The Happiness Project

I read an interesting book this weekend called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (
She realized one day, while riding a bus in New York City, that she was suffering from a sense of midlife malaise – a recurrent sense of discontent and almost a feeling of disbelief. She realized she was a fortunate person albeit a dissatisfied one but she didn’t know why.
After doing extensive research, she developed her plan on how to be happier. She made up her own Twelve Commandments, a list of Secrets of Adulthood and Four Splendid Truths. Then she spent a year integrating what she had learned into her life.
The book starts off with the line “I’d always vaguely expected to outgrow my limitations.” That really got me thinking about my own life because that is what I always secretly hoped too.
One day I will wake up more outgoing, remember how to work all of my technological doodads on my own, not be scared to drive in the winter and have a great hair day everyday. I won’t be short tempered or impatient, I’ll have time for all of my hobbies and I’ll exercise every day. And love it. And like Gretchen was looking to do, I too will laugh more and have more fun.
Am I going to every wake up and have all of those limitations be gone? Probably not.
Like most of us, I think, I spend my days doing all the things I feel need to be done BEFORE I can do all the things I really want to do.  Then when those necessary things are done, I have no energy left to do the rest of the list. My limitations kick in and ergo the resulting short temper, feeling of discontent and absence of spontaneous fun.  I cross items off my to-do lists, spend weekends doing everything but relaxing then wonder why all my days feel like Mondays. I am forgetting to be present in my own life. When did that happen?
Gretchen’s Second Splendid Truth is my favourite: “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”  
Could it be that easy? I think I will start my own Happiness Project and see what I can do. It’s certainly worth a shot and it might even be FUN!