100 Days Of Joy
Six years ago I asked myself, If I were to do something for 100 days what would it be?
It took less than a second to know the answer: lip sync.
Lip sync videos brought me immense joy. It was an adrenaline rush. Learning the words to the song, rehearsing, performing, and editing the video. All of it gave me an enormous amount of energy. It was one of those activities where you forget to eat and suddenly look at the time and can’t believe you’ve been doing this thing for hours.
But there was no way I would actually do it. There was no time for that. It was silly. There were more important things I *should* do.
But then I found myself thinking about it all the time. And creating a document of songs with time spans of the best parts of the song, and “practicing” for lip sync contests that only existed in my mind.
This went on for months until finally, one day, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I wanted to do it so badly. I had to do it. It was no longer an option. Once the decision was made and planning began, I was ecstatic. It was assuring to fee so confident that this 100 days of lip sync was exactly what I was meant to be doing.
I didn’t make any money doing 100 days of lip sync. It didn’t get me a job. It didn’t lead to any type of success. But it was one of the most fun and gratifying things I’d ever done. It was pure happiness.
As a kid, I constantly finagled my sisters and friends into making home videos with me. Seeing myself on the TV screen was thrilling, and to actually make a video worth watching made everything else in my life fade away. I was lost in creating.
There was a feeling of satisfaction from learning the words to a song and mimicking the exact way the singer sang it. My horrible singing voice coupled with my love of an audience made it feel like lip sync was made for me. And that feeling never went away.
So every day for 100 days, I spent up to six hours rehearsing, recording, and editing my lip sync performances. One friend commented, “You must have a lot of time on your hands.”
As if this thing I was doing was frivolous. As if it was a waste of time. As if it wasn’t important.
Ritesh Reddy observed that people incorrectly associate happiness with accomplishments and achievements:
“Accomplishments and achievements may serve as motivation to begin with, but they can quickly serve as death sentences for delight and enthusiasm.”
As adults we lose sight of the things that bring us joy because we’re too focused on success. But things that bring joy don’t need to have a metric attached to them. They are worth doing simply because they make you happy. Nothing is a waste of time that gives you energy.
In The Untethered Soul, Michael A. Singer explains that people have a phenomenal amount of energy inside of them:
“It doesn't come from food and it doesn't come from sleep. This energy is always available to you. At any moment you can draw upon it. It just wells up and fills you from inside. When you're filled with this energy, you feel like you could take on the world.”
Lip sync gives me so much energy I feel like I could take on the world. Every December, my husband and I send out a virtual Christmas lip sync card. That’s one time a year I do something that gives me so much pleasure, so much energy. So why not do it more often?
There are things we have to do as adults. We have to pay the bills. We have to take care of our kids. We have to brush our teeth.
But when we think about our goals and what success looks like, we overlook the simple joys. Those silly, extracurricular activities that give us so much energy are exactly what make us more motivated, more pleasurable, more alive.
When we prioritize joy we draw upon energy that fills us from the insides and emanates out to everyone and everything we come in contact with. And if we don’t prioritize joy, we fall into a repetitious trap of shoulds and expectations and worry.
So don’t settle for success and achievements. Become aware of your lip sync obsession and do whatever it takes to feel joy.