• Your brain is hard-wired to focus mainly on the negative things in life
  • Celebrating good things offsets negativity and increases positive emotions
  • Use a jar of awesome to save positive moments and refer back to them to boost good vibes
Keeping your head above water at work.

Staying on top of all the bills and expenses.

Dealing with all the family drama.

Taking care of all the shit that needs to be taken care of.

Coping with personal issues.

Trying to keep pace with life and just simply surviving is the name of the game for everyone. The life of 99-percenters ain’t easy.

And, sometimes when you’re down, life decides to just give you one more punch in the gut to let you know who’s in charge.

These are the days when you’re just like, “What the fuck did I do to deserve this?”

This is when the asshole in your head takes over and the downward cycle of negativity begins. All sorts of negative criticism and put-downs come out of the woodwork.

“You’ll never get promoted at work.”

“It’s not worth the effort because it probably won’t work out.”

“You’ll never be able to lose all that weight.”

“Why bother? It’s not going to make any difference.”

“You’ll never get ahead in life.”

Once this falling spiral gains momentum, it just gets worse and becomes damn near impossible to pull yourself out of it.

You can’t stand feeling like this every day. You want to be happier and more productive in life, not struggling to survive and drowning in misery.

What you need is a way to stop the negativity and/or reverse the downward momentum by creating and keeping a positive attitude. You need to be in control of your emotions, rather than reacting to the shit that happens.

The solution?

It’s called the “Jar Of Awesome.”

It’s a really simple mind hack that can boost and maintain positive vibes at work, home and life in general by counteracting the shitstorm of negativity that you get hit with on a daily basis.

What Is A Jar Of Awesome & How It Improves Your Life

(Credit: Big Life Journal)

A jar of awesome is a physical container you can use to save and remember your wins, happy moments and things that make you grateful. ‘Cause let’s face it, you’ll never remember them on your own.

But, with a jar of awesome, you can easily store the positive moments in your life for when tough times come around again - ‘cause you know they will.

Anytime you’re feeling down, you can open up the jar and remind yourself that things aren’t as bad as they feel. It’s like bottling positivity for when you need it most.

It’s like this - when you’ve got skull-crushing headaches, achy joints or muscles, stomach-wrenching cramps, etc., you almost always reach for that one go-to pill that will ease the pain. And within an hour or two, things are much better, like tons better.

This is essentially how a jar of awesome works.

It’s your never-expiring source of positive mood boosters that you can use to offset crappy days or maximize good ones to astronomical levels. Nobody ever said that it’s bad to overdose on happiness!

The reason why this works is for mainly two reasons.

First, it records and stores all of your happy moments. You might think you’ll remember all the great stuff but it doesn’t happen. The human mind’s default setting is to mainly remember bad stuff as a survival mechanism. The good stuff just goes to the wayside.

If you don’t give yourself credit for what you achieve, it gets a lot harder to remember it later on. Plus, if you never reward yourself for these wins, then you never reap the benefits either.

Second, the jar serves as a physical reminder that you have a remedy that’s readily available. You’ve heard of the term, “out of sight, out of mind” right? Well, the opposite is in effect here.

It’s very much like seeing that little bottle of Advil, Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, etc in your medicine cabinet. Only in this case, it’s a jar right on your desk.

Here’s a short 2-minute video clip of an interview with Tim Ferris, the guy who wrote the book about the 4-hour work week, explaining his take on a jar of awesome.

VIDEO: Tim Ferris - Jar of Awesome
YOUTUBE: CreativeLive
LENGTH: 01:41
Summary points:
  • When cool things happen, we don’t remember them
  • Write down your wins on a piece of paper and bank it in the jar
  • When you’re in a funk, pull out a random goodie from the jar to uplift your mood and turns things around
The idea couldn’t be simpler - whenever something good happens, write that shit down on a strip of paper and put it in your jar of awesome. Anything goes, and nothing is too small to count.

It’s like a mini time capsule of all the cool stuff that’s happened to you.

It’s a great way to celebrate your victories, stay motivated and inspire positive emotions when life gets shitty.

Why A Jar Of Awesome Works So Well

Your brain has a built-in negativity bias. It’s a survival mechanism that goes way back to our human ancestors. This default setting allowed them to survive by constantly reminding them of all the life-threatening things or situations.

Positive events aren’t life-threatening. So, the brain skips that and just focuses straight in on the negatives. Several studies, including this study from the University of Pennsylvania, even assert that not only is negativity powerful, but it’s also contagious.

It’s why bad news always travels faster and further than good news. It’s why pretty much all news leads with grim or negative stories.

Then, it rubs off onto you.

