Back in the good days, before Manimal was banned from the site, he challenged us HEthens to do something seemingly impossible. Have nothing but happy thoughts for a week straight, 7 days. If you fail, you restart. That means, ANY negative thought was an instant restart.
I wanted to thank him, if he ever does see this, because I successfully did it, and it moved on to become a lifestyle. I’m not unhappy anymore, ever! A year ago, this past week would have been the most traumatizing thing I’d ever experienced, but in all honesty, I’ve never been happier!
I challenge all of you to the Manimal challenge. It WILL change your perspective, and you’ll be happier than you could have ever imagined!
Stay optimistic everyone :)
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The good thing about this challenge is that it makes you more aware of your feelings and thoughts. (If you aren’t already aware of them). But as the others have already explained, it’s important to not get into an unrealistic attitude, where “bad” things are denied. The key is to see that there is nothing bad. As @blankey has already said, “negative” things are the more beneficial things in the long run. Most things can only be learned from “bad” things, i.e. something that went wrong.
So if you have this attitude that there isn’t really something bad, meaning that “bad” things are just challenges which you can learn from, your emotional attachment weakens, meaning you can stay at least neutral even in bad times.
I think most people even amplify their bad mood by making things worse than they are. In that sense, the challenge is good, since unnecessary thoughts (like “Oh fuck it hurts so much” all day) can be avoided while true problems must be faced. Basically, it must be distinguished between realistic problems and causes, and unnecessary thoughts only amplifying emotions.
@vitiate No need to thank me, you’re the one who took the challenge and succeeded. It was your choice, your effort, your success. The challenge isn’t my invention
@martijn Signed up again? No I didn’t, I just came back. This is the only HE account I’ve ever had.
An ‘unhappy thought’ is not the same thing as a positive thought, there are major differences. A lot of (if not most) people find more comfort in negative thoughts than in positive ones. Positive thinking isn’t about escaping or ignoring reality either, it’s simply about not thinking the negative thoughts that most people associate with certain events and so on.
It’s not about stifling or ignoring your emotion at all, but feelings don’t force you to think certain thoughts or certain ways. That’s something you choose to do, and then blame it on the emotions. There is no automatic reaction to any state of emotion, but emotion is constantly reacting to thoughts. Thoughts bring emotions, not the other way around.
“Nothing is ever good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” That’s what it’s all about.
@beyond You can percieve anything as good or bad. We don’t see things for what they are, we see things as we are. It’s all about thoughts, thoughts are on the causal side of the chain, perception is on the effect side. There is no innate negativity in “I’m dying”
or “you’re a fucking moron,” any negativity in those statements is made up in the mind of the beholder. This can be very easily observed.
@mercurial Oh yeah? Do you have the sufficient experience for that claim? Have you ever DONE this challenge and seen the results for yourself? If not, then you have no idea what you’re talking about, then you’re simply making shit up.
Why do you make things up about something you’ve never tried? What’s the point in that? Afraid of trying? Trying to find a way to justify that fear? I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing, but it certainly sounds like it.
Obviously, I highly approve and condone the challenge in this thread, and it’s something I think everyone should at least try. Even if you can only make it three our four days, you’re going to notice how swiftly the “tone” of your life (and the events, experiences, and opportunities is has to offer) takes on a more positive, constructive, and progressive “theme”.
@runlynch, are you serious? When something is bothering you, there is usually a way to fix it, if it cannot be fixed you should let go. But don’t let it fucking bother you for too long, that’s worse than a suicide in my opinion. It’s all about perceiving. You can’t perceive the obviously bad things as good, well, you can, but the thing here is to be in touch with your emotions and stay optimistic. A lot of our worries are usually exaggerated and we stress ourselves more than it’s need to. And the stupid part is because we’re usually used to get stressed like this. It has to become a habit to look on things in a different way. That’s how I like to think sometimes, though it’s good to consider and the feelings of others. Forcing emotions makes things worse.
Did this for well over 7 days, didn’t know manimal came up with it. Posted it on my blog a while ago, and updated it here too!
It becomes addicting, you wake up and you want to smnile. You want to be happy. Everything seems like an opportunity to be very happy. Clouds made me giggle, co-workers seemed swell, the day just seemed to be easier on the mind.
After a while though it definitely seemed like I was pushing it. Not because of the duration, but simply because by pure chance you’re going to have a bad day, where smiling just isn’t going to do much. Those days you just gotta pack up the happiness for the next day.
@blankey, He signed up again.
I think it’s a great challenge because you will adopt a fundamentally different perspective, something you might not get otherwise. However, after the week, I wouldn’t force it too much. There are other and higher perspectives I believe. Unhappiness for instance is a cognitive phenomenon that tells us something about the world (world as totality, which includes ourselves). I think if you grasp too strong on ‘I shouldnt have an unhappy thought’ you might start clouding stuff that should be changed in your life, or society as a whole.
What do you guys think?
@beyond, Well of course I would do something about it, but I can’t see how I could maintain happy thoughts. In fact, if taken literally, if i thought nothing but happy thoughts I would have no motivation to intervene at all. That is the part I’m seeking clarification on for this challenge.
Back when I first discovered this site in the fall, I was sitting in an unfirmiliar position in life and wasn’t necessarily comfortable. I wanted so much, but I just talked about it. Manimal basically told me “just do it you sook, enough talk”. I closed my old account and disappeared for a few months took my self discovery to a new level. Now I’m consciously aware of nearly everything around me, and though I may not understand everything that goes on around me, I accept it. Patience has giving me control. And I like to think manimal gave me the kick in the shithole that got me going! In my language, welal’in kwis!
@martijn, I agree. Positive and realistic outlook must be distinguishable with the unrealistic and “lying to yourself” one. It shouldn’t be forced at all. And no one should even consider this “a challenge”. It’s just a mind state and this “restart” if we “fail” is useful, but we get to choose the time for it. It should be taken as a good reminder. If I try to restrain my “bad mood” with just snapping my fingers it’s very likely that it wouldn’t work, it’s going to be ignorant to my own emotions. The challenge shouldn’t emphasize on staying unrealistically positive forever, but more on flexibility.
@nightowl, Ok, I see where you are coming from. At the same time that would seem to be self gratifying, like I would only help the child because it makes me happy. I think I am over thinking this maybe. I tend to do that ;)
yes, but it only makes you happy because you just helped the child… you’re just talking yourself in circles. Using that logic, you can literally make everything you do seem self gratifying (afterall, why would you do it if you didn’t get some sort of satisfaction out of it?). Go deep enough, and you will find a self serving reason for EVERYTHING you do.
If you want to say its self gratifying to help someone because it in turn makes you happy, then by all means. But is that really such a bad thing?
The sheer fact that you’re trying to find the negative in this so badly, says to me that it could perhaps be a worthwhile endeavor to attempt :)
Of course, the real mind fuck is, why are you trying to hard to find the negative in it in the first place? Doesn’t that mean you are also getting some sort of self gratification out of being negative? What about when you are unhappy. If happiness is a choice (which when you study it, that seems to be the case), then that means being unhappy is also a choice. Which means that on some level you get some sort of gratification everytime you think you are unhappy… so fear not everyone, for we have all already passed Manimals happiness challenge with flying colors! For our mere existence implies that every action we do or don’t take happens the way it does because it benefits us in some way over the alternative options. You might not realize it, but you are perfectly happy in this moment! You are the path of least resistance in this cosmic universe!
Or perhaps I’m just talking gibberish now… ah well, at least I made myself happy :)