Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happiness...dissected.


“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”


-Colette


Every time I look at this picture, I feel so...H-A-P-P-Y. Yes, I know...I'm totally biased, but my little man was just so stink'in cute in his teeny-tiny bear costume. It was his very first Halloween and I remember it being freezing cold that night. We thought it was so funny that he slept through our entire "trunk-or-treating" event at church. He was only 2 months old. And, the hubby and I were brand spank'in new parents. I remember distinctly feeling during this time of my life the happiest I had felt in years.

Which leads me to this...I've been thinking a lot about Happiness here lately and what it means to me. Overall, I really am a happy person and am so thankful for all that I have been blessed with. Yet, sometimes I worry that I take my happy moments for granted. We live in such a fast paced world. There are so many distractions. Admittedly, sometimes I feel like Martha...

"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42

I am committed to working harder at reminding myself to not overlook all the simple things in my life that bring me the greatest and purest happiness. I have learned {through my own life experiences} that Happiness truly is a state of mind. We can all have it. We can all enjoy it. But you and I have to seek it and savor it. every. single. day!

So on that note, I have been asking myself lately, "how can I be happier?" better yet, "how can I discipline myself to feel grateful for my ordinary days?"

While strolling through Barnes & Noble not long ago, I came across this book. I thumbed through it and walked out with it as my purchase of the day, well actually, it and my tall Starbucks Hot Chocolate...yum...yum. I know, I'm a big weirdo...I drink hot chocolate in the middle of the summer-- it's only 110+ degrees outside. But, alas...that is the whole point of this post, it is one of the simple joys that makes me happy. So I do it anyway and savor it.

So back to my new little book. I have just started diving into it with my handy-dandy highlighter and sticky notes in hand and while I find it a bit diagnostic in some chapters and tad bit more scientific than I would like, Gretchen Rubin candidly discusses the topic and facets of Happiness and why she embarked on her year long Happiness project. Much of what she shares has inspired me to take a closer look at my own life and ask myself , "Am I really as happy as I can be?"

I still have much to read, but I thought I would share this with you . In devising her year long "Happiness Project", Gretchen came up with "Twelve Commandments" {each of which are discussed in detail in their own chapters of her book}....


Be Gretchen.
Let it go.
Act the way I want to feel.
Do it now.
Be polite and be fair.
Enjoy the process.
Spend out.
Identify the problem.
Lighten up.
Do what ought to be done.
No calculation.
There is only love.


She then put pen to paper and created what she calls "Secrets to Adulthood"...


People don't notice your mistakes as much as you think...
It's okay to ask for help...
Most decisions don't require extensive research...
Do good, feel good...
It's important to be nice to everyone...
Bring a sweater...
By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished...
Soap and water remove most stains...
Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch...
If you can't find something, clean up...
You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do...
Happiness doesn't always make you feel happy...
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while...
You don't have to be good at everything...
If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough...
Over-the-counter medicines are very effective...
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good...
What's fun for other people may not be fun for you--and vice versa...
People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry...
You can't profoundly change your children's natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes...
No deposit, no return.


While I don't necessarily subscribe to all the things on Gretchen's lists, the approach she has taken in this self-evaluation project sure has me thinking and pondering some things...




"Whoever is happy will make others happy, too."
-Mark Twain.



Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. this is one of the things on my birthday list ... of things to do before my next birthday...do my own happiness project. i actually didn't know there was a book until after i made that goal and then stumbled across that book you bought. thanks for "breaking it down" for me! i've been meaning to pick it up to get going on that goal. knowing you have it just motivated me to do that this weekend! :)

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