The Appreciation Engine

My Thanksgiving Challenge Kickoff

So here it is, day ONE of The Thanksgiving Challenge!

Have you recorded your message of gratitude yet today?

I had the opportunity to kick of the challenge in a really special way today, with David and Jane at SoundCloud. We decided to record our messages together, and I have to tell you, I was on a personal high for at least two hours after doing so. It was so invigorating to hear what they are personally grateful for, and to be able to share with them my appreciation (and honor) of the whole SoundCloud Community Fellowship experience. It was pretty magical. I can’t wait to record my second message tomorrow!

Listen to our messages of appreciation and accept the challenge!

The Thanksgiving Challenge

Hey appreciators!

I’ve talked about the benefits of practicing appreciation before.  And I’m going to talk about them again.

The awesome thing about practicing gratitude is that we often start to see things to be grateful for that we never would have seen if we weren’t looking. You know that crazy phenomenon that happens when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you see so many other people with the same car as you!? Practicing gratitude is the same thing, but it has really super positive effects on your life, because instead of seeing someone else with your car, you see all of the great things to be thankful for in the world. And the more things you see, the more things will appear to be seen.

The gift of gratitude is that it helps you to enjoy your life as it happens, here and now. It’s not about the wanting, or wishing, or hoping. It brings you into the present and allows you to feel happy right this second. It keeps you focused on the good stuff.

One key part of getting the most out practicing gratitude is that you have to do it every day. Now this may seem like a big thing to take on. But really, it’s such an easy habit to create, with an exponential amount of output.

That’s why I’ve created the Thanksgiving Challenge, to help you kick start living a life where it’s easy and natural to practice gratitude.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday dedicated to taking time to give thanks for everything that we have. But why is it only one day?! It doesn’t have to be.

Therefore, for I’m challenging you to practice giving thanks for the entire month of November.

It’s really quite simple.  Everyday in the month of November, record a message about ONE thing you’re grateful/thankful for, or appreciative of. One thing a day. Do that every day in November, starting Nov 1st, and at Thanksgiving you’ll be able to listen back on all of the positive, happy, worthwhile things that presented them to you that month.

Want to know something else?! After 22 days of recording a message of giving thanks, you will have created a habit of giving thanks, which means that every day after that it will be easier and more natural to stop and appreciate what’s in front of you. Almost without even thinking about it. How cool is that?

Ok, so here it is again, my Thanksgiving Challenge for you:

What?

Starting November 1st record one message of appreciation a day, noting one thing that you appreciate or are thankful for.

Why?

  1. A million (yes, that many) studies show that practicing gratitude has major health and happiness benefits, and who doesn’t want to be healthy and happy!?
  2. At the end of the challenge, you will have created a super positive habit of doing something that will create more happiness and abundance in your life for as long as you continue.
  3. By recording one message of thanks every day you will create a personal audio gratitude journal that you can listen to whenever you want to remind you of all the positive things in your life that you have to be thankful for.

Join me in the Thanksgiving challenge?

 

 

 

Opportunities Are Everywhere

This is a  guest post I did for the the SoundCloud Blog. It’s a glimpse into my process of creating the engine! 

Opportunity is a funny thing. We often hear that something is a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” or that “opportunities like ‘this’ don’t come around that often,” or “if only the opportunity presented itself,” but my opinion? Opportunities are everywhere. Life isn’t about waiting for the right opportunity to present itself; it’s about recognizing an opportunity for what it is. And a lot of time that recognition starts with slowing down, acting with intent, prioritizing where to focus your energy, and above all staying positive.

There are a lot of not so positive forces in the world right now, especially on the Internet. There are time sucks, status updates and a lot of mindless creation and consumption when it comes to content. And I think all of that buzz sometimes unconsciously takes us away from recognizing opportunities; opportunities to connect and see and feel what matters, what’s around us.

When I started brainstorming ideas that would eventually become The Appreciation Engine, I had two goals in mind. 1. Use media- social, online, audio, technology etc.- to create good. And 2. Provide an opportunity to spread that goodness with ease.

The most logical way for me to figure out how to meet those two goals was to start by examining my own life. What drives me to create good? What opportunities do I have to share good and positive things?

Here’s how that process went:

I’m a big believer in the universe, signs, listening to your instinct, interconnectedness, and everything that comes with all of those super high level new agey words and concepts. And as I’ve gotten older, my ability to practice all of these concepts in my life is made possible by two simple things: stopping/slowing down to recognize all of the good things happening around me, and taking the time to give thanks for the opportunity to experience them. Now, this practice is easy when I’m happy, excited, or calm. Because hey, that stuff feels good. And when I feel good, I (like many others) want to share that feeling. But it’s harder to practice those two seemingly simple steps when I’m feeling stressed, worried, or scattered. But I guess that’s the nice thing about practice, you get better at doing the hard things that produce good outcomes. Simply put, the practice of appreciation has changed my life.

And then all of a sudden it became obvious. I want to create an online tool that makes it easy to recognize an opportunity to participate in one of the most basic and important human acts of interaction – feeling and sharing appreciation.

And thus, the engine was born. My goal, my vision, is that The Appreciation Engine will provide you an easy opportunity to experience the good producing effects that feeling and sharing appreciation can offer, and use media and technological connectedness to do it (not take away from it!). After a few weeks of hunkering down to design and build (with help from a tech professional ;) !) I am excited to announce that The Appreciation Engine is now live and ready for use!

So, are you in?

 

 

Update: The Appreciation Engine progress, and a little about Steph

“Get your appreciation goggles on and start looking at the world through a lens of gratitude.”

Why Share Appreciation?

Let’s talk about the awesomeness of appreciation and the affect it has on our lives.

Steph Dub is a 2012 SoundCloud Fellow

Intro to The Appreciation Project, and me, Steph, as a Soundcloud Fellow.

 

The Appreciation Engine- SoundCloud Fellow Intro, Steph Dub

When was the last time you shared, out loud, your appreciation for someone?

 

This is the intro I recorded as part of my SoundCloud Fellowship Application. It’s the heart of the project.

 

 

 

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