“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life,
the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~Aristotle
Ahh, happiness…along with love, one of the most chased and elusive of human conditions. It’s so important that we even wrote it into our Declaration of Independence: that we have the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. But…What is happiness? Is it something universal, or is it different for different people? Can we make it, find it or attain it….or does it just happen when we are still and being and accepting?
This is my next 30 Day Project, beginning today. I remember a year or so ago, reading about Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project, which was a blog and then became a book. Gretchen asked herself what she wanted out of life, and realized the answer was simply to be happy – yet she realized she never spent any time really thinking about what that meant for her. So she spent a year test-driving the wisdom of the ages, modern scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture on the art of happiness. Plutarch, Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, St. Thérèse, the Dalai Lama, Oprah, Martin Seligman…she covered it all.
For the next month, I am going to undertake a similar project. I will use Gretchen’s Happiness Project site to help me along the way, with some of her methods and a “toolbox” of suggestions from her own journey. Plus of course I will do my own thing as well. Starting with a re-read of the amazing book The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Here’s some basics of what a Happiness Project looks like:
A “happiness project” is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.
There is one quote that Gretchen has in the book and on her blog that I love. Do you agree?
“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.”
Want to join in the 2011 Happiness Challenge? Check out Gretchen’s video for a few fun, quick ideas. One of the methods in her toolbox is creating a Group Resolution and challenging each other to keep it – would you be interested in participating in a Group Resolution with me? If you would, comment below!
Until next time,