Not every day is magical. Not every day is memorable, but when we make it a practice we can always find something good in every day. When Life is Good reached out to share their #SomethingGood campaign, it struck a deep chord.
The story goes, that Life is Good’s founders, Bert and John grew up in a pretty chaotic environment (and they certainly aren’t alone, who doesn’t have a little chaos in their lives?). However, their mom, Joan always made time over dinner to ask the family to share “something good that happened today.” That one prompt has the power to spark a simple practice of mindfulness and gratitude.
The reason I love this #SomethingGood prompt so much is that it reminds me of a story and practice my dad created with my sister, brother, and I. When my dad and granddad were visiting the U.S. (they’re both British), they stopped at a pumpkin patch. Legend has it that my granddad was enamored with the pumpkins. He had never seen them grow so large. He came to my dad, holding with a big pumpkin and asked: “Do you think I can bring this on the plane?”
My dad vividly remembers the joy in his father’s eyes over something so simple, a pumpkin. It’s this beautiful example of how our fondest memories don’t have to be glamorous, they can be as unexpectedly wonderful as finding a giant pumpkin.
From then on, my dad likes to ask us, “what’s your pumpkin of the day?” Meaning, what was an unexpected, simple thing that brought you joy?
Whether you call it #SomethingGood or your daily pumpkin, both prompts are reminders that we can choose to notice and appreciate the beauty and fun of life, even when life is chaotic, challenging, and not always in our control.
Whether you share dinner with your family most nights or you have an upcoming dinner party, there’s something so special about sharing a good conversation over a meal. Joan believed in the positive power of disconnecting from the stress of your day by sharing food and conversation. I love this because I’ve definitely seen my mental health supported by having strong community connections.
When it comes to sharing good food and good conversation, quality is key. It’s so important to turn off your phone so you can pay attention and listen to others. I find having a prompt like #SomethingGood can get everyone listening to the same conversation instead of having distracting side conversations. Next time you share a meal, ask this question and see how the conversation unfolds.
If you’re someone who enjoys and finds power in a written gratitude or journaling practice then I encourage you to use the prompt of the daily pumpkin or #SomethingGood as part of your journaling.
A lot of people ask me about getting better at small talk. It’s something I used to dread because it can be so awkward. I know a lot of people who would much rather have a deep meaningful conversation than discuss trivial details. However, small talk is the key to developing a relationship. Something I find useful in small talk is rather than asking the generic “how’s it going?” (because how do you even answer that?) ask specific positive questions, including “what’s something good that’s happened to you recently/today/this week?” It’s a question people have to answer with more than “pretty good” and it will actually start a real conversation.
I’m a huge believer that when we can appreciate life’s simple, everyday joys we become equipped to handle the good and the bad that we can’t always control. Gratitude and enjoying our lives are muscles we can strengthen with a practice like finding #SomethingGood every day.
Georgie Morley is the coffee-obsessed creator of In It 4 the Long Run, an online platform that inspires joy and personal growth through curiosity and self-discovery. She’s also the host of Chasing Joy, a podcast featuring conversations on joy, intuition, personal growth, & living well.