You start thinking of all the shit that's happening in your life. You obsess over every mistake, every tiny thing you could have done better. Or, how nothing is going your way and that you’re always getting fucked over.

You can remember all the negative shit from way back, without even trying.

But all of those things that went great?

It’s like they never happened.

Since we’re so hard-wired to cling onto the negative bullshit, you need to retrain your brain to remember positive emotions.

This is where the jar of awesome comes into play. It counteracts negativity bias and uses good memories to give you a happy boost.

It’s like stoking a fire of positivity.

If you keep feeding it, it grows more powerful. And, when you feed yourself happy vibes every day and instead of drowning in a funk, you create positivity even when life sucks.

It also cultivates gratitude, which is one of the best ways to manage work stress.

Committing to writing down one good thing every day pushes you to look for the good parts of your day, not just the shitty ones. This is what helps to retrain your brain to focus on the positives instead of focusing only on what’s going wrong.

Doing this consistently on a daily basis will slowly re-program your mind’s negative default setting to a more positive one.

How To Make A Jar Of Awesome

(Credit: Whole Life Challenge)

Making your jar of awesome is super simple. You don’t need to buy a jar just for this, unless you want to. You don’t need anything fancy here.

You’ve probably got most of the things you’ll need at home so it’s just a matter of digging them out and putting them to use.

Here’s what you’ll need. 

1) Grab A Physical Container 

The key is that it’s a physical container that’s small enough to fit on your desk so you see it everyday while not taking up a ton of space. It’ll be less mess for less stress.

The key here is that the container should be more taller versus wider so it doesn’t eat up a lot of valuable desk space but can still hold a lot of awesomeness.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Glass mason jar
  • Old tennis ball can
  • Small square shipping box
  • Empty coffee can
  • Old shoebox (set it vertically)
  • Unused plastic pitcher
  • Empty cookie jar

2) Decorate Your Jar & Make It Awesome

You can leave your jar “as is” and plain but it’s a lot more fun to jazz it up with your personal touch.

It's your little corner of positivity so decorate it in ways that make you feel happy.

Go crazy with colors. Add some glitter. Motivate yourself with positive and uplifting quotes. Tape on some of your fav photos.

It’ll help make your desk a nicer place to be. And, every time you just look at your jar of awesome, you’ll instantly feel better and brighter. 

3) Cut Up Some Strips Of Paper

Use whatever scrap or waste paper you have laying around instead of using new paper or sticky notes. Cut up strips of paper from old printouts, receipts or junk mail letters and envelopes.

You’ll be saving trees while banking all the goodness.

Having the strips cut up in advance makes this super easy. There’s no hunting around for something to use so you won’t forget to write something every day. 

4) Start Filling It Up With Awesomeness

Whenever something cool happens, grab one of the strips, write it down, fold it up and put it into your jar.

Remember, this can be any number of good or positive things.

Received a compliment on your work?

Did several micro exercises during the day?

Did a kick-ass presentation in a meeting?

Finished that hairy excel analysis?

Submitted the report on time?

They can all go in your jar of awesome.

Seeing your jar fill up is a happy boost in itself. It’s proof of the positive things that are always happening in your life.

Add a new strip of paper every time something cool happens. The more you do it, the more you can draw on the positive emotions it helps to create. Pretty soon, you’ll be finding a ton of stuff to add.

If you can, bank at least one positive thing every day.

If you can find more awesomeness than this, go ahead and fill it up more. Just get into the habit of doing it every time something good happens.

5) Review The Awesomeness Regularly

Filling up your jar of awesome is only part of the solution.

To get the complete benefits, you need to keep reviewing what you’re adding and let those positive thoughts and emotions come to the forefront.

So, this doesn’t mean that you should only access the jar when you’re in a funk or down. You can and should pull out some good vibes anytime.

In fact, make it an end of day ritual to help you close out and disconnect from work on an upbeat note. It’s a perfect analog way to unplug from the matrix.

A Simple Jar Of Awesome Is All It Takes

When life makes you miserable, you need to take every opportunity to cultivate little sources of happiness. And creating a jar of awesome is a simple but highly effective way to cancel out the negativity and boost positive vibes.

It’s a really cool mind hack that helps you to remember how awesome life can be, no matter how shitty things get.

It’s like this saying goes.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

Reading and remembering a few of the cool things you’ve noted every day makes you feel happy and motivated. This then gets you psyched up and excited which will help you get focused and get in the zone with work.

So, whenever life is beating you down and you need a boost, just open your jar of awesome and let it work its magic.

It’s your go-to mental happy pill.

Make one tonight and start using it tomorrow.

Feel Better,

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