Day 9 of Christmas: The Gift of Happiness

, by Zoë Gulliksen

Last night I finished reading Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project", in which she talks about her year spent trying out methods and ideas on how to improve her already happy life. I found this "self help" book engaging and unlike most books in this genre. She was not preachy nor offered any guaranteed solutions to making yourself happy. Instead, she took the research she had conducted in the previous months and applied them to her own life. We as readers are able to follow her journey to find out what worked for her and what didn't work. 

I related to  aspects of Rubin's project: I too live in Manhattan and am a relatively happy person, though I know I can be short tempered and impatient with people.  Rubin came up with her own 12 Commandments in order to help her achieve her goals:

Gretchen Rubin's Twelve Personal Commandments
1. Be Gretchen
2. Let it go.
3. Act the way I want to feel.
4. Do it now.
5. Be polite and fair.
6. Enjoy the process.
7. Spend out. (This is probably the most enigmatic of my commandments.)
8. Identify the problem.
9. Lighten up.
10. Do what ought to be done.
11. No calculation.
12. There is only love.

Inspired by her aspirations, I came up with a few of my own based on aspects of my life I wish to change: 

Zoë 'sThings to Live By:
-Write often and without judgment.
-Worry about what I am capable of fixing.
-Think before I speak.
-I am not always right.
-Everyone does not hate me.
- Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.
-Take time to enjoy a story.
- You can do this alone, but you don’t have to.
- Limit buying happiness.
-Food will not bring you long-term happiness.
-Don't be afraid of people.

My own "Things to Live By" are not as thought out or general as Rubin's but as these are the elements that are most important to me at this point in my life,  I feel like by bettering myself with these "rules" I will greatly benefit the rest of my life.

And so, for this holiday season I would highly recommend giving someone you love a copy of "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. There are other products available to buy on her Shop that would make a great little gift set including "The Happiness Project One Sentence Journal" as well free personalized bookplates, cards and audio books!

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 
― Dalai Lama XIV

1 comment:

  1. I really need to read this book. I'd like to come up with my own 'Things to Live By' list. Maybe I'll read the book and work on these things in January. It'll be a nice way to start the year.