I read Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project about 6 months ago, and I was excited to dive into part 2 when I saw it at the library a couple of weeks ago. Some quick background- The Happiness Project was based around 12 months spent focusing on personal resolutions to improve happiness going month by month. The second book (obviously) focuses specifically on happiness at home- relationships with her family members, organization, honing a skill, etc. every month for a school year.
Without summarizing each of her resolutions, I wanted to focus on a couple important truths I gleaned about happiness
- “Happiness doesn’t always mean being happy” It’s important to note that her focus was clearly not on immediate gratification- which is very different, but sometimes in our culture can be masked, as happiness. Sometimes (or more often than we’d like) we need to do something challenging- and while at first it may be difficult or annoying- it will eventually bring contentment. Everyone has probably experienced this after cleaning the house or organizing a closet. “Outer order contributes to inner calm”.
- “Happy people make people happy, but
I can’t make someone be happy, and
No one else can make me be happy”
I love this because it demonstrates that happiness can really set a tone. [side note- I’m currently reading Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer so I’m interested to read more into the power of positivity as far as yielding more positivity]
- “Just because it makes some people happy, doesn’t mean it makes me happy.” I LOVE this. Everyone has their own definition and version of happiness and this includes hobbies. I find joy in exercising, cooking, and reading books about positive psychology [and I’m obviously a 40 year old trapped in a 24 year old’s body]. My happy does not equal your happy and that’s ok. That’s what makes the world go round.
Finally- One question Gretchen brought up in The Happiness Project was “Is it a waste to spend so much time and energy focusing on my own happiness?” I think the answer is no. No one else is going to improve my quality of life except me. Only I can make me be happy. And when I’m happy, that positivity will reciprocate and then will I be ready and willing to help others.
Have you read any good books lately? Have you read the Happiness Project? What did you think?