The Happiness Project

Ask for Help: Want To Make a Short Video?

One of my surprisingly difficult happiness-project resolutions is to ask for help —and now I’m asking.

The Internet has changed a lot about publishing. There are many new ways to reach readers—and that means a lot of new tasks for writers. This can be daunting, at times, and I often remind myself of one of my most important happiness realizations: Novelty and challenge bring happiness .

One of the novel challenges facing me right now is the creation of a book trailer, which has been on my to-do list for, well, about 18 months. By a crazy lucky chance (or another instance of the uncannily true Zen saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”), my friend Maria Giacchino, of Little Jacket Video Productions, has just started making book trailers, and she’s done two great ones for two great books: for Abigail Pogrebin’s One and the Same and Deborah Copaken Kogan’s Hell Is Other Parents .

So now I’m working on my book trailer. In it, I’d love to include clips of readers talking about what happiness-project resolutions have worked in their own lives.

So I’m asking for your help.

If this is the kind of task that appeals to you (and for many of you, it won’t appeal one bit, I know, so read no further), and you’ve used a happiness-project resolution to happy result, please consider …

? shooting a quick video of yourself naming a resolution that has boosted your happiness, or some important realization you gained, from The Happiness Project. Remember, the entire trailer will be about one minute long, and we want to include many people, so say something very quick and soundbite-y. “The resolution to ‘Make your bed’ changed my life!” etc.

? posting the video to the Facebook Page so everyone can see it. In the middle of the page, you’ll see the “Wall” box that says, “What’s on your mind?” Below it are icons, one of which is a video camera. Click on that, and you’ll get a prompt to upload or record a video. I THINK. Facebook seems different for everyone who uses it, so I THINK this is what you’ll see. I THINK you should be able to do this without joining the Page, but if you don’t see a likely way to do this, join the Page and maybe that will help. (I promise, this is not meant to be a sneaky way of getting you to join the Page! Sorry about that!) There should also be a “Video” tab across the top; you can use that, too.

? if I end up taking a clip from your video, I’ll be in touch with you to get a permission form. And I’ll be ecstatically grateful.

Please do consider doing this! I would so appreciate it!

My happiness project has taught me “novelty and challenge bring happiness.” Following that precept prompted me to add another happiness-project resolution, “Enjoy the fun of failure.” I’m worried that no one will post a single video, and I’ll feel like a loser. That’s the problem with novelty and challenge—they often come with anxiety, frustration, and … feeling like a loser. So I remind myself, “This is fun! Enjoy the FUN of failure.” If no one posts, that’s okay.

Happiness doesn’t always make me feel happy. A mystery.

* I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days reading the blog To the Max —”Take that, cerebral palsy!” “This blog is about parenting, extreme honesty, chocolate ice-cream and life with my little boy, Max, who had a stroke at birth and kicks butts.” There was a great post yesterday: Is it wrong to make your child wear a Bed, Bath & Beyond shopping bag for Halloween?

* Gold star for people who shoot a video of themselves naming their favorite resolution!