2010: The Year of The Happiness Project

On January 9th, 2010 1 Comment

2009 was a bit rough for me. Indeed, I heard that from a lot of people.

So Gretchen Rubin’s new book The Happiness Project was a welcome addition to my before-bed reading because, well, it makes me happy and gave me new energy to start 2010 off on an upbeat note.

Top pointers from the book include:
Your family is only as happy as it’s least happy member. If that’s you, start a Happiness Project of your own and raise the happy in your household considerably.

• As a kid, and even through our 20s, we had clear opportunities for “gold stars” — getting good grades, graduations, awards, new jobs, marriage, big birthday celebrations etc. But in your 30s, those gold stars seem fewer and farther between. You do your job, you do your errands, you raise your kids, you try to make time for fun with your significant other… but as you put in so much effort, you feel unappreciated. Where’s your gold star? Rubin advises all of us to make a list, do your stuff and then give yourself a gold star. That’s what being a grown-up is about.

Be Yourself. I know, it’s clichéd, but Rubin’s description of how she decided to “Be Gretchen” inspired me to be clear about who I am. She writes that learning to be herself means “accepting my true likes and dislikes… I have to face the fact that I will never visit a jazz club at midnight, or hang out in artists’ studios, or jet off to Paris for the weekend, or pack up to go fly-fishing on a spring dawn. I won’t be admired for my chic wardrobe or be appointed to a high government office. I love fortune cookies and refuse to try foie gras.” What does it mean to be you?

The Happiness Project isn’t quite a self-help book — it’s more of a memoir of a year of research into self-help — but even without quizzes and action lists, it does the job of any good personal improvement book: It inspires. Check it out and make 2010 your year for a Happiness Project of your own.

One Response to “2010: The Year of The Happiness Project”

  • Colleen Newvine Tebeau says:

    I took Dale Carnegie classes in my 20s and my teacher spoke over and over again about being self referrent. (I believe it’s a Deepak Chopra concept she was sharing.)

    At the time, I got the idea intellectually but it didn’t really sink in. I still needed approval from others to feel validated.

    In my 30s, I think I’ve finally started to give myself a gold star and to focus on my own vision of living my life instead of what earns me the praise of others.

    Still, it’s awfully nice to be appreciated …

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