Gretchen has written a book called "The Happiness Project". She took stock of her life and came to the conclusion that while she was happy with her life, she wasn't happy in the sense that she wasn't making conscience choices to do things that brought her happiness. She was simply floating through life making choices just because they were routine or they were kind of already halfway made for her.
I can't remember if she came up with her manifesto before or after she started her Happiness Project, but I liked it so much that I'm going to share it with you. What am I talking about? It's a manifesto; of course she came up with it before her Project. To have a manifesto is to have a specific aim towards a goal; a mission. Anyhow, here's her Happiness Project Manifesto:
- To be happy, you need to consider feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
- 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.
- The days are long, but the years are short.
- You're not happy unless you think you're happy.
- Your body matters.
- Happiness is other people.
- Think about yourself so you can forget yourself.
- "It is to easy to be heavy; hard to be light." G.K. Chesterton
- What's fun for other people, may not be fun for you, and vice versa.
- Best is good, better is best.
- Outer order contributes to inner calm. *I can completely vouch for this. When my anxiety is high, it helps to have things clean. Something as simple as doing the dishes and smelling the soap eases the chaos.*
- Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have.
- You can choose what you do, but you can't choose what you like to do.
- "There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy." Robert Louis Stevenson
- You manage what you measure.
- Loving actions inspire loving feelings.
- The opposite of great truth is also true.
I'm writing about happiness because I think it's something that I struggle with all the time. I am an obliger; my thinking is “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.” Outer expectations are easy for me meet, but when it comes to making myself happy, the motivation to keep making conscience choices/decisions is hard. I think that putting this on the internet will put a permanent reminder somewhere I look often during the week.
Anyway, I have something in the works for myself. I'm going back to school next month through BYU-Idaho. It'll be one of the online programs seeing as there is no way in hell that I'd ever move to Rexburg, Idaho. No offence to anyone who has the desire to live there. I am not cut out for 7 months of perpetually windy winters or an all uphill campus. I'm also going to work on my version of a happiness project for myself.