Reading the book The Happiness Project and i feel the author is going about it all wrong (at least from the thirty or so pages I’ve read already that is …)
Rather than strategically planning a year-long initiative to be happy and making it a “project,” think about the things that make you feel good and make sure you are doing more of that activity every day. You have to make time for happiness or it will continue to elude you …
So take a moment to think— what makes you smile? Where and with whom do you enjoy spending time with? What gives you peace? What makes you laugh unconditionally and cry with joy?
Life and the pursuit of happiness is an “ing” thing—doing, planning, seeing, enjoying, participating, you get the picture, right? Finding more of these things is what accumulates Happiness.
So, think about it for a minute—quiet your mind (I know, impossible,) and remember when you smiled and felt peaceful (even for a moment) and happy last … bring this forward in your mind and keep it front and center
Here are just a few things that make me happy:
Babies – i just can’ t help myself when I’m around them, and it’s my personal mission to get them to smile back (that’s a 150 on my “Happiness meter,” giggling back is “priceless” and immeasurable …)
Dogs – I think they really do understand us better than we do ourselves and love us unconditionally. My friends call me Dr. Dolittle because whenever we go walking I stop to pet every single cute dog (in this case, the tail wagging back at me is my 150)
My “she cave,” more on this at another time – Why is it that they are the only ones to have a cave?? Is it because Men are from Mars Women are from Venus? Do they have caves in Mars?? And, worse yet, we even help them decorate it with neon signs and beer posters and theatre seating! What the heck?
They can keep their noisy, messy, (typically smelly) sports “men caves” and we women should have our own version – a quiet meditative, neat, organized and ORDERLY “she” cave to go for peace and quiet!? Trust me on this one, it’s BLISSFUL … (Blissful is happiness squared by the way.) This is what that spare bedroom is for, not for exercising, junk collection, or whatever else it’s being currently used for …
A really good book—preferably one that makes me laugh out loud and requires me to call people and read the passages I’m hysterical about (Eat Pray Love made me do this countless times.)
Fresh flowers – from the corner deli—nothing expensive, just colorful and if you can find ones that smell good too all the better—the more senses we engage, the better and higher the happiness meter.
A delicious meal, preferably a healthy one with a nice glass of Pinot Noir with a bunch of good friends. I ate recently at a fantastic restaurant not far from my home where Italian grandmothers from different regions of Italy cook the meals—Nirvana …
So, let’s give ourselves a chance every day, to find incremental small chunks of happiness—because, as we all know, life does get in the way, bills have to be paid, kids drive us crazy (and stay on payroll forever, again, a story for another day) work challenges, commuting issues, you know, the whole kit and caboodle … so let’s do our best to balance ourselves and spend more time doing the small things, time marches on, and we don’t (at least I know I don’t) want to look up in five years and see a face in the mirror that reflects anxiety, sadness, unfulfilled wishes, ________, fill in your own blank here …
I’m off to take a walk at the beach – it’s sunny beautiful and I walk with friends, and will absolutely find a few cute babies and dogs to play with!
I’d love to hear how you’re doing on the journey to happiness.