Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Happiness Project: Getting Started

For those of you who missed my last post, I have the honor of being part of a blog book club, being hosted by Elizabeth @ Musing Experiences. You should check it out too:

Please copy and paste it on your blog!
Happy Reading!
The day after finding this exciting blogging book club, I downloaded, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin on ibooks using my iphone. I read through the first section, Getting Started, in no time flat. From the opening, A Note to the Reader, I was hooked. Rubin's book The Happiness Project, explains to readers her definition of a happiness project is "identifying what brings you joy, satisfaction and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom and remorse," (pg.7). Rubin then explains that you must take this information and make resolutions with concrete actions to boost your happiness. Rubin's book goes in depth about her own happiness project in hopes that others can learn from her journey. I enjoyed Rubin's openess and honesty, I felt as if she was speaking directly to me, as if we were friends sharing a cup of coffee. Rubin shares with readers her twelve commandments for Happiness:
1. Be Gretchen
2. Let it go
3. Act the way I want to feel
4. Do It now
5.Be polite and be fair.
6. Enjoy the process
7. Spend out.
8. Identify the problem
9. Lighten up
10. Do what ought to be done
11. No calculation
12. There is only love
Rubin also came up with a more comical list, the Secrets of 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 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 on their registry.
You can't profoundly change your children's natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes.
No deposit no return.
(Pg. 46 - 50)
While Rubin's list of twelve commandments seems very broad, and slightly overwhelming for someone like me, who is seriously considering coming up with their own happiness project, she explains that she will be breaking down her resolutions into smaller pieces each month in order to accomplish her more broad commandments.
Rubin explains that she wants to "change her life without changing her life" (pg. 52). Rubin also explains that "contemporary research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likeable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier and healthier. Happy people make better friends, colleagues and citizens," (pg. 59) sounds like someone I would like to become, how about you?

I can't wait to dive into chapter one of Rubin's book, check back for updates.

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