My wife and I started a Jar of Awesome last January. (Happy New Year everyone, by the way). I was first exposed to the idea by a podcast from Tim Ferriss I listened to, but I’m not sure the actual origin of the idea.
What is a Jar of Awesome? It’s just a jar that you keep in plain sight, and as awesome things happen, you quickly jot them down and drop them in the jar. When New Year’s Eve comes around, you take them all out and read them, reminding yourself of all the awesomeness in your life. If you’d like to learn more, a quick search online pulls up tons of resources.
Over coffee this morning, we dumped the scraps of paper and took turns reading every single one of them aloud. The whole thing took about 5 minutes.
Here are the three things I took away from the exercise:
- My biggest awesome occurrences involved other people. And, for me, they tended to be the ones that I most forgot about. I found myself saying, “Oh yeah, I remember that” much more with the events that were personal. Yet, my favorite memories, the ones that brought the most joy to me, were with others. I needed to have that re-presenced.
- The more I wrote down the things that were awesome, the more memories got to be remembered on New Year’s Day. I was on a run of filling out the small wins for most of the first half of 2017, so when it came time to read them, I had more memories to enjoy than my wife did. It wasn’t a competition, and we both remarked that the more we participated throughout the year, the more richness we got to recall as we read.
- There was satisfaction in just completing the exercise. This is something in the past that would have been started, played with vigor for about two months, and then forgotten all about. I would have decided at some point that the jar needed to be used for another purpose, thrown the slips of paper away without reading them, and moved on. Completing the Jar of Awesome from start to finish, however imperfect it was or wasn’t…there was power in that. Power in setting the intention, and completing that intention, regardless of how the results looked.
The slips of paper from 2017 have found their way to the recycling, and the Jar is set up for the coming year.
There is one slip already in there: “Completing the Jar of Awesome for 2017.”