Oh, Happy Day!

Everyone can use a little more happiness in their life. So, why not check out the following book? There may be some interesting tidbits, truths or suggestions that you can use to better yourself and become happier.

As the author writes ” Contemporary research shows that happy people exhibit more of the following qualities. They are more altruistic, productive, helpful, likable, creative, more interested in others, friendlier and healthier. They make better friends, colleagues, and citizens”.

 Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun confesses that she is not unhappy but does believe she could be happier. She admits she has her health, a happy marriage, a loving family and children, and, generally, a great life. But, she also realizes that she can be a nag, a complainer, has a short fuse, tends to be condescending, often thinks her point is more important than others in a conversation, and, has, as most of us have experienced, dealt with bouts of melancholy and listlesness. What is so endearing about this book is that this highly intelligent woman has a good handle on herself.

Refreshingly, she doesn’t give up on her life to travel around the world like some other recent happiness seekers have done. Instead, she begins to research happiness and reads the works of scholars including Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Epicurus, Ben Franklin, The Dalai Lama and Seneca.This is her first step in putting together her happiness project.

It’s obvious that when Ms. Rubin begins a project she tackles it full tilt. As a former practicing attorney and  Supreme Court law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, she was used to conducting research and looking at all facets of a problem.

After her initial research, self examination and reflection, she drafts her Twelve Commandments which give her a foundation for dividing the next 12 months into subjects to support her happiness project. Each month she makes resolutions that wll help her increase her happiness and then she tracks her progress. She keeps a diary, starts a gratitude notebook, attempts to practice mindfulness, and begins writing a happiness blog.

You will also find her ‘suggestions for reading’ bibliography at the end of the book to be quite useful. Here she  includes works on the history of happiness, books on the science and practice of happiness, examples of other happiness projects and novels about happiness. So, if you’re looking for more happiness, maybe you should start here!

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