Book No. 7 – The Happiness Project

7 Sep

If you read my last blog about the experiences I’ve had this past year then you will understand why I chose to read this book: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. (if you didn’t read my last blog then read it before continuing) This book is a story about a woman, who was not depressed or poor or really even struggling in any way, but about a woman who realizes she was taking life for granted and that needed to change. She focuses on becoming a happier person in the hopes that it will not only improve her life but the lives of those around her. She talks about marriage, children, friendship, work, money, leisure and a couple other things. She comes up with 12 commandments that she wants to live by for the year to improve her happiness. I think everybody could benefit from reading this book because even if you are a happy person, you probably are not as happy as you COULD BE. I want to share some of the main lessons I took from this book.

Ask yourself, “What do I want from life?”

My answer (and i’m sure many of yours) “I want to be happy.”

But what does being happy really mean? What many people don’t realize is that being happy really does take work and a lot of effort.

It is easy to be dark, hard to be light.

Most of us think life is SO hard right now, but in 20 years we are going to think… “How happy I used to be THEN, if only I had realized it.” We don’t appreciate the NOW. More often than not, we complain about the most trivial and petty things. Things that don’t even matter. At all. For instance, me letting a friend borrow something and them returning it broken. Why get so upset about this? It’s not life or death. It’s not significant. Let it go. Or failing a class, or losing a 20 dollar bill, yes disappointing and irritating, but how will getting angry fix the problem? It won’t. Or for those of you who constantly complain about things, how is  your complaining helping anything? All it is doing is making you a nuisance to those around you, making everyone, including yourself UNhappy. The point is, by eliminating these things or even just trying to reduce them, your life and the lives of those surrounding you will greatly benefit from it. When you are happy, the people surrounding you will be happier, too.

The main things to improve your happiness:

GO TO SLEEP EARLIER

EXERCISE BETTER

KEEP YOUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT ORGANIZED AND FREE FROM CLUTTER

TACKLE A NAGGING TASK

ACT MORE ENERGETIC

REMEMBER LOVE

QUIT NAGGING

LIGHTEN UP

DON’T EXPECT PRAISE OR APPRECIATION

FIGHT RIGHT: in other words, don’t argue over petty and stupid things.

ACT HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL

ENJOY THE FUN OF FAILURE

ASK FOR HELP

ENJOY NOW

TAKE TIME FOR PROJECTS

SHOW PROOFS OF LOVE : actions speak louder than words.

FIND MORE FUN

TAKE TIME TO BE SILLY

GO OFF THE PATH

MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS

REMEMBER BIRTHDAYS

BE GENEROUS

SHOW UP

DON’T GOSSIP

MAKE THREE NEW FRIENDS

STOP COMPLAINING

INDULGE IN A MODEST SPLURGE

GIVE SOMETHING UP

PURSUE A PASSION

MAKE TIME

FORGET ABOUT RESULTS

MASTER A NEW TECHNOLOGY

LAUGH OUT LOUD

KEEP A CONTENTED HEART

All of the things listed above are things we all KNOW would improve our happiness but we often overlook them rather than focus on making them a constant presence in our lives. I have already begun trying to focus on improving some aspects of myself. For instance, I try not to complain as much. I never was a HUGE complainer, but I have a couple friends who are and it is one of the most unattractive qualities a person can have. I am pursuing my passion of writing and spending leisure time on reading because I enjoy it. I am making time for my family and making time for myself to do things I want to do. All of the things listed above really do make a difference, I promise you. Each one is a little piece of happiness and when you put them all together you will know bliss.

I came up with my own 12 commandments for the year.

1. Act the way I want to feel

2. Forgive myself

3. Understand

4. Let go

5. Be present

6. Open up

7. Laugh more

8. Make amends

9. Be quiet

10. Focus

11. Just do it

12. Always love

There are twelve of them because there is one for each month of the year. You are supposed to focus on that one particular commandment for the month but as the year goes on, you focus not only on the new one of the month but the previous months commandments as well. So, by the end of the year you should have mastered all 12 commandments or at least greatly improved on them. What personal things do you want to work on? What would make you happier? Write them down and make an effort to change your life.

SECRETS OF ADULTHOOD:

People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Do good, feel good.

You don’t have to be good at everything.

It is important to be nice to everyone.

Everybody has a past.

Accept others for who they are.

So many of us think the grass is always greener on the other side. If only I had this, we think, my life would be so much better. But if you can not appreciate the things you have RIGHT in FRONT of you, you will never learn what it means to be truly happy. “If only I had more money” “If only I was famous” “If only I was skinnier” “If only I had a boyfriend or girlfriend” “If only I was prettier” “if only I that had never happened” STOP wanting everything you don’t have, open your eyes, and instead, think of all the amazing things you ALREADY have. Be thankful for those things.

Take the story of The Blue Bird for example. Two children spend the year searching the world for the blue bird of happiness, only to find the bird waiting for them when they finally returned home. Searching, wanting, needing, something that was right in front of them the whole time.

Be happy for what you do have. Don’t be fixated on the idea that if only you had one more thing you would be happy.

This moment, here, RIGHT NOW, these are the best times of your life. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t waste it.

    

    

  

 

 

 

  

  

   

 

Just some happy moments and people that have made me happy at some point in my life.

Stepping off my soap box now.

I liked this book because it helped me acknowledge certain things in my life that make me unhappy and now I can change those things. And I will. Or at least try very, very, very hard to.

Xo.

Taylor Jordan

PS- The next couple of blogs will be much lighter, maybe even funny. Enough with all this serious bull shit, right? (i’m sure thats what many of y’all are thinking…) Ok, toodles.

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