog (today you are excused :-)) I'll be short and just share some lyrics with you (a proof that Valentine'day has pretty strong roots):

To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5)

Happy Valentine's day, dear Happymakers!
Love your happymakee and be loved!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

PLAY-IT-FORWARD

You are all familiar with the pay-it -forward concept: someone does something nice for you, you do it for X, X does if for Y, Y for Z, etc. Yesterday @andypiper sent me a link about how 40 people who gave a coffee forward and how they spread fun and happiness all over the world. Global Happymaking? Global Coffee Addiction? Global Gifts Giving? So I started to read about it :-)

How did it started: After attending the TED Conference in Monterey where the theme was “Ideas Big Enough to Change the World”, and the Sundance Film Festival where some of their friends were discussing movies that could make a difference, the two owners began a series of conversations about the future of online entertainment. These discussions about the power of online communities and the changing nature of play were the spark that led to Akoha.

WHY the Akoha Game (by Akoha :-)): Playing with others is so much more fun than playing by yourself. The social nature of play and the connectivity of the Internet creates a new platform for social fun. By combining the power of play and the social nature of communities, Akohas dream of new types of play that can both enlighten and uplift players to view the world in novel ways. You can sign up for Akoha beta here!

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few quick tips:

  • Play with a friend: it’s better to play your first Akoha mission with someone you know and trust. This will allow you to practice your Akoha mission pitch and help you work out your motivations for performing a good deed.
  • Start simple: Try playing a mission where you will do something that you normally do anyways. If you like to go out for coffee with friends, play the “Invite Someone For Coffee” mission. If you like to give your friends surprise gifts (like knitted hats!), use the “Give Someone a Surprise Gift” mission card. Play Akoha with the acts of kindness that you already do. It makes it easier and gives you practice.
  • Explain how Akoha works: Your Akoha experience (as well as the points you get) increase when your cards are claimed in by the recipient and played forward. To increase the chances of this happening, take a moment to explain what Akoha is about. Show them the unique ID and explain how they can go the home page and ‘claim’ the card. You might want to mention that if these cards are confirmed 25,000 times a school is being built in Nepal. You can also mention that this project is in its infancy, and that you are giving them access to a private beta and a chance to be amongst the first wave of users to play Akoha. We find that all these little pieces of information increase the likelihood that the recipient you play with will confirm the Akoha mission and then pass on the mission themselves.
  • It’s not all easy: Consistently doing acts of kindness can take effort. By scheduling ten minutes in a day to dedicate to making someone smile, you will not only better their lives and yours, you will also be inspiring others to do the same!
  • How to reach Ahoka everywhere:
    Akoha blogs: http://community.akoha.com
    Akoha forums: http://forums.akoha.com.
    Akoha twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/akoha
    Akohans Twittering: Many of Akoha are Twittering as well. You can find additional team blogs and Twitter accounts on the Akoha team page here.
    Your voice: Check the GetSatisfaction account: http://getsatisfaction.com/akoha

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Underground Happymaking

    No, that's not about dead people :-) But about those who travel by subway :-) Agent Lathan, as "Rob", gave out 2,000 high fives by standing next to a subway escalator during the morning rush. Five additional agents spread out along the adjacent stairs, holding signs that prepared commuters for the upcoming high five fun. Enjoy the video first and then check out the mission report and photos here (some details are also below)


    Why?
    Everyone is generally in a pretty crappy mood when they’re making the transfer with a herd of other people at the crack of dawn. It was definitely a location in need of a bit of fun.

    HOW?
    They made four signs that together said, “Rob wants to give you a high five! Get Ready!” There was a fifth sign that just read “Rob” and had an arrow pointing downward. The "agents" grabbed their assigned signs and spread out along the stairs a little after 8:30 AM. The staircase had platforms every 10 steps or so, which made it easy for the agents to divide up evenly.

    Reactions
    Some people were both listening to music and reading a book and didn’t look up to notice what was going on. A small percentage seemed suspicious of the agents and elected to keep their hands to themselves. Most people smiled and high fived. Some people kept a straight face during the high five, but then privately smiled to themselves a few moments later. Watching people after they gave a high five was almost more fun.

    Want to see more examples of mass happymaking? Check this one also (like it much)!

    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Where is your smile?

    Thought this would be appropriate for my happymaking blog : a camera that can detect people's smile :-) After all we enjoy watching photos in which our friends look happy and smiling (unless you have a twisted mind and enjoy looking at photos in which people are crying and feeling down). So in case you are in the first category you may want to test this camera :-)...
    To the technical part and how it works: face detection has become a common feature in modern digital cameras and Sony took one step ahead and developed the first camera with smile detection, the DSC-T300.

    The main attraction of this camera is certainly Sony’s smile detection technology. So how does this new feature work? When the camera is set to smile detection mode, a user can select one out of the three preset smile detection levels (i.e. smile, grin, and great grin). After the shutter button is pressed, the camera will detect the target’s face and shoot the photo automatically once the chosen smile level is reached.

    Besides the smile detection feature, Sony also implemented the iSCN “random scene recognition” feature. iSCN’s main goal is to minimize exposure failure in five modes: night scene portrait, night scene, night scene with tripod, backlit portrait and backlit.

    Anyway, just give it a try and ...SMILE :-)



    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Happy Crisis


    I am sure by now everyone is sort of aware that there is an economic crisis in the world, in some countries with a stronger impact, in others can't really be noticed, seen as a normal consequence and a part of the economic cycle by some people, though a catastrophe and end of the world by others. So assuming there is a common agreement on the fact that indeed we are struggling to resuscitate economies shocked by the speed of our neurotic consumption , there ARE "things" that can still make us smile :-) Who said one can't smile and feel happy during a crisis? (except of course speculators and others one time hit and run investors)

    So some reasons for that :
    • finally I can tell people they can stop buying stupid things and unnecessary objects :-) cause this time I have the CRISIS argument :-)
    • glad my friends stopped talking about buying new cars...don't have one, not planning to buy one soon, so I really think that listening to those discussions were a pure waste of time
    • also glad they won't discuss vacation plans 8 months in advance and will wait to see how their financial situation will evolve :-) never had an idea on where I'll be in the next 8 months or if I'll be able to take vacation so I am pretty pleased that I won't be the only one who has NO CLUE about it
    • I have a good reason for not struggling too hard to look for jobs : there are none available during crisis anyway?! :-))) at least in mature markets :-)
    • whenever you end up with a manager and you feel the lack of topics in your conversation just name something related to the crisis. the more particular the topic the better..after all we all care about details, local economies and hot news ;-)
    • although the Romanian currency is in a ...very bad shape (thought about if it should be just "bad") there are others doing worse. That's not necessary a reason to be happy but ain't it funny that they are cutting so many 0s from this particular currency? Or I am just being mean as we only managed to cut 4 some years ago...hmmm
    • you can make plans for AFTER the CRISIS :-) Nobody has money now anyway, or?
    • you can feel proud of starting to save some money (by not buying the stupid things from bullets 1&2)
    • guess you'll start praying from some help from above. even if the cause it's your financial situation the fact that you're doing it it's important...so pray more :-)
    • you'll start appreciating what you have, goods, friends, family. Bad events and times are bringing people together. Guess we must learn it the hard way!
    • you'll spend more time with your family...now that paying for the art club seems too expensive ;-)
    I'm sure I am missing some basic ideas but I started taking Lecithin this week :-) Happymaking for my brain ;-)