Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Happiness Project

Yes its Book Report time!

The author dedicated a year to different projects with the main goal to increase her happiness.  She found what worked and what didn't work (for her, because everyone's happiness project will be different).  I found it very interesting to see what she felt were important aspects to work on.  I really enjoyed it and found it was very inspiring.  I dare you to read January and not feel inspired to clean your closets.  

Here are her "rules" that she established throughout the year to help keep her focused.  

  1. Be Gretchen
  2. Let it go
  3. Act the way I wnt 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

  1. To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth.
  2. One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
  3. The days are long, but the years are short.
  4. You're not happy unless you think you're happy.  
  5. I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.
  6. The only person I can change is myself
  7. Happy people make people happy, but I can't make someone be happy, and no one else can make me happy.
  8. Now is now

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
  • Its 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 tot 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
  • No deposit, no return

When making a choice about what to do, choose work
Buy anything you want at the grocery store; poking is always cheaper then eating out

The chapters were on different aspects of her life along with the resolutions she wanted to accomplish through the month.  

January - Boost Energy - VITALITY
  • Go to sleep earlier
  • Exercise better
  • Toss, restore, organize
  • Tackle a nagging task
  • Act more energetic
February - Remember Love - MARRIAGE
  • Quit nagging
  • Don’t expect praise or appreciation
  • Fight right
  • No dumping
  • Give proofs of love
March - Aim Higher - WORK
  • Launch a blog
  • Enjoy the fun of failure
  • Ask for help
  • Work smart
  • Enjoy now
April - Lighten Up - PARENTHOOD
  • Sing in the morning
  • Acknowledge the reality of people’s feeling
  • Be a treasure house of happy memories
  • Take time for projects
May - Be Serious About Play - LEISURE
  • Find more fun
  • Take time to be silly
  • Go off the path
  • Start a collection
June - Make Time for Friends - FRIENDSHIP
  • Remember birthdays
  • Be generous
  • Show up
  • Don’t gossip
  • Make three new friends
July - Buy Some Happiness - MONEY  (I thought the money chapter was fascinating!)
  • Indulge in a modest splurge
  • Buy needful things
  • Spend out
  • Give something up
3 factors that shape the signficance of money to individuals
  • It depends on what kind of person you are 
  • It depends on how you spend your money
  • It depends on how much money you have relative to the people around you and relative to your own experiences
One person’s fortune is another person’s misfortune.

When money or health is a problem, you think of little else; when it’s not a problem you dont think much about it.  Both money and health contribute to happiness mostly in the negative; the lack of them brings much more unhappiness than possessing them brings happiness.  

August - Contemplate the Heavens - ETERNITY
  • Read memoirs of catastrophe
  • Keep a gratitude notebook
  • Imitate a spiritual master
---Story of a Soul by Therese Martin

September - Pursue a Passion - BOOKS
  • Write a novel
  • Make time
  • Forget about results
  • Master a new technology
October - Pay Attention - MINDFULNESS
  • Meditate on koans
  • Examine True Rules
  • Stimulate the mind in new ways
  • Keep a food diary
November - Keep a Contented Heart - ATTITUDE

  • Laugh out loud
  • Use good manners
  • Give positive reviews
  • Find an area of refuge
December was a recap of trying to live all of her resolutions.  

Can't wait to read the follow up book, Happier At Home.