Hilary Weeks is an LDS singer-songwriter who was named to Forbes’ “40 Women to Watch Over 40” list in July. While Weeks is known among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for her award-winning albums, she didn’t make the list for her musical accolades but rather for her advocacy of positive thinking.
“We get to choose the way we think, so choose carefully and choose positive,” Weeks said in an interview with the Deseret News. “When you do it, it changes your life. It doesn’t necessarily change your circumstances, but it changes the way you view and the way you handle your circumstances. Happiness is an option to us. We can focus on it. We can train ourselves to live that way.”
Weeks speaks from experience. Positivity has not always come naturally to her, but she has continually sought it. Four years ago, as part of her pursuit, she found herself reading many books about how to be positive. She noticed that while much has been written about the benefits of positivity, there was a need for a tool to help individuals develop this quality in themselves.
After hearing someone say that the average person thinks 300 negative thoughts daily, Weeks began an experiment. She got a simple handheld tally counter and clicked every time she recognized herself having a negative thought. After one week of this practice, Weeks said she felt “completely depressed and discouraged.” She decided that her experiment needed to be altered, and when she instead clicked for every positive thought, she became motivated to share the power of positive thinking with others.
She has since spoken about and challenged others to join her in “clicking” for the last four years. She even created a website, billionclicks.org, where people can log their positive-thinking clicks.
“It was life-changing for me, and it has been for lots and lots of other people," Weeks said. "We set up this website online for clicking with a goal in mind of reaching a billion clicks. That represents a billion positive thoughts, which we believe can change lives, homes and communities.”
While people from around the world have logged over 4.7 million positive thoughts since the site launched in 2012, Weeks recognizes that carrying around a clicker can be inconvenient. To address this potential problem, Weeks launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to develop an app to help people track their clicks. The app will be available for 99 cents on iTunes and will allow users to set goals, progress through levels and earn badges. The app will also provide a daily quote to encourage positivity.
The Kickstarter campaign was launched on Tuesday, Nov. 4, with a goal of collecting $12,000, and at the time of publication it had collected nearly $8,500, 71 percent of its goal, with seven days remaining before its deadline. When contributors donate $3 or more, they receive a free download of a song Hilary recently wrote and recorded titled “June in December.”
“The concept of the song is that we all have times when it feels like December,” Weeks explained. “It feels hard. It feels overwhelming, and at times we wonder if we’re ever going to make it through, and it is in those moments that heaven opens up and sends a little bit of June, just to get us through, just to remind us that we’re loved.”
Weeks feels strongly about the concept of "clicking" not only because she has felt its impact in her life but also because she has heard of its impact on others. For example, she was recently told of a boy with a terminal illness who after trying “clicking” decided to give a clicker to his friend who has the same illness.
“He felt the change in his life and (saw) what a difference it made,” Weeks said. “He has this illness that will never go away, but he wanted his mindset to be right while he was experiencing it.”
Weeks, a mother of four daughters between the ages of 20 and 10, knows her music has given her the ability to share this powerful message. That opportunity is something she values, and it carries with it a responsibility that she takes seriously.
“I feel like anyone who has a voice needs to decide what their message is and decide if it is worth listening to, and in my case, I don’t want to share something that doesn’t have value or isn’t going to make someone’s life better," Weeks said. "That’s why I’m passionate about the concept of clicking, telling people about it and allowing them to try it for themselves and to experience what it’s like to flood their minds with positivity.”
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