The Epitome of a Happy Human

My favorite Happy Human.  My wife.  

Julie is the most kind, beautiful, selfless woman I have ever known. Ok, second to my mom.  She’ll kill me for posting pictures of just her, but if I'm going to do a series on Happy Humans, you, Julie are the model of that!

I have debated on whether I should feature family as Happy Humans for weeks now.  Truth be told, the quote by Jim Rohn "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." kept popping up as I contemplated the people I'd feature.  I think it's important to show that here.  Show not only people I encounter through random events or commissioned assignments, but those I interact with on a daily basis.

To touch on that fact that those whom you are close to, really close to, have an affect on us, positive or negative, I think is very relevant to the essence Happy Humans project.  So, every once in a while you'll see people I am either related to or very close to.  Welcome to my inner circle of Happy Humans. :)

"Happy Humans just happen to possess the ability to see the positives in life, not to dwell on the negative."

In my case the one person I'm the closest to and spend the most time with is such a shining positive light, she should have been at the absolute start of Happy Humans Project. The figurehead if you will ;) 

Julie is my rock, my confidant, my motivation, my constant companion.  Her smile is contagious. Her spirit is positive and uplifting, even in the most difficult situation, she always gravitates toward the positive, a solution to a tough situation, or a bright side to an otherwise dreary moment.  She pushes me to be a MUCH better person than I would be without her.  I am so blessed.  So very lucky that someone sees the real me, helps push me to focus on my strengths, helps me to recognize the traits that I possess that need to be trimmed away to be a more happy person.  

" an imperfect world, these people recognize it, embrace it and choose to be happy despite the imperfections..."

Julie smiles while in Bratislava, Slovakia...riding in the back of a communist era van with no A/C or shocks.  :D #HappyHuman moment

Julie smiles while in Bratislava, Slovakia...riding in the back of a communist era van with no A/C or shocks.  :D #HappyHuman moment

No one is perfect, every one of the Happy Humans I feature here don't have the perfect "Norman Rockwell" life.  The Happy Humans project is not done to feature perfect people and make you wish you had their life.  

Happy Humans just happen to possess the ability to see the positives in life, not to dwell on the negative.  The thing that I've learned over the past 6-7 months of collecting stories is that in an imperfect world, these people recognize it, embrace it and choose to be happy despite the imperfections...despite the dark moments...despite the world telling them that they are owed more.  


Julie, you amaze me every day.  

Thank you for being you.  

Thank God that I get to share this life with you.

Don't worry, be a Happy Human!

I try to refrain from politics at all costs. So I won’t.

In fact I’m so sick of hearing about it on social media that I made a post asking people instead to save it for the ballot box.

Quick summary...

"Oh boy. Can't wait to see my newsfeed fill up with political commentary about the debate. NOT.
Save it for the ballot box friends. We all have our own opinions...but that doesn't mean we need to burden each other with our bellyaching about the political scandal of the moment. I DARE YOU TO POST SOMETHING POSITIVE AND UPLIFTING INSTEAD OF A POLITICAL RANT."

I was taken aback by the almost immediate response it received. It wasn’t just me that preferred to stay positive…quite a few people agreed, liked it and commented.  Several others shared it or posted something likewise on their feed.  It was good to see that I wasn't the only one feeling this way.

Unfortunately the news media, internet, radio, tv and yes…even social media seem to always err to promoting discontent and division. I am amazed with all of the positive stuff going on in the world, that all of these outlets are populated with confrontational, political messages that are overall, very negative in tone.

It's common knowledge that controversy sells and these outlets are taking advantage of human propensity to gravitate to it. They figure you’re more likely spend time listening, watching or reading things that are disturbing, things that engage arguments or spark debate amongst people.  Other's commenting and debating back and forth will keep you coming back every 30 minutes to see what someone has to say now, whether they've agreed with you or just slammed you into oblivion.  All of this leads to increased advertising opportunities and loads money to be made from said ad placements.  It used to be, if you didn't want to deal with all the politics, you would just turn your TV off.  Well in today's day and age, it's everywhere and so are we.  Radio, TV, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Ello, BlowFish, Snarky, MySpace (No one uses MySpace anymore do they?) and all the other intrawebs thingamabobs!  So much information (or misinformation and sometimes just worthless and inflammatory garbage) is flowing around and now EVERYONE HAS A PLATFORM to talk about it or debate it.

Maybe I’m wrong…I’m no market analyst...but it has an effect, it's addictive and it's bringing all of us DOWN WITH IT!

Do me a favor though...Call it an experiment, call it goofy, call it what you want:

  • Scroll past the political posts that divide or cause you to become angry towards one side or the other.
  • Remove items from your feed that spark hatred or bring out the worst in you. You don't have to unfriend people, just click the hide button to ween down the negativity a notch.
  • Avoid the temptation to blame, point out the bad, tell people how wrong they are.  Hold your thoughts, you'll thank me two days from now.  Trump and Hillary didn't listen to me...they'd both be angels if they did. ;) 
  • Don't press “like” on something that brings angst to the world.
  • Instead…post something positive…anything Pumpkin Spice seems to go over well.  Except the Pumpkin Spice Toilet Paper, nobody needs that!!
  • Share something that brings people together.
  • Follow and like people who are posting positive things.

Tony Pabst, a fellow Crossfitter I met a while back, has started posting “People of the Day” to his social media feed. He talks to their personalities and qualities that have drawn him to them.  What makes them "good humans". I would bet that not all of them agree with his political, religious or other stances. I guarantee this exercise he's doing has changed his outlook, done positive things for his psyche and made him a "happier human".

To this point, I’m going to try and do the same in the coming months. I will make it a priority to be positive, post uplifting things, comment positively on posts that deserve it, remove or ignore posts that incite poor human behavior in myself.

If you see me doing otherwise, call me out, nicely of course…but remind me…I will likely need it at some point.

With that, I leave you with a quick post about a #HappyHuman.  

Chris Lemmel.  

I've had the opportunity to get to know Chris as I have spent the last three months re-entering the Crossfit world.  He is someone I see as not only a coach, but also a mentor and friend.  He embodies what being a Happy Human is all about.  Is his life perfect? I don't know. He is human, so I'm sure it's not.  

That said, a few things that I noticed almost immediately after meeting him:

  • He's positive. Even at 5:30am....or so I hear, I don't Crossfit that early, so I'll trust my gym mates ;)
  • He praises people and somehow has a knack for helping you become a little better human than you were before.  It may not sink in right away, but he throws out little nuggets that help you put things in perspective.
  • I don't think I've ever heard him complain...not once.  Well...does fantasy football count? :D
  • Even after a recent personal loss of a loved one.  He was stoic, calm and kept things in perspective.
  • He's about to be married in 10 days, so maybe that's got something to do with his positivity and happiness. He is clearly "marrying up"  ;)  Sorry Chris, I had to give you a little jab after saying so much mushy stuff.  

Cincinnati Human Relations Commission - Ali

A photo from my shoot with Cincinnati's CHRC a couple weeks ago. We captured location / environmental portraits as well as head shots. This one just stuck with me ever since the shoot. May be the Fujifilm X camera I used, but more likely his personality and how it comes through in this shot.

This is Ali, one of the amazing individuals making a difference in Cincinnati as a Community Outreach Advocate. 

Check out the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission and what they are doing for our community here...

Cincinnati & Fujifilm X Photographer - Rick Lohre