Celebrate your small wins! The thinking behind Elevate
By taking the time to take visual notes of all the little things that make you happy it can help you stay positive when life is knocking you down.
Mental health is affecting more and more young people, with social media arguably a contributing factor. It’s incredibly common to assume that everyone else is living a perfect life compared to yours.
Our mission is to act as a preventative method to help people keep perspective and give them an easy way of looking back over their happy memories without the added pressure of sharing/likes.
A sweeping statement from a friend
The seed for Elevate happened a few years ago when a friend of mine made a passing comment that he’d lived in London for nearly 10 years and had absolutely nothing to show for it.
That statement really stuck with me. I was blown away at how easily he dismissed a decade of his life.
I’m an optimistic person and make a point of enjoying the little things in life. Some people rate everything in the world on the same scale of 1–10. Getting married or having kids is a 10 and everyday things are only a 1 or 2. A burger or a movie can’t possibly be a 10 when compared to having kids!
For me everything has it’s own scale. A burger can be a 1–10, a coffee can a 1–10. This enables me to get excited over the smallest most mundane things. So when my friend told me he had nothing to show for a decade of his life this logically didn’t sit well with me as I could remember hundreds of amazing things we’d done together in that time.
My 2015 — Some of my personal highlights
Jump forward a year or so and I decided to sit down and write up the top things that had happened to me in 2015. I’d seen other people do this and wondered what my year would look like if I took the time to really think about what I’d gotten up to. Turns out quite a lot!
I found the act of writing down the top things from 2015 incredibly therapeutic. There it was, in black and white, a list of incredible things I’d done. It really made me feel great to look back over it and relive those memories.
Jar of Awesome
I can’t remember where I first heard about Tim Ferriss’ concept of the ‘Jar of Awesome’ but I absolutely loved it!
In simple terms he notes down all the awesome things he does and sticks them in a jar. When he’s feeling down he sticks his hand in the jar and plucks out a random happy memory to remind himself of the good times he’s had.
Personal experience of mental health
A few people very close to me have suffered with severe mental health issues and I admit I’ve had some pretty low moments myself.
Mental health is such a difficult concept to deal with. If you’re the unfortunate person suffering from it it can be impossible to know what to do to help yourself. If you’re a friend/loved one/employer of someone suffering it can be equally as difficult to know what to do to help someone.
We recently held a hackathon at LETO dedicated to a member of the team who is suffering with mental health issues. We split up and had the opportunity to pitch ideas for products to try and help prevent or help improve someone’s mental health.
I decided to pitch my idea of an app version of Tim Ferriss’ Jar of Awesome.
I genuinely feel strongly that a simple visual journal of the small, easily overlooked moments of happiness, will help someone keep perspective when life gets too much.
My hackathon team consisted of Oleg (CTO) and James (web dev), and we quickly recruited Paulo (head of mobile) and Lorenzo (mobile dev) to help knock out v1 of the app. With the help of the Unsplash API we were able to launch with great photos already in the app. We are hoping to add the camera/camera roll to v2.
What we are not doing
By no means are we claiming to cure mental health. But I feel that our vision can really help with preventing someone dismissing their life as meaningless by helping them remember the small happy moments without the pressure of sharing on social media.
Removing social pressure — No sharing/likes
As part of the brainstorm for the hackathon we all agreed that there is a potential problem with assuming that mental health can be helped with a digital product.
This led us from the outset to remove any social sharing or social validation from the product. This is a personal space for you to remember your happy moments without worrying about being judged or craving validation from your friends.
My happy moments usually consist of any opportunity I get to see friends, a walk with my wife, some nice food, or even just watching a great movie.
So far we’ve had a tiny amount of people using the app but already we’re getting a lot of positive feedback. People who are usually hesitant to share their lives on Facebook or Instagram seem to love that they can create a nice looking visual memory and flick back through it easily.
Only time will tell if Elevate achieves its goal of lifting someone back up when they are feeling down, but I’m feeling positive!
Download the app
You can download Elevate from the app store now and we would love to hear your thoughts.
Does it encourage you to stop and think about the happy moments you might ordinarily skip over? If you’re having a tough time did it help you gain some perspective? Do you think it’s a rubbish idea as you just can’t turn your back on those likes? Please let us know.