What are you planning to do on 20 March? How about taking The Action for Happiness Pledge by saying aloud, “I will try to create more happiness in the world around me,” and then doing something to make good on your promise that’s related to your love of running?
Start the ball rolling by visiting the International Day of Happiness and make your presence known to the world. While you’re there, glimpse the map that shows the number of nations taking part in this exciting movement! You’ll be monumentally impressed.
We’d like to help you make 20 March just the start of your lifelong journey to promote running as a way to spread joy throughout your corner of the world. The following suggestions can get you started and they’re sure to trigger your own clever ideas, so what are you waiting for?
Help a new runner become an active member of the Singapore running community and you’ll both be happier. Sometimes, a mentor can make a difference between sticking with a regular running programme and abandoning the sport entirely because it’s not always fun to run alone.
Take your volunteering efforts to the next level by signing up to help marathon sponsors and organizations with myriad tasks and responsibilities involved with staging a race. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wearing a perpetual smile on your face.
Give away the shoes and the garments you no longer wear to run, train and exercise to others, just as long as they’re clean and still in good shape.
There are plenty of Singapore charities and organizations happy to give your outfits a new home and when you clean out your closet, you’ll have the happiest face of all when you treat yourself to a shopping spree to replace your togs with the latest styles. Visit the Tiny Buddha blog for more ideas to perpetuate your personal happiness-spreading mission.
Become a spokesperson
Represent the Singapore running community to share the joy you experience every time you compete in an event, run with your club and socialize with the friends you’ve made as a direct result of becoming involved with your favourite sport.
To whom should you direct your efforts? Schools, jails and businesses, for starters. One particularly awesome avenue to pursue is speaking to people suffering from depression because not everyone understands that one of the best ways to fight this debilitating form of mental illness is simply to get out and run on a regular basis.
Spread some kindness
But don’t let recipients know that you’re the person who is responsible for your acts! Look around. You’ll find many opportunities to uplift the spirits of fellow runners. Hand over a flower to one or more strangers you meet while out for a training run.
Buy two sports drinks instead of one and hand the second to a fellow runner so the two of you can toast a happier world. Leave a greeting card on someone’s gym locker, telling them how much they light up your life.
Here’s an idea that may be foreign to you, but if your ego can take the hit, do it: Let someone else cross the marathon finish line first so they get all of the glory.
Put your money where your running shoes are
Contributing to causes and supporting people who aren’t as fortunate as you happen to be. Help a friend pay a race entry fee if they haven’t enough cash to do so.
Have more than 2 pairs of running shoes? Retire your running shoes that are still in good condition of course, to Project Love Sneaker, a shoe-donation drive organised by Running Lab held from 1 to 30 April 2016. All shoes collected will be donated to people with disabilities and disadvantaged youths from various charities supported by Community Chest.
Prepare a dish for a mom in your running club so she doesn’t have to go home after a long day of work and get dinner on the table for her family. Offer yourself as a babysitter next time you’re free and a family you know needs help.
Walk a friend’s dog when she has no time left in her crazy schedule to take Fido on a proper outing.
Join Singapore’s Morning Greeters movement
It costs nothing, spreads good will and has become something of a benchmark for Singaporean runners who understand how gratifying it can feel to do nothing more taxing than greet perfect strangers one passes when jogging along our beautiful trails!
This countrywide movement has gained lots of momentum, but you’re welcome to join in and see how many smiles you can trigger as you pursue your own fitness routine every day.
Affiliate with Running Hour Co-operative
A running club that’s so inclusive, it matters not what sort of ailment, condition or situation a Singaporean may experience, there’s always a place in this community for people from all walks of life.
Running Hour Cooperative welcomes those with special needs; who are mildly intellectually, physically and visually challenged. Here, running is a common denominator that brings everyone together regardless of their condition.
As a trained running guide, you’re the one who gets the most number of gifts when you introduce running to people who would otherwise never experience the joy of your favourite form of physical fitness.
A strange suggestion to make in light of the fact that competing is often your primary focus? But, we’re not talking about running here; we’re referring to the way you live your life.
How often do you find yourself competing with contemporaries by buying a better car, more expensive running shoes, the latest running technology or gadgets — not because you need them but because you’ve got it into your head that conspicuous consumption equals true happiness?
In fact, life is at its most beautiful when one practices the Zen of happiness, allowing other people to naturally flow around you like water around a rock. Compete on your own merits and you won’t have to strive for success because it will come to you all on your own.
In honour of the annual Day of Happiness, what sort of initiative can you come up with to make your own unique contribution to this uplifting movement and day?