I heard about The Happiness Project a few weeks ago courtesy of the Owl and Peacock blog. It is a book, project, website and community led by Gretchen Rubin who has looked at how happiness is conceived, perceived and imagined by the great thinkers, writers and philosophers of history and now. She took it upon herself to test out the various approaches, ideas and directions on how to achieve happiness over the course of a year and found what she cons iders the useful ways to achieve happiness. In her own words, the book is “a memoir of the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy”. Such is the popularity of her book, blog and project that it has become a movement with Happiness Project groups springing up all over the USA where participants meet up to discuss their progress with their own Happiness Projects.
I was at once both intrigued and inspired, so I took some time to read through her website and several ideas resonated. As I have mentioned before, I have had a bit of difficult year so I am going to take on a few of these tasks and give them a try. Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose, right?
First of all, I have written a list of Personal Commandments. These are mantras and guiding principles for my life. I am sure some of these are relevant to most people but each list should be personal. I found this to be a very useful exercise in recognising how my mind works and how I would like to improve my way of thinking and living. It was a cathartic process as well as enlightening. I definitely recommend giving it a try, it is amazing how we let ourselves forget the little things in life like ‘breathing’ that would make a mountain of difference during those daily stressful moments.
I am sharing my Personal Commandments with you here and I will keep you updated on how I progress. For instance, I have started to achieve ‘Surrounding myself with positive people and staying away from toxic people’. I have often found that in the past I have attracted needy people who zapped my energy and often gave little in return. This would often drain me and stress me out and so I have had to learn to be strong by deciding who I spend time with and not feeling responsible for other people’s happiness or quality of life.
What do you think? Would you consider writing your own Personal Commandments? Have a read through some other Happiness Project ‘Personal Commandments’ for inspiration here. And I would love to know how you get on.