Alright so I've gotten questions from many of my readers about The 101 Project. My own father asked for a cheat sheet! Sorry, had to throw you under the bus Father. However, I may be poking fun but I did want to acknowledge your concerns!
Yes, writing out a list of 101 items isn't necessarily easy! We as humans aren't really used to slowing down to appreciate the little things. We're too busy living, right? Focusing on keeping up with the fast pace of our lives, following the same routine each day, basking in the comfort of the familiar. This project is something I am challenging you with. It's called a challenge for a reason. It won't be perfectly easy but I am confident that ALL of you can find 101 things you appreciate about a fellow human being.
So here are some tips to give you the confidence to get started....
1. I give you permission to write this list in multiple sittings. You do not, I repeat, you DO NOT have to write it all at once. You aren't a bad person if you can't think of 101 things in one sitting. Take your time! Come back to it. Don't let your frustration stop you from spreading some love.
2. Your reasons don't all have to be extraordinarily grand gestures. I was shocked when my dad asked for a cheat sheet because I KNOW that he is a loving, generous man! I KNOW that he loves my mom, my sister, and me. So I laughed because I know that if he stopped for a minute, that he could make a list! But, I am my father's daughter, and boy can we overanalyze things sometimes! My biggest piece of advice for you is this - not everything on your list has to be larger than life! Think about the every day things, the things that go unnoticed and unspoken of. If I were to write a list for my dad I would of course list big items like the fact that he put a roof over my head and paid for my college. But some would be smaller. For example, I appreciate the fact that my dad keeps a spreadsheet of important dates in our lives. I've never told him that but I have always loved that. One is big and one is small but both are important.
3. Think of this list as a list of what you appreciate and admire about the person. The fact that you notice these little things about them is reason enough for them to deserve to be happy. Show them that you recognize them as a human being! It's as simple as that.
All you have to do is give it a shot. If you get stuck, come back to it later. Don't let your doubts drive you. Look for the small things in life that make you smile.
This is a good exercise for you, the writer, as well. Teach yourself to stop and appreciate those small, special little moments.