I’ll admit, I’m late on this. I never placed great value on telling a person Happy Birthday. My thinking has been along the lines of … “Every day is special. Let’s celebrate all the days.”
I still agree with that, but I’ve come around to understand the extra magic that surrounds celebrating birthdays.
Besides, “Happy birthday” is a positive affirmation and today is my actual birthday.
So for a limited time, I’m accepting gifts. 😁😂
Here are a few suggestions for great gifts:
- Merch – $$-$$$ – you get something fly that reminds you to be your true self and it helps me to keep making great content that you love
- Follow me on my social accounts (links in the footer) – FREE – you will get positivity reminders throughout the day
- Donate – $-$$$$$ – you’ll feel all tingly inside and you’ll be helping me to extend this message of love to more people that need it
- Share your favorite song/post of mine – FREE – you’ll be directly enriching the lives of those that see your shares
- Do all of the above – PRICELESS – you’ll be recognized as an awesome person that loves life and the people in it
Before a couple of years ago, I never really bothered telling people other than close friends and family “Happy birthday!” I always thought that they are already getting bombarded with text messages and phone calls that they don’t need another.
Well, I was wrong. I noticed two birthdays ago that every time a person said it to me, I felt good inside. It was weird. I even questioned this as I do all things. Why does this make me feel good and loved? The only answer I received from within was, “Don’t question it; just accept it.” Accept it I did.
From then on, I decided to tell everyone I knew Happy Birthday on his or her actual birthday. It’s a simple gesture that has a chance of adding joy to one’s day.
However, this wasn’t as easy as it seemed … at first.
I didn’t really know people’s birthdays. 🤷🏽♂️ And since my birthday is so easy to remember considering that it falls on Christmas Eve, I used it as an excuse to not remember others’ birthdays like…”How dare they not have an easy-to-remember birthday?” Trust me, I know how this sounds. 😂
Finding the birthdays
I used a few tools to make this process easier: Facebook, an app called hip, and Google. On Facebook, I have my notifications turned off. There are just too many and it’s easier for me to go on at free intervals and interact. So I’m not sure if Facebook notifies you of birthdays or not.
I started with my close friends whose birthdays I didn’t know. The easier way would be to just ask them but remember, I’m supposed to have already known this because they are my close friends. So I would look at their Facebook profile.
Then there are those friends that have hidden their birthday on Facebook. If that’s you, undo it. You’re missing out on hundreds of great messages on your day.
For these friends, I had to get help from good ol’ Google.
I live in TX and in TX your info is everywhere for free. I can type “Jelani Clay birthday” and a few sites would pop up claiming to know my information. The other information isn’t always true, but my birthday is.
I’m not really worried about my information being used maliciously, because I believe everything happens for our highest good. Plus if I really wanted to, I could opt out of all of these sites.
Anyway, I can usually find most friends’ birthdays via this method.
There were still a few friends that have managed to keep their birthdays hidden publicly everywhere. For that, I would contact a mutual friend and say something like, “Hey, when is Person’s birthday again. I always forget to wish him/her a happy birthday, but they always wish me one. I wanna be ready this year.”
Just make sure that the person you ask is a person that you’ve already been telling Happy Birthday to. If not, that could be awkwardddd.
After I found their birthdays, I saved them to the hip app. This app lets you get birthday reminders the day of or days before. You can customize per contact/group and be notified of anniversaries as well.
The Birthday Experiment
With an app full of birthdays, I was ready to proceed with my experiment. The experiment was to see the effects of telling everyone I know Happy Birthday for a year.
The first thing I did was set a phone notification to pop up at 7 am that says, “Tell friends Happy Birthday.” I also have the hip notifications pop up at 7 am.
For friends I have more of a relationship with, I will either call or text to wish them a happy birthday.
For those that I may not know too well yet, I’ll go to the birthday tab on Facebook and wish them one as well.
Pro tip: This is a great way to clean out your Facebook friends. If I go to a person’s page where they haven’t posted in over two years and I don’t remember who they are, I’ll just unfriend. If they haven’t been on there in over 2 years, chances are they won’t see your birthday message.
I’ve done this for a full year now. I’ve only missed a couple of days, in which case I’ll just say, “Happy belated birthday!”
The Birthday Results
I see why so many businesses will tell you Happy Birthday.
This experiment has led to renewed relationships, me feeling connected to each person, and overall gratitude.
I will definitely continue doing this.
Because you aren’t asking for anything, it seems weird to receive gratitude by telling someone else happy birthday. Yet, the feeling is there.
This serves as another example of how giving and receiving are one, and brings new meaning to being “selfish”. 😁 By wanting to receive joy for yourself, you can give joy to all and ensure it.
Give the freest, simplest, easiest gift you can give to your loved ones. Tell them Happy Birthday.
P.S. Don’t forget, I’m accepting gifts! 👍🏽🎁🎄📦