Each day, we do hundreds of things. Most of the things we don’t even think about. Like brushing our teeth, walking the dog, or putting away our keys. And by the end of the day, we’ve probably forgotten most of what we’ve done.
And after a week, we are lucky if we remember any of it. Just try to recall what you had for lunch last week. The vast majority of us aren’t going to have a clue.
This is really a shame
Because most weeks, you do or experience at least one thing we do is pretty cool. In fact, I imagine most people do or experience at least one cool thing everyday. Examples of cool things include:
- Learning something new
- Getting positive news from a friends, family, or co-workers.
- Trying something you’ve never done before
- Doing something nice for someone else
- Breaking a personal record
- Practicing a skill
- Completing a project
- Traveling someplace new
- Tasting something different
Solution: Create a Tin Full of Cool or a Jar Full of Good or a Portfolio Full of Awesome
I’m not sure how I was introduced to this concept. I know there is a TED Talk by Teresa Amabile that discusses this topic. I know Tim Ferriss talked about this too. And Ramit Sethi starts to hint at this idea when discusses Portfolios here.
The point is, for years I’ve been keeping a Portfolio of Awesome. It is a folder on my Google Drive. Any time I complete a project that I’m proud of, or do something beyond ordinary at work, I put it in that folder.
It has saved my ass multiple times. When you’re going into annual reviews, or trying to remember what makes you great while applying for new jobs, you’ll love yourself for maintaining this folder.
But, I recently decided to do for my personal life too. I took an empty Moon Pie tin and starting filling it with little slips of paper. Each slip has one cool thing that I’ve experienced in the last year.
I wasn’t feeling great when I decided to do the exercise, but I felt amazing once I got going. Going through the exercise made me realize just how much I’d accomplished. Because until you ask yourself, “What cool things have I done [today, this week, this year]?” you forget.
I’m planning to create a tin or jar for each year going forward. I like to think of it as a personalized time capsule. Not only will it help me see that I’m making progress when I feel like I’m stuck in a rut, but I it will also be rarely cool to reflect on 5, 10, or even 25 years from now.
So, consider starting your own personal time capsules today. Let me know how you decide to proceed in the comments below.
P.S. If you’ve never had a Moon Pie, do yourself a favor and try one. It can be your cool thing for the day.