Happiness is a Click Away
May 24, 2012
Negative thoughts are a lot like Gremlins, the pesky little creatures from the popular ’80s movie. The more you feed them, the more they multiply.
It’s been said that you become what you think about most of the time. In the U.S., where one in 10 adults suffers from depression, it’s apparent that most Americans have a difficult time controlling the proverbial snowball of negative thoughts we can have.
Hilary Weeks, the popular faith-based singer and speaker, has felt firsthand the power that negative thoughts can have when you feed into them.
Weeks was told that most people have around 300 negative thoughts every day. Fascinated with the statistic, she started an experiment to find out if it was true. She purchased a small counter, or clicker, and counted her negative thoughts for one whole week. After a week of pausing to recognize each downer and disappointment with a click, she felt drained and low. She wondered if giving the same attention to positive thoughts could have the opposite effect. If we pause to recognize blessings, hope and everything good in our lives with a simple “click,” it could lead to that shared goal we all strive for: happiness.
Weeks has created a website inspired by this experience, billionclicks.org . It’s a movement that encourages people everywhere to “click” as a reward for their positive thoughts and actions. “Clickers” even log in to report their tallies in the hope that one day the site will reach one billion clicks — an idea that Weeks believes can change the world. So far, nearly half a million clicks have been reported from participants who believe in the motto, “Think. Click. Be.”
“By ‘Be’ we mean be successful, be determined, be dedicated, be better, be motivated and be your best self,” Weeks said. “Clicking is a tool for becoming who we are truly meant to be. Ideally clickers will learn to seek the positive and believe in who they are and what they can achieve.”
There may be skeptics who think something as simple as a hand-held counter couldn’t possibly make any significant difference, but research on depression has shown that consciously filtering out negative thoughts and recording gratitude can truly bring about change.
“Flossing our teeth is simple. Putting a fabric softener sheet in the dryer is simple. Flipping on a light switch is simple. There is nothing complicated or complex about any of those things, and yet they have a huge impact for good in our lives,” Weeks said. “We don’t refuse floss or dryer sheets just because they lack complexity. Clicking is simple, and that’s the beauty of it.”
The “click movement” is growing in popularity with frustrated mothers, teachers dealing with behavioral problems in the classroom, people struggling with their weight, and those who want an immediate reward that promises to start a chain reaction of positivity.
“A teenage young woman recently shared that she used clicking while she was getting ready for school in the morning to boost her self-esteem. One man was introduced to clicking just six days before he passed away from cancer. He clicked each ‘I love you.’ When he passed away, there were 32 clicks on his clicker,” Weeks said.
Hilary is the only Latter-Day Saint artist to debut in the top 10 of Billboard’s Christian Album list with her eighth album, “Every Step.” She’s also a popular speaker at “Time Out For Women,” a motivational conference for women sponsored by Deseret Book. With so much on her plate, Weeks acknowledges that her positive approach aides in her success.
“Being positive and grateful certainly doesn’t hurt,” Weeks explained. “And on the days when I am tempted to doubt myself and my goals, I know what will help. I pull out my clicker and start filling my mind with thoughts that will get me to where I want to be.”
“Every click is a little more good added to the world — and clearly, the world needs it. Every effort, action and movement that inspires goodness is reason to celebrate.”