So yes, we are still flying over the ocean of joy in Philadelphia. I am not a big football fan but I too am enjoying the jubilant feeling of the Eagles Super Bowl victory. It seemed impossible. For many years it was. Then it happened. It feels so good.
It seems joy is in the air lately. I wrote recently about a new favorite hero, Keala Settle, who plays the bearded lady in the movie The Greatest Showman. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it and loved seeing Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya! It seems to be breaking all kinds of box office records and the critics seem a little perplexed at its success. It is a story, like the story of the Eagles victory, about dreams.
P.T. Barnum had a hard luck kind of childhood. Yet, he also had a “million dreams” as one of the songs in the movie shares to thread the story together. There was no reason for him to succeed. He had many obstacles.
So did our birds, over 52 years of not making it. Some years we did pretty well. Other years we weren’t even close. Yet, there was always a flicker of hope, and many millions of dreams by the team’s players, coaches and fans.
With the Super Bowl victory, we have been happy birds. But will this fade? Will we’ll slip back into bonding around complaining, finding a collective enemy, or around being crazy busy or stressed out? Can we hold on to joy, optimism and hope now that the confetti has blown away?
People who are happy on a regular day…huh? Often we wonder what is wrong with them. These days I find it is almost as if it is outrageous to be happy without a very good reason. The Super Bowl victory gave us a good reason. It gave us permission to be happy.
Can you make a conscious choice to be happy, on a regular day when someone holds a door open for you, or you see a beautiful sunrise or just because you are alive?
This might all sound warm and fuzzy and I know a few of you are squirming right about now ;), but I’m here to share there is a growing body of positive psychology science around the ability to cultivate hope, future mindedness and the ability to imagine and move towards a positive future.
An exercise called your Best Possible Self/Life can help you lean about what you want in life to help you restructure your priorities in order to reach your goals. The research also shows this exercise can help you increase your sense of control over your life by highlighting what you need to do to achieve your dreams.
The Eagles and P.T. Barnum have shown us that anything is possible. Giving yourself permission to be happy and cultivating hope creates an environment that is fertile for the next big dream, for the Eagles and for you.
Let’s keep flying.
ps. Ive already seen The Greatest Showman twice and plan to see it again. I am not ashamed to LOVE this movie, its story, its music and its making. Not to escape my life or reality, but as fuel for my own dreams so I can rewrite the stars! (That is a movie reference you’ll understand after you see the movie!)
Casey Murphy on Unsplash