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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I had a friend tell me to read this book. She is not the type to have this book on her bedstand.  So I picked it up. Thought I would write some notes on it.

She had Twelve Commandments

  1. Be Gretchen
  2. Let it go
  3. Act the way I want to feel
  4. Do it now
  5. Be polite and be fair
  6. Enjoy the process
  7. Spend out
  8. Identify the problem
  9. lighten up
  10. Do what ought to be done
  11. No calculation
  12. There is only love

In January, Gretchen’s goal was to Boost Energy. Her thoughts were:

  1. Go to sleep earlier
  2. Exercise better.
  3. Toss, restore, organize
  4. Tackle a nagging task
  5. Act more energetic

In February, the focus was Remember Love. Gretchen tried to:

  1. Quit nagging
  2. Don’t expect praise or appreciation
  3. Fight right- no snapping, or “always” or “never”
  4. no dumping
  5. give proofs of love – “whatever love I feel in my heart, others will see only my actions.”

In March, the focus was Aim Higher

  1. Launch a blog
  2. enjoy the fun of failure
  3. ask for help
  4. work smart
  5. enjoy now

In April, the focus was Lighten Up

  1. Sing in the morning
  2. Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings
  3. Be a treasure house of happy memories
  4. Take time for projects

In May, the focus was Be Serious About Play

  1. Find more fun
  2. Take time to be silly
  3. Go off the path
  4. Start a collection

In June, the focus was Make Time for Friends

  1. Remember birthdays
  2. be generous
  3. show up
  4. don’t gossip
  5. make three new friends

In July, the focus was Buy some happiness

  1. indulge in a modest splurge
  2. buy needful things
  3. spend out
  4. give something up.

In August, the focus was Contemplate the Heavens

  1. Read memoirs of catastrophe
  2. keep a gratitude notebook
  3. Imitate a spiritual master

In September, the focus was Pursue a Passion

  1. Write a novel
  2. Make time
  3. forget about results
  4. master a new technology

In October, the focus was Pay Attention

  1. Meditate on koans
  2. examine true rules
  3. stimulate the mind in new ways
  4. keep a food diary

In November, the focus was Keep a Contented Heart

  1. Laugh Out Loud
  2. Use Good Manners
  3. Give Positive Review
  4. Find an area of Refuge

In December it was boot camp month.

The Splendid Truths

  • If I want to be happier, I need to look at my life and think about feeling good, feeling bad, feeling alright and in an atmosphere of growth.
  • one of the best ways to make myself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy myself.
  • The days are long but the years are short.
  • Without a heart to be contended, a person can’t be happy

Other Nuggets of Truth:

  • If something was really fun for me, it would pass this test: I looked forward to it, I found it energizing, not draining; and I didn’t feel guilty about it later.
  • I liked her difference between goals and resolutions. Goals you can make it to then stop. Resolutions you just keep doing.
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