Thursday, August 18, 2011

the days are long, but the years are short.

I just finished the book, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  It's all about Gretchen's journey to find more happiness in her daily life.  She sets resolutions each month for a year, determined to figure out what exactly she can work on and change in her attitude/habits to make her life more fulfilling and memorable.  Even though I wouldn't have the same goals as her if I made my own "happiness project", I found the book very inspiring and motivational.  Here are some key points I found in her book that especially struck me:

  • "My life wasn't going to change unless I made it change."
  • "Look for happiness under your own roof."
  • Gretchen's Twelve Commandments: Be Gretchen, Let it go, Act the way I want to feel, Do it now, Be polite and be fair, Enjoy the process, Spend out, Identify the problem, Lighten up, Do what ought to be done, No Calculation, There is only love
  • "I wanted to change my life without changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen."
  • "Happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier, and healthier."
  • "... my mother made me feel that nothing was insurmountable if I did what I knew ought to be done, little by little."
  • "We often feel because of the way we act."
  • "I couldn't change anyone else... I could only work on myself."
  • "What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while."
  • "By being happy myself, I was better able to try to make other people happier."
  • "Hugging relieves stress, boosts feelings of closeness, and even squelches pain."
  • "it isn't goal attainment but the process of striving after goals- that is, growth- that brings happiness."
  • "There is no love, only proofs of love."
  • "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly."
  • "If I can enjoy the present, I don't need to count on the happiness that is (or isn't) waiting for me in the future."
  • "To eke out the happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory."
  • "I needed to acknowledge to myself what I enjoyed, not what I wished I enjoyed."
  • "I think by knowing who we are as people and by being ourselves, we can start making the world better."
  • "There are no 'do overs' and some things aren't going to happen. It does make me a little sad sometimes. I just have to embrace what it is. :)"
  • ".. look at those things that do have the beauty to you now and look at them more and more. Everything has its own beauty. Some appeal to us more than others."
  • "It's all about living in the moment and appreciating the smallest things. Surrounding yourself with things that inspire you and letting go of the obsessions that want to take over your mind."
  • "When the waves swell up and get rough, you have the memories of the times you were happy."
  • "Studies show that if you have five or more friends with whom to discuss an important matter, you are far more likely to describe yourself as 'very happy'."
  • "Do good, feel good."
  • "One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy."
  • "Don't expect it to last forever. Everything ends and that's okay."
  • "Imagine the eulogy: how do I want to be remembered."
  • "Life's too short to save your good china or your good lingerie or your good ANYTHING for later because truly, later may never come."
  • "This is my one and only life."
  • "There are times in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though that yesterday had passed over us appreciated and unenjoyed."- William Edward Hartpole Lecky
  • "Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you're grateful for what you have, you're not consumed with wanting something different or something more."
  • "Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden to me. The only way I can prove my love is by... every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions of love."
  • "It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and disciplined to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted."
  • "Life is way too short NOT to follow your passion."
  • "The things that go wrong often make the best memories."
  • "Always say hello."
  • "A small child typically laughs more than four hundred times each day, and an adult- seventeen times."

This is definitely a book worth buying and reading ASAP.. If you don't think you have the time for that, at least soak in the points that stuck out to me- such obvious, but important lessons to remember through life.