Happiness: Profound lessons from a Paperclip

Paperclip 3Idle hands are the Devil’s playground. When I am on a teleconference, my hands are idle because my mouth is doing the work. I guess that teleconferences are Devil time. I’m not sure what my Pastor would say about that, or my Mother.

A few weeks ago, I participated in a  teleconference. I the opportunity to let my mind wander.

Paperclips are profound. They are more than metal curvy shapes that keep paper together. If you want to be happier, look no further than your paperclip.

Happiness tips I learned from my Paperclips

Its strength is in its curves. Without curves, the paperclip would be a stick man. The curves give it strength to hold on. Same thing for you and I. None of us have the same shape or the same curves. Our curves are what make us real. Without our curves, we would be human photocopies. Our curves come from our struggles, our unique ideas and our honest stories. Our curves build into you and I the strength to hold on, the fight needed to be who we are.

Paperclip 1The staple also has a set of curves, but it’s  curves end with a claw. Watch out for the person whose curves end in a claw. If your curves end with a claw, you might want to think about that. Being stapled is not very fun. Paperclip relationships allow for forgiveness and growth. On the other hand, claws tend to take the fun out of things.

It shows its value by making connections. The paperclip is resilient because it connects ideas together. When it is forced to let go of old ideas, it makes new connections. I want to be more like that: wide open to new experiences. Too often I face change thinking more like a staple than a paperclip: the claws come out and I hang on for dear life. After years of getting torn up and bent out of shape, I am ready to live with a little less claws and a little more curves.

It doesn’t need abs to be strong. New experiences and struggle are like a gym for our brains. If we have too much routine and we don’t struggle very much, our brains get hard. Funny thing about brains is that a flabby brain is good, that means it is flexible and changes well. Rock hard abs are good, but a rock hard brain is a stubborn and hard to change.

Paperclip 4It doesn’t need a selfie every time it does something. We have 1000’s of paperclips in our offices and each one has a purpose: to be shared rather than hoarded. Like a paperclip, the more we share, the easier it is to find our purpose. Having 1000’s of ideas in a drawer are about as valuable as having 1000’s of paperclips. Sharing our ideas and our art is what makes you and I valuable.

It is more of a hugger than a fighter. The staple is used once and then ends up being thrown away, or stuck helplessly in the carpet, licking shoes for fun. Paperclips last longer because they are huggers rather than fighters. Why waste all of your energy pushing people away? It might just do you some good. (I’m talking to myself again).

Paperclip 6Sometimes it just needs to be a badass. The paperclip creates order and structure. But sometimes everyone needs to let loose. Where do you go when you need to pick a lock? Look no further than your paperclip. Want to experiment with insane colours or shapes, it’s got that too. Maybe you have multiple identities, like the paperclip? By day you keep things together and make things happen. What about at night? Maybe it’s time to pick some locks and have a few hopeless flings with bright colours and fancy shapes.

I am on a quest to become more Paperclip than a staple, to celebrate my curves rather than use my claws. I am issuing a call for other Paperclip people out there. If you like this, please share. Paperclippers need a tribe!


Keep it real

If you like what you read in my blog, please leave a comment or like this post. To receive automatic updates, sign up below. Don’t be selfish; share this with your friends. Remember the great saying: “He who laughs, is still alive.” Share this and you may just keep your friends alive one more day.

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