The Blog of Jake Kelfer
With school starting up and a need for us to be kinder to each other, I decided to take the conversation to the streets and see what the experts had to say. This comes after several discussions with deans and educators repeatedly taking about the continuous rise of mental health issues and the increasing rates of loneliness in today’s society.
Plus, knowing that random acts of kindness increases happiness and well-being, I decided this was a great topic to explore to see if we could learn something that might help.
I went around and asked some speakers, kindness experts, and teachers, "What’s one way we can encourage kindness in schools and the workplace?"
LA to Toronto. 48 hours. 30,000+ steps. What a trip!
Three weeks ago, I sent a cold email to one of my new favorite authors (Neil Pasricha) letting him know how much I appreciate his work and how much I enjoyed his book The Happiness Equation. Shortly after we jumped on the phone and got to know each other a bit immediately clicking on many levels. This past weekend, I flew to Toronto to meet him in person and explore the amazing city of Toronto.
This was my first trip to Toronto, so naturally I was excited. I had heard of all the great things Toronto brings to the table but it wasn’t until I got there until I realized just how cool the city really is.
Now, I knew I only had a day and a half to explore, experience, and enjoy all that I could so I as soon as my red eye arrived at 6am I was off.
It’s the first day of kindergarten and all the families were bringing their sons and daughters for the very first time. It was a day of pure excitement and joy, for the parents that is.
There was one little girl, in particular, Melissa was her name, who was more excited than the rest of the children. She was glowing with positive energy, smiling from ear to ear. The other children were figuring out if they should cry because their parents were leaving or fully commit to all the fun and nap time they were about to have. Little did they know that this youthful and bubbly girl would start a chain reaction that would change their lives forever.
100 people in 100 days. ME + YOU. 10 minutes. All ages. All races. All religions. All income levels. All PEOPLE.
As I experience life more, I’ve learned a lot, but there are two things that continue to pop up over and over again: time and human connection. I believe that time is our greatest resource and how we spend our time and who we spend it with is incredibly important. I believe that human connection is a driving force that can dramatically decrease mental health issues and exponentially increase personal happiness.
That’s why I want to do what I’m calling 100 people in 100 days. The plan is to conduct 100 FaceTimes or phone calls in the next 100 days with people from all backgrounds - people I may know to complete strangers. The goal of this is to spread happiness across continents, remind people that they are amazing and that even a stranger like me is willing to support them on their journey. Anyone can participate, all you have to do is say YES.
Based on my timeline this will put me right around Thanksgiving which couldn’t be better timing. I’ll spend Thanksgiving celebrating with my family and being grateful for all the incredible stories I've heard and new people I’ve talked to in the last 100 days.
I’m thrilled to give this a shot, so if you want to nominate yourself or a friend, schedule a time here.
We all know the feeling when it’s our birthday and we are stoked to wake up in the morning. We look forward to having people wish us Happy Birthday. We long for the feeling of appreciation and hope that this birthday will be a special day.
After all, it’s our birthday… shouldn’t we feel special? I mean, it only happens once a year.
Have you ever wondered what you should do when you first wake up in the morning? What about the last thing you do before you go to bed?
According to Jay Shetty, former Monk turned motivational icon, studies show 80% of us look at our phones first thing in the morning and the last thing we see at night. It causes our brains to constantly be ON.
Most of us spend hours lying in bed scrolling through Instagram. When we finally finish Instagram, we move onto Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter, and when we feel that we are updated, we go straight back to Instagram only to realize that we’ve been on our phone for 2 hours and should probably put it away so we can actually get some sleep.
Then when we wake up, the first thing we do is look at all the notifications we missed. If we don’t get any notifications, we immediately start our day off disappointed. If we do get notifications, we start our day in a frenzy trying to respond to everything and check every platform which can often lead to us being rushed causing more stress.
The problem we are facing is that we all claim we want to be happier, but we aren’t taking the action necessary to make it our reality.
So, what should we be doing then?
I’ve always been a happy person… for the most part.
But it wasn’t until the last quarter of 2018 when I started to take happiness really seriously. My good friend and fellow motivational speaker, Kyle Willkom, suggested I take a look at a guy named Shawn Achor.
Shawn Achor is an expert on positive psychology and after spending hours of time with him (yes, we became best friends through YouTube videos 🙂), I decided to try out a few of his techniques. I wanted to take his findings and figure out how I could apply them to my life on a daily basis.
Through his research, Shawn says there are 5 things we can do each day to live a happier life.
How do we do each one? Does everyone have to do the same amount? What is enough? Do we all get the same impact from each one?
I’ve spent a heavy majority of 2019 studying happiness taking courses and learning what it really means to be happier and throughout this year, I’ve experimented how these 5 things have made me happier.
Last week, I did something crazy. I picked up my phone and called someone I haven't spoken to in a while. Crazy, right?
I called her because she just graduated with her second degree and I thought she would appreciate a call. Plus it would be great to hear her voice.
Of course, I liked her Instagram post like everyone else, but I wanted to use this as an opportunity to let her know how proud I was of her and how awesome she is.
What does a greeting really mean?
This probably isn’t something you think about very often. It might even be something you’ve never thought twice about.
And, that is why I’m bringing it to your attention.
The way we greet others and the way others greet us can tell us a lot about our relationship with that person. It can tell us how we feel about someone else without realizing it, how they make us feel, and at the same time, it can tell them how we feel about them.
I’m going to write this a bit differently than my normal articles. One side is going to be from you giving a greeting while the other will be you receiving the greeting.
Oooh la la...
Today is the day of love. Some of us will be spending today with our significant others, while some of us will be spending today with friends or maybe even alone.
Now matter how you spend today, I want to remind you that you are loved! It might not always feel like it, but it's true.
You are amazing.
You are powerful.
You are loved.
Sometimes we forget this because we focus on our flaws or we focus on what we don't have in life. We compare ourselves to others with the idea that if we aren't like them, we aren't good enough.
Well, today is about love: loving others and loving yourself. So make it your day's work, regardless of if you've been married for 50 years or you're single and ready to mingle, to spread the love today. Give a compliment, share a smile, look someone in the eyes, take a risk, or give someone a hug.
As my friend and colleague Houston Kraft says, "LOVE IS A CHOICE." We can choose to love ourselves and we can choose to love others.
Take a second today to tell someone you love them. At the same time, take a second to look in the mirror today and say, "I LOVE YOU!"
I am a motivational speaker on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal success and happiness.