May 2, 2010

How to share your happiness

Many Optimist Clubs have a curious currency known as Happy Dollars.

Happy Dollars are donations made to the clubs fine pot for telling a happy story to your friends at your Optimist Club meeting.  After handing over the contribution, the storyteller gets to share something positive that has happened to them since the last time that the club met.

I've heard happy stories about who is pregnant, who didn't get a speeding ticket, who got a job, who got a promotion, who retired, who got married, who got elected, who got new shoes, who went on vacation, who got a clean bill of health and who is happy just because the sun came out today.

It seems that Happy Dollars might be a less intimidating way to say what we are grateful for.  At the 2009 Optimist International Convention, author and motivational speaker MK Mueller gave an inspirational keynote presentation on her book 8 to Great.  She encouraged us to be responsible for our own happiness  by expressing our gratitudes every day.  She challenged us to reach deep and allow ourselves to recognize more than the superficial benefits of each day.

What an inspirational challenge!  Friends, Happy Dollars are a great way to start.  If your Optimist Club doesn't participate in the happiness currency, encourage them to give it a try.  After all, sharing positive news is, well, optimistic.  Isn't that the main reason we come together as Optimist Clubs?

Take a look at the West Tacoma, WA Optimist Club bulletin for some examples of Happy Dollars. 
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