Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's the rare person who can't benefit from a happiness project...

I am, perhaps, the last 20-something girl on the internet to dive into Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. It's really shocking how behind the curve I've been on this, given how much we have in common.

After about 4 pages it became clear that Rubin could be my spirit animal, for every time I shook my head saying, "Yep. Been there, felt that."

I never called them "happiness projects" but since December 2008 I've worked on two Day Zero Projects* (also known as the 101 in 1,001 project). 202 goals all aimed at avoiding the fear that Rubin had, that we all have - the fear of wasting our lives.

I don't know about you, but I feel like my generation in particular is terrified of not doing something great with our lives. We've been raised with the belief that we're extraordinary, and many of us with strong encouragement to "save the world" (or at least make it a better place). I know that I want to do big things and live up to my potential. You know what I haven't given a whole lot of thought to?

What makes me happy. What does real happiness look like for me?

One easy answer that should come as no surprise is that books make me happy. When I make time to read, I am a happier person. So why don't I prioritize making time for things that make me happy? I'm working on that changing, really. Really.

Rubin quotes Colette early in the first chapter: "What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." I pray I never say that.

Do you prioritize your own happiness? What's one thing that makes you happy?

*several people have asked if I'll be continuing to follow my current 101 in 1,001 here (it expires in 2014). I guess that depends on if it'd interest you to read about it? Would you like to hear about my take on a happiness project?


  1. i always found your DayZero projects to be so interesting & in the same time mature and realistic. i would love to see more of that. and yes, a happiness project from someone i know would be cool to see unfold.

    just like you, i love me a good book. unfortunately, sometimes i lose sight of that small "happiness project" of mine due to school & work, but recently i realized that "time" will never be on my side (i used to say that i will read more when i have time: graduate from college, finish my Master's, work is not so crazy, etc). so now i just MAKE time to read. funny how i never (so far) regretted reading something that was for pleasure and not for school. for me happiness = small things. reading is one of those small things. and i altogether gave up on reading what other people think is worth reading. i read 'cause i want to & what i want to.

    (sorry this is so long..)

  2. This (forced) move to Charlotte has made me question what makes me happy and what my priorities in life should be... I'm still new to the area so am giving myself time to adjust but so far I would say that being far away from family and friends does NOT make me happy... But hopefully I will find things about Charlotte that make me happy soon.

    Outside of my location, things that make me happy are a good cup of coffee, sipped while reading a book, making a delicious meal in my kitchen, and traveling!

  3. I bought a copy of The Happiness Project for my mom years ago with the plan that I'd eventually borrow it, but I must confess to never picking it up! I love personal projects and can definitely relate to not always prioritizing my own happiness (and the things that make me happy). But realizing is the first step, eh?

  4. i would love to read about your happiness project! :)

    i'm guessing you are enjoying this particular read?

  5. This sounds interesting, I've actually never heard of the book!

  6. Yes, I always loved your 101 posts! In fact your list is what inspired me to start my own. Granted I feel like I'm very much slacking on it, but I've at least checked a few off of it.


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