Thursday, January 12, 2012

Enjoy the Journey

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of happiness. What is it? Where does it come from? Do I create my own or does it come from outside sources? Am I truly happy?
I’ve been reading the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The author takes a whole year to explore the idea of happiness. She decides what exactly makes her happy, seeks out those things, and attempts to experience the maximum amount of happiness she can. What she discovers is that happiness can come easily, but often she has to work for it.
I don’t know that I’m an innately happy person and I, probably too often, rely on outside sources for my happiness. “Happy” does not necessarily come naturally to me, it takes a lot of conscious effort and work on my part. I’ve also come to realize that the things I am often passionate about don’t always lead to a state of happiness. So, I decided to think about what really makes me happy.
I also came to realize that until I am true to who I am as a person, I’ll never achieve that true happiness that I’m searching for. So, I’m taking the example of Ms. Rubin, and I’m going to come up with my own personal happiness commandments.
1. Be Annicka (Ok, so I stole this idea directly from her, but it’s a good one). From now on I will think about whether my words, my actions, my experiences are being true to me being myself. I know this may sound self-serving, but if I’m not true to who I am as a person I will never be able to achieve happiness. I spend a lot of time being so worried about others’ perceptions of me that often I lose who I truly am.
2. Service Breeds Love. This comes down to a simple a statement given from a father to a son: Forget yourself and go to work. This is a hard one for me to remember. When I’m feeling down I always want it to be all about me. I want to throw my little pity party and mope around and have everyone feel bad for me. From now on when I feel down I will make an effort to serve those around me. I think that this attitude will assist me in finding who I am.
3. Keep it Simple. I have a tendency to complicate things, I mean, I am a woman after all. I make grand plans, I have big ideas, I always want what I do to be the biggest, brightest, and best. Sometimes my big plans make me end up in my own way. So, I will be keeping it simple.
4. Find the Humor. I have a tendency to get caught up in the minutia and stress myself out. If the baby is having a bad day, it gets to me. If my kitchen or bathroom is a mess, it gets to me. If traffic is bad and I’m late, it gets to me. And so, I will find the humor. Instead of crying, I will laugh. Instead of complaining, I will find the humor.
5. Smile. There have been many times in my life where I’ve had to live the adage “fake it ‘til you make it.” One of the underlying themes in The Happiness Project is to act how you want to feel and it will become natural. For this reason, I will smile.
6. Lose the Attitude. Sometimes, I flat out have a bad attitude. I am going to strive towards having a good attitude. I have found the gossip, backbiting, and sniping all feed into my bad attitudes. So, I will be checking my attitude at the door. I would also like to invite all of you to remind me of this.
Now, none of this is to say that I’m not happy. I am very happy. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and shows me that very thing in sweet and tender little ways. I have a sweet and gentle baby boy that teaches me something new everyday. I have a career where I get the opportunity to serve people at the most vulnerable times of their lives. I have so much in my life to be grateful for and happy about.
I just want to do all that I can to make sure that I am experiencing happiness and joy as much as I possibly can.
And so, with the beginning of this New Year, I begin on the journey of my own happiness project.
To Happiness!


Mom Hatch said...


Talina said...

I love this idea. A friend of mine is actually taking a class on happiness right now and it's really got me thinking about my own level of 'happiness' and how I can increase it. I love your list and I wish you luck with it. And I will happily remind you about the attitude thing ;-)


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