Could you be happier? Ask yourself honestly. Could you be happier? Do you put off being happy to some dim and distant tomorrow that may never dawn? I’ll be happy when I’ve found a man, when I get a new job, when we’ve moved house, when I have a baby, when I earn more money, when I have some free time to do what I love…. Any of those sound familiar?
Travelling through Chicago airport this summer I found myself in a bookshop – no surprise there then, I can hear you say! I do love meandering around bookshops in airports. It give me a chance to pick up and flick through books I’d probably never consider in a million years on Amazon.
Anyways back to the point – in that bookstore I tripped over The Happiness Project – a chronicle of Gretchen Rubin‘s 12 month happiness project. Gretchen had a moment of clarity one rainy afternoon on a bus and realised that the years were racing by and she wasn’t focusing enough on things that really mattered. She sat down and made a conscious effort to find out what brought her joy, satisfaction and engagement and on the other hand what brought her guilt, anger, boredom and remorse. She dug into age old wisdom, new age thinking, pop culture and every other resource she could find on ways to increase happiness. She made resolutions and took concrete action to boost her happiness – tracking her progress every day. And she literally changed her life (while blogging about it of course).
While working on her resolutions for the year, certain recurrent themes emerged which she distilled into 12 commandments – overarching principles for her to follow for the year that would help her keep to her resolutions:
- Be you!
- 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…
I thought it was a great list – some rang true for me, others I didn’t really connect with. The first one – be you – stood out for me. I felt it was the most important of the lot. If you aren’t yourself, who are you? I think that’s where my mental machinations started from on re-branding my blog to include more of ‘me’. In my own list I’d also have – energy flows where attention goes – to remind myself that I need to place the majority of my attention on what I’m passionate about and what I want to achieve, to be successful.
What would your 12 commandments be if you were to start your own happiness project?
[Picture Credit – The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, Harper Paperbacks]
© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
- My Happiness Project (housefuloflove.wordpress.com)
- Gretchen Rubin: Balanced Life — Want Some Tools to Boost Happiness? Try the Happiness Project Toolbox (huffingtonpost.com)
- Happiness Project (lifeafterswimming.wordpress.com)