You can prevent sadness from consuming you with radical honesty
Yes, this story is about how to use the advice from the world-famous song My Favorite Things by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers as a lifehack to save yourself from spiraling into despair. But I’m gonna teach you the right way to use it, and it’s not by thinking about stupid fucking tinsel.
When you should use this lifehack
“Everything comes in useful once in a hundred years.”
― Katherine Paterson
There are times when you need to embrace your sadness with a bear hug, fall to the floor, and let your tears fly like the human sprinkler you are.
There are also times when the sadness becomes unbearable and you need to reach out for help because “no man is an island.”
And still, there are other times when you’re having big strong hulking feelings that risk sabotaging your productivity and happiness if you don’t break the chain of your self-destructive thought cycle. This is about those times.
As the song so eloquently states:
“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad”
That’s when you use the My Favorite Things hack: when some minor thing, either known or unknown, agitates your mood. For example, if you get cut off in traffic it might help. If you become roadkill, however, it’s probably not very helpful at all.
You need to make a list of your favorite things
“Lists are how I parse and manage the world.”
— Adam Savage
How many things should be on your list?
I’ve decided on a list of five things because five is a good, popular, and proven number. For example, every person on Earth has heard of the five-second rule. Whether you’re talking about Mel Robbins’ productivity hack or you’re talking about eating food off of the floor like it didn’t just pick up an assload of shit particles, people have heard of it.
Also, a list of five things is fairly easy to remember without being a World Memory Champion. After all, the song does say:
“I simply remember”
It doesn’t say “I agonizingly scrape the far reaches of my brain with a toilet brush in a desperate bid to recall my 39th favorite thing.”
Also, whenever the song says “These are a few of my favorite things,” they’ve listed anywhere from 3 to 6 things. So 5 is perfect.
What things should be on your list?
“my favorite things”
Let’s talk about that, shall we?
You only get to have 5 things on your list, so they need to be your absolute favorite, favorite things. You need them to really pull you out of a funk, ya know?
That’s gonna require some radical honesty. What’s that, you ask? Radical honesty is defined as the practice of always being completely honest and refraining from telling even white lies. White lies are the lies you tell to be polite or to avoid hurting someone's feelings. There’s no room for any of that bullshit here!
So don’t tell me your absolute favorite thing is “whiskers on kittens” when blowjobs clearly still exist.
An example of a good ”My Favorite Things” list
My list might go something like this:
- A blowjob where they swallow
- Saying I told you so
- Whenever conservatives get fucking owned
- Taking a shit that does not need a wipe
- Billionaires guillotined all through the night
I can even sing my list to the tune of the song! You get bonus multipliers on your joy when you do that.
Putting your list into practice
“Action is the antidote to despair.”
— Joan Baez
Will any of this work? Will recalling your 5 most favorite things snap you out of a negative thought cycle and save your productivity and happiness for the day? Who knows. I’m not an expert I’m a fucking funny guy artist. I’m a clown. Look at these huge red shoes!
If you really wanna find out if it works for you, then you’ve gotta put it into action and try it out. Just follow these steps:
- Think radical honesty — no lying to yourself or caring what others think
- Pick 3 to 6 of your truly most favorite things
- Memorize your list so you can be ready in the moment
- When you feel like you’re spiraling downward, recite, or sing, the list of your most favorite things to yourself — you don’t have to tell anyone else what they are
And that, my distinguished readers, is the right way to use the “My Favorite Things” hack.
Now one last time, sing it with me:
“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”