One of the books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time is The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun . I’ve seen it around for a few years and have dabbled around in looking at Gretchen Rubin’s website because I like the daily happy quotes she sends out but I just haven’t gotten the book.
Finally, I heard she was coming to Portland and decided NOW was the time. But not only would I have to read her first book, she was touring around about her second book, Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life.
So I bought both books and read them. And was super inspired! Then I went and heard her speak on Tuesday night with some friends. Well you know how you go to hear some authors speak and are just bored out of your skull? Not the case with Gretchen Rubin! She was a great speaker and really took the time to speak to people’s thoughts and concerns.
She talked about what she felt are her five biggest things to accomplishment:
1. Get enough sleep! Even if this means setting an alarm to fall asleep.
2. Get some exercise–even just a bit every day can help.
3. Cultivate a sense of smells-smells are a quick pick me up without all the calories!
4. Cultivate shrines–create little areas in your house that are dedicated to things you are passionate about.
5. Outer order contributes to inner calm.
Her big saying was from Samuel Johnson (I believe):
“The days are long but the years are short”
This is an expression similar to what we said at camp when I was Associate Director:
“The days go by like weeks and the weeks go by like days”
I’ve started doing some of what she’s talked about in her books: keeping track of my goals, giving myself gold stars (literal ones, I bought old school foil stars!) and trying to discover my passions.
I would love to actually do a happiness project and perhaps meet with a group to accomplish that.
What are some things that make you happy? Have you ever done a happiness project?