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.
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.