Posts Tagged ‘happiness project’

#UMWFG: be right or be for the good

In Happiness on October 17, 2013 at 2:29 am

I’m on a mission through the end of November to live a happier life by focusing on using my words for good (#umwfg).

So, I’m a lawyer to be. And, I’m the youngest in my family. I like being right. It’s satisfying at a molecular level. But, being right does not always lead to good feelings. Even after I announce that I’m right, I’m usually still annoyed; I feel self-righteous, ruffled, and generally contrary to the person who was wrong.

Perhaps being right isn’t always important.

Today, for the first time, I tried thinking about whether it would be more important to be right or to be for the good. Essentially, the reason being right seems so important to me sometimes is because I take it so personally that the other person seems wrong to me. I take it as an actual person affront that this person, for example, thinks that Lil Wayne would make a great President. I’m offended. I’m outraged. My whole sense of self has been called into question!!!!(!!!!!!!!!!!).

But, is that really necessary? Obviously, it’s not.

The next time one of my colleagues is looking for something that I obviously must have (even though I know that I don’t have it….obviously), and then I find said thing on his/her desk….in his/her plain sight, I am going to TRY to remember to use my words for good. It’s just as easy to say, “Oh, here it is. Found it” as it is to say, “See. I told you I didn’t have it. Come here. Look at this. Just look at this. Here it is. You see it? It’s right there on YOUR desk. If it had been a snake it would have killed you. Next time try looking in front of you.” For the record, this last example is pretty close to something I’ve actually said…..more than once in my life.

The first response will likely lead me to feel more peaceful and will likely not engender disdain in the heart of my colleague.

Using my words for good.



Happiness Project or Joy Journey?

In Happiness on October 14, 2013 at 3:51 am

I just finished Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Each month for a year, she chose to focus on a central theme that she felt would improve her overall happiness.

I like this idea. But, what I like even more was the fact that Gretchen encourages her readers to pursue happiness in unique ways.

I have been debating whether I should call my own pursuit a happiness project or a joy journey. It strikes me that the difference is both semantic and subjective. Happiness is different for each person, so happiness encompasses more or less what I want it to encompass.

One part of my project involves my spiritual beliefs. It further strikes me that JOY is one of the fruits of the Spirit spoken of in the Bible in the fifth chapter of Galatians:

By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things . . . Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. (Verses 22 and 26).

And, I don’t want to focus on just one fruit. I would, in the end, like to cultivate all the fruits. This project is not meant to be overly mystical or complicated.

So, I am sticking with the Happiness Project moniker.

Gretchen also looks for SPLENDID TRUTHS in her life. These splendid truths are rules that, she realized over the course of her project, by which she lives her life. For example, she says “the days are long but the years are short.” This truth reminds her to slow down and enjoy each day.

I like the SPLENDID TRUTHS. The word splendid is totally fun and thoroughly under utilized. When I say splendid, I feel like I’m in a Disney movie.

But, I am also a questioner. So, in addition to SPLENDID TRUTHS, there will also be BIG QUESTIONS.

 I have 24 things that I want to work on. I am going to make an initial one-year commitment to my Happiness Project.

The first month–and it’s going to be extended through the end of November–is using my words for good. This idea appeals to me. Being snappy and short with people is a huge source of guilt for me. And, I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t feel connection with the Hap-ject fairly quickly: I will give up.

Smiley faces

In Happiness, R[evol]ution on October 11, 2013 at 4:53 am

This post is sort of about Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project–a book and a website all about her one year journey to finding a way to a happier life. It may sound like a tome of first world problem angst, but the book is really about the habits, words, and thoughts that make one’s self and those around one happier. All in all, I found the book to be a great and worthwhile read.

Gretchen (because obvi, we’re like bff) offers lots of practical tips and illustrations from her own life and the lives of others. Her own happiness project was broken down into monthly chunks, with each month allowing her to focus on a different aspect of happiness.

I would like to do my own happiness project, but it occurs to me that I lead a pretty happy life. I could simply follow Gretchen’s plan, but that wouldn’t mean as much to me. So, I am going to start by identifying areas in my life that could include more happiness.

1. My relationships with my family members.

2. Honesty about my spiritual life.

3. Body love. I need to accept and nurture the skin I’m in.

4. Be easier to work with and be more accepting of those I work with.

5. Make quality purchases at quality places.

6. Eat good food.

7. Build closer friendships.

8. Try more new things.

9. Be more forgiving and let go of old grudges.

10. Get rid of clutter.

11. Stabilize and learn more about my mental health.

12. Feel and express gratitude.

13. Celebrate more.

14. Express my emotions at the right time and in the right way.

15. Volunteer more.

16. Communicate immediately, openly, honestly.

===========10/11/13 Update

17. Use my words for good.

18. Brush up on my French.

19. Grow things

20. Develop my art skills

21. Talk on the telephone more

22. Relax more.

23. Exercise more.

24. Be more collegial