Words of Wisdom from 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 by Gretchen Rubin

Words of Wisdom from 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 by Gretchen Rubin

When are you happiest? After dedicating a year to her Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin discovers that happiness is often found in unexpected places e.g. in novelty, or when we challenge ourselves. This book is packed with ideas that will help you uncover what makes you happy, and ultimately maximise your enjoyment of life. This book is essential reading for everyone. These are the bits that stuck with me >>

1. Be consistent

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”

2. Happiness is closer than you think

“Look for happiness under your own roof.”

3. Embrace the unexpected

“The things that go wrong often make the best memories.”

4. Happiness begins with your perspective of the world around you

“It’s about living in the moment and appreciating the smallest things. Surrounding yourself with the things that inspire you and letting go of the obsessions that want to take over your mind. It is a daily struggle sometimes and hard work but happiness begins with your own attitude and how you look at the world.” “Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity”

5. Enthusiasm is more important than ability

“Enthusiasm is more important than innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.”

6. Embrace failure as part of the journey to success

“When I thought about why I was sometimes reluctant to push myself, I realized that it was because I was afraid of failure – but in order to have more success, I needed to be willing to accept more failure.”

7. You can do anything you want, just not all at the same time

“I can DO ANYTHING I want, but I can’t DO EVERYTHING I want.”

8. Despite genetics and life circumstances, we do have some control over level of happiness

“According to current research, in the determination of a person’s level of happiness, genetics accounts for about 50 percent; life circumstances, such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, income, health, occupation, and religious affiliation, account for about 10 to 20 percent; and the remainder is a product of how a person thinks and acts.”

9. Emotions are contagious

“Studies show that in a phenomenon called “emotional contagion,” we unconsciously catch emotions from other people–whether good moods or bad ones. Taking the time to be silly means that we’re infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are one third more likely to be happy.”

10. Don’t save you best for later

“Life is too short to save your good china or your good lingerie or your good ANYTHING for later because truly, later may never come.”

11. Demonstrate love through your actions

“There is no love; there are only proofs of love.” Whatever love I might feel in my heart, others will see only my actions.”

12. Change your action to change your feelings

“Although we presume that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act.”

13. Sleep is a fundamental contributor to happiness

“Another study suggested that getting one extra hour of sleep each night would do more for a person’s happiness than getting a $60,000 raise.”

14. We’re happy when we’re growing

“A sense of growth is so important to happiness that it’s often preferable to be progressing to the summit rather than to be at the summit.”

15. Put things away

“One of life’s small pleasures is to return something to its proper place;”

16. The days are long, but the years are short

“The days are long but the years are short. It sounds like something from a fortune cookie, but it’s true. Each day, each phase of life seems long, but the years past so quickly; I wanted to appreciate the present time, the seasons, this time of life.”

17. Happiness is a circle

“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.”

18. Happiness is being grateful for what you have

“Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have.”