When was the last time you were happy?
I’m not talking in the sense of discovering your last clean pair of underwear in your sock drawer. I mean truly happy in everything that you are and everything you have. Happiness can be defined as ‘The greatest good” (Bentham); “The meaning and the purpose of life” (Aristotle) or “The greatest gift that I possess” (Dodd). Is it a feeling? An emotion? A passing phase? Shortly after my 25th birthday it dawned on me although I had a fantastic family, great network of friends and steady job – I couldn’t say that I felt 100% happy with my life. That’s probably what drew my eyes towards ‘The Happiness Project’ on a dusty library shelf. The cover bright, yellow and full of promises. I was curious. So here we are four months later, I found myself embarking on my own journey and this is how you can too.
Gretchen Rubin’s compelling account chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving scientific research and lessons from previous theorists about how to be happier. She found that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely, that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that outer order contributes to inner calm; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference. So open up that notebook you haven’t got round to finding a use for with the nice cover and get a pen.
Gretchen asks us to think about a few questions to get us thinking about our own happiness projects.
– What makes you feel good/bad?
– Is there any way in which you don’t feel right about your life?
– Do you wish you could change any aspect of your life such as your job, city, family?
– In what elements do you find progress, learning, challenge and improvement?
Is it time that you started being happy?