02: Be Happy


by Elaine Cotoner

 “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end.”

– Blaise Pascal

The Happiness Project is a year’s worth of resolutions, broken down into months of the year. Each month focuses on one aspect of your life; with concrete action steps you can follow.

January focuses on your energy and encourages you to sleep earlier and start and exercise routine. Of course, “January” can be any month of the year.

Out of all the suggestions in the book, I learned that happiness starts with a change of mindset. Here are three happiness mindsets to help you in your own journey:

  1. Stop waiting on the world to change

(I’m looking at you, John Mayer.)

Most of us wait for other people to change to be happy. We’ll be okay only when the husband helps around the house, when the traffic lessens, or when we win the lottery.

The whole concept of The Happiness Project shatters our victim mentalities and puts the power (and the responsibility) of being happy in our hands. After all, the easiest person to change is ourselves. Throughout the year, Gretchen discovers that even if she couldn’t change her husband or her kids, much of her stress was avoided by changing the way she reacts.

  1. Embrace what makes you happy

The Happiness Project is a book with suggestions, but Gretchen urges us to make our own projects if some parts don’t resonate with us. It was being herself that sparked the project in the first place.

Before The Happiness Project, there was Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert’s search for happiness that took her around the world.  Instead of following her lead, Gretchen acknowledged that she doesn’t like going out of the house as much. She wrote the book people who would like to “change their lives without changing their lives.”

“Be yourself. It takes self knowledge and discipline to discover what I want, instead of parroting desires of other people.”

–Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

  1. There will be bad days

And that’s okay. More than a self-help book, The Happiness Project is a memoir. It’s encouraging to note that even the person who wrote a book about happiness also struggles with her resolutions sometimes.

“A happiness project is no magic charm. Go to sleep earlier and in the morning, things looked a little better.”

–Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

Also check out Gretchen Rubin’s Secrets of Adulthood and Twelve Commandments of Happiness, which can also be found in the book’s introduction.

Book giveaway

So, yes, I’m for real. Congratulations to Jomar Antuerpia for winning All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. You agreed to cover shipping costs, yay!

Get this book:

I’m giving my copy of The Happiness Project away. For a chance to win it, answer this question in the comments section below:

What makes you happy? 

If you win, you have cover the shipping costs (from Metro Manila, Philippines.)

The winner will be chosen at random (completely at random. Pleads of friendship will not work!) and announced next week.


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