The Happiness Project

So, you may or may not know this, but one of the biggest perks of working at Penn State is the access to their library system. As I surf the web, I stumble upon recommendations for books, and I go to the library site. I see if they have it, or even if they don’t, and then I request the book. Within days, the book arrives at my office, and we live happily together for awhile.

This past week, I received two such books: Breakthrough!: 90 proven strategies to overcome creative block & spark your imagination and 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

I am not sure where I ran across them, but I did, and here we are.

The Breakthrough! book is just 90 suggestions from various people to overcome a block. Handy to have, but not something to read deeply and ponder. Rather, if my back is up against the wall, maybe I could find some inspiration.

The Happiness Project, however, has much more food for thought.

The author, Gretchen Rubin, decided that time was passing her by, and while she was happy, could she find ways to increase her happiness and bring more joy into her life. Some folks said this was a little self-indulgent, but I didn’t find it so. Already an author, she was accomplished at doing deep-dives of research on the topic and distilling only the necessary material for us to ingest in an enjoyable way.

She reviewed her life and decided to tackle 12 different initiatives in the span of a year, which she thought would improve her general state of happiness.  Each month focused on a different concept:

  • Boost energy
  • Remember love
  • Aim higher
  • Lighten up
  • Be serious about play
  • Make time for friends
  • Buy some happiness
  • Contemplate the heavens
  • Pursue a passion
  • Pay attention
  • Keep a contented heart
  • Everything all at once

The book coincided with a renewed passion, on my part, to be more inspired, which included reading more, sleeping more, and exercising more. In an effort to be brief, I will comment more on the book in another post.

Are you happy? Do you think you can make yourself happy? Happier? Do tell!


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