The other day, while driving to my chiropractor appointment, I heard a very interesting interview on the CBC radio show Q. The host was interviewing Gretchin Rubin, the author of the wildly popular book and blog The Happiness Project. I’d heard about this book in passing, but didn’t really understand what it was all about. After the interview, however, I needed to get my hands on the book. I drove right to Chapters from my chiropractor and bought it.

Gretchen was perfectly content in her life: a happy marriage, two kids and a great job. But one day while sitting on the bus she had a realization: she could be much happier in her day to day life. She wondered at the concept of happiness and it’s intense presence, or absence, at various points in any given day. She set out on a mission to really observe her life and find areas that could use more happiness. I think an important distinction here is that she wasn’t unhappy or depressed. She loved her life. She just wanted to make it the happiest life it could possibly be.

This is what drew me to the book. So often there are books written that cater to specific emotional and life problems: depression, divorce, death, marital/parental problems, etc. It was so refreshing to hear about a book written by someone who was happy and wanted to be even happier.

I haven’t finished the book yet, I’m reading it slowly to really let what she has to say sink in. It’s a totally fascinating read, for many reasons. Top of the list is the amount of research she did about happiness before beginning her happiness project. From Aristotle to the present day, she quotes writers, psychologists, therapists, philosophers and every day people about their views on happiness.

I especially love the list “Secrets of Adulthood” that the author compiled. Some of the secrets include:

  • Outer order contributes to inner calm.
  • By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
  • People don’t notice your mistakes and flaws as much as you think.
  • If you can’t find something, clean up.
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • It’s OK to ask for help.
  • What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
  • You don’t have to be good at everything.
  • It’s important to be nice to everyone.
  • You know as much as most people.
  • Eat better, eat less, exercise more.
  • If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.

It’s hard for me to write down everything I’ve already learned from this book, so I’m going to direct you to The Happiness Project blog:

Even if you feel happy in your life, go to this blog or pick up her book and just enjoy exploring the idea of being even happier than you already are. It’s an awesome challenge.

HAPPY Tuesday to YOU!