The Happiness Project Read Along Part 3 #WSchat @joyweesemoll

New Year's Resolution Reading Challenge 2014Have you thought lately about how happy you are? If you haven’t, even though you know things are really pretty good, you might need your own happiness project.

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The Happiness Project is the Read Along book for The New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge of 2014.

I’m reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin with librarian-blogger Joy Weese Moll and others at Joy’s Book Blog. It’s not exactly a self-help book but it might inspire you to start your own Happiness Project. Visit Joy’s Book Blog to join the group read or find more discussion of The Happiness Project.

Discussion Questions

1. Of the three topics covered in chapters 7, 8, and 9 (Money, Eternity, and Passion), which area would you like to improve the most in 2014? Why? Would some of the techniques that worked for Gretchen work for your situation?
Although I identified almost completely with Gretchen’s reluctance to do errands and shop, with occasional bursts of overspending, I think my less-procrastination resolution already covers some of that. And although I’ve just read two novels by Roland Merullo that have spiritual themes (Breakfast with Buddha and Vatican Waltz), I don’t think I’m going to change my lack of spirituality this year, either. So that leaves pursuing a passion as the area I would like to improve the most in 2014. I have noticed that the more time I spend online, the less time I spend reading books, so I do want to fit more actual book-reading time in somewhere this year, by cutting back on online time-wasters. (Pinterest, anyone?)

One thing I learned from my blog, however, was that some people feel overwhelmed by the question “What’s your passion?” It seems so large and unanswerable that they feel paralyzed. If so, a useful clue to finding a passion to pursue, whether for work or play, is to “Do what you do.” What you enjoyed doing as a ten-year-old, or choose to do on a free Saturday afternoon, is a strong indication of your passion.

2. What idea from chapters 7, 8, and 9 of The Happiness Project could you use today that would likely make you happier?
From Chapter 8 (Eternity): “…[S]ome people are unhappy because they won’t take the trouble to be happy. Happiness takes energy and discipline.” Earlier in the chapter, the author writes about how people with a tendency to be dour like to attribute a naturally happy disposition to cheerful people. Being happy comes easily to such people, so they get no credit for it. Being mildly depressed or having ennui doesn’t automatically make you a smarter, more serious, deeper-thinking person than one who habitually looks on the bright side of life. In fact, it could be you’re taking the easy way out!

Visit Joy’s Book Blog for other discussion posts on The Happiness Project read-along.

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3 thoughts on “The Happiness Project Read Along Part 3 #WSchat @joyweesemoll”

  1. You know what? I love that quote. When I was around ten or so, I used to love playing “library” though I was the only person playing it. 🙂

    Of the three chapters, I plan on focusing on money and making more of it this year. The way I plan on “buying some happiness” is by keeping fresh flowers in the house. It always makes me feel happy to see flowers throughout my home.

  2. You’re so right about the online time wasters. I’m trying to be more mindful of them. I’ve switched from reading on my iPad to reading on my Kindle Paperwhite with the airplane option on so I don’t get bothered by news alerts or pointless Facebook conversations.

  3. I need to find some more efficiency and less running down the rabbit hole on line, too.

    That was one of my favorite quotes. I also like your observation that ennui might actually be masking laziness — a little effort can go a long way in making me happier.

Would love to have you comment!