Apparently happiness is more than a warm puppy.
A friend whom I love and admire (and think is just one of the smartest women I know) recommended a book to me last week called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
Actually, I had been reading about this book, and about the author, for several months now but hadn’t done much about getting the book. But now, due to the magic of my Kindle, I decided to download it and see what if the book would also inspire me. I acquired the book near-instantly (yay, Kindle!) but the reading of it took me a couple of days to get through.
First, I’ll say it is an interesting study of a year in Gretchen’s life. I am impressed by the way she decide to commit substantial time to answer the question “What is happiness?” and “What is happiness for me?” She then breaks the book into 12 chapters, and devotes one month to each of 12 happiness “resolutions” that she has determined will make her happier.
Second, I’ll tell you that reading much of this book brought me back to the survey-style Intro to Philosophy classes that I took in college (high school?) and didn’t like all that much. Gretchen did a LOT of reading about the nature of happiness — from such thinkers as Buddha and Ben Franklin to more modern thinkers like her friends at cocktail parties. I thought a lot of it was slow going.
But still, the book got me thinking. Was I happy? What made me happy? If I decided I was happy, could I be happier? And here’s the funny part of this how-to book — it doesn’t really tell you “how to.” It tells you “how she” did, but Gretchen also stresses that what worked for her wasn’t necessarily going to work for me. So if shortcuts make me happy, I am out of luck!
So I’ve been busy thinking of *my* 12 happiness resolutions that would take me through a year in my life — and would then become the foundations for being “better” at happiness. Some of them, yes — I’ll lift from Gretchen. But the others? They’re mine. And just thinking about them and writing them down has made me happy! Who knows what will happen when I actually set out to *practice* them!
I’m going to take the evening and think more about this list. Then, I’m going to run them by my Smart and Admired Friend — who’s in my neighborhood this week! — and then I’ll expand on them more (if you care!).
But in the meantime, what are your Resolutions for Happiness?