On my journey to increasing the happiness characteristic of my life, I discovered there were other people on the same journey. One of these seekers was Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen had a great life!
So what was missing? She decided to spend a year entertaining this conundrum. She chose one aspect of happiness she wanted to improve and spent a month of focus using ancient wisdom, modern psychology, and other people’s thoughts on the matter.
What developed was the “Happiness Project”. This great book was introduced to me by an author friend of mine. We both read the book and decided to spend a year improving our happiness quotient.
The hardest part for me was deciding which of twelve aspects to work on. Discussing this with my friend helped me define my objectives because we both had such different priorities in our lives. She was already married, I was a single mom. She knew what her lifelong mission was; I was still wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up.
We were both working on improving our outward appearance. Okay-so-we both wanted to lose weight. Navigating our month on this subject, we discovered it was more important to work on being healthier than we were, whatever that meant for us individually.
For my friend that meant an improvement in food choices. Healthy chocolate instead of main stream candy bars with white sugar, alkaline processed chocolate, and toxins. For me that meant eating out less so I had control over the food I was eating and cutting out white sugar and white flour.
We reasoned that if we became healthier, the weight would take care of itself. Other truths were less self-evident. My journey to ‘meet my mate’, actually became a way to be more socially interactive. Yes, my eternal partner was my goal, but like losing weight, maybe the journey was more important. The ‘find my mate month’ evolved into finding more people that were; like minded on issues important to me or activities that were fun to me to spend time with. Every month was a journey of self-actualization.
I want to really encourage anyone feeling lost, depressed, or struggling with MS to begin their own ‘Happiness Project’. Look over your life realistically; no drama or emotion.
There are things you do not have control over. Leave those out of your choices. Now, focus on what you do have control of.
Can you control what you read? What you watch on television? What you eat? How you spend parts of your day? Would reading positive, uplifting books be better than romance novels that leave you feeling empty, focusing on what you don’t have? Would watching Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, or Robert Kiyosaki improve your thoughts or financial habits?
Maybe you can’t exercise like TaeBo, but even living with multiple sclerosis you could start DDP yoga. (Diamond Dallas Page Yoga) click here to visit the DDP Yoga website and see the true stories of physically challenged people that got great results.
Reading The Happiness Project is not only insightful, it is inspirational. Gretchen is transparent in her thought and procedures. The best part is she does not beat herself up for any of her thoughts along the way. She explores each thought with childlike abandon giving us permission to do the same. She has downloadable worksheets and planning pages to help you get started. I know if you read the book and follow through, you will be measurably happier at the end of your year!
If you’d like to purchase a copy of the Happiness Project from Amazon, click right here.