This time of year it seems everyone has a list they keep their eye on. For some of us, that list may seem like a magical way to declutter the house, make us more productive at work, or more fit and trim.
The funny thing is that making those lists — I mean the actual sitting down and composing it — can be good for your mental health. As neuroscientist Walter Kintsch explained in the late 1960s, it’s much easier for our brains to process information in nice, digestible bites than bulky paragraphs crammed with words.
Plus, the really big deal about lists is they make us accountable for avoiding the little things that are unpleasant but will make a huge difference in our lives. This is particularly effective if we add dreaded — but necessary — deadlines for working through the steps of achieving our goals.
That all being said, sometimes we just need a Top 10 list that inspires us and, honestly, makes us happy when we need it most. This is that list. Enjoy!
10. Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Almost 300 years ago, a 20-year-old Ben Franklin created a system to develop his character. Like any young man, he’s super serious, but we do love this one: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
8. Rollingstone’s 500 greatest albums of all time: No surprise that The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is No. 1. Listening to just one of these albums a day would take you into 2018, but that actually sounds pretty awesome. If you went backward on the list, you’d make it to Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” around the new year. We’d forgive you if you went ahead and listened to it right now 🙂
7. The American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Films of All Time: “Star Wars” comes in at No. 13!? That aside, imagine what your Netflix queue would look like if you filled it with the available movies on this list. By the way, “The Philadelphia Story” isn’t available on Netflix, but find a way to watch it and you can thank us later.
6. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Some of these are no-brainers, but I’m fond of No.7: “Have a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.” By the way, that’s really, really hard to do but worth being mindful of every day.
5. Guinness World Records: No, you don’t need to know how big the largest bubblegum bubble blown was, but it does make you happy and that’s really all you can ever want from a bonkers list like this.
3. “The Bucket List”: Remember that Jack Nicholson flick, yeah, it was a tearjerker, but you’ve got to love a list that contains “Laugh until I cry,” and one we should definitely all aspire to accomplish: “Witness something truly majestic.”
1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Our CEO Mike Brose often cites this list because it says so much about why we must help people impacted by mental illness and homelessness:
- Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
- Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
- Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
- Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.
- Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.