Gretchen Rubin – The Happiness Project

Herbstblaetter(c)jamie84/SXC

Be happier. We all want to be more happy but what do you do to achieve that? Gretchen Rubin took an analytical approach and tried to identify areas in her life where happiness improvement might be possible. She starts her year of happiness by decluttering her life. So the first chapter didn’t have much news for me. There’s not that much clutter in my life and I’m used to ask myself, if I really need that. I seldom keep items of clothing that I don’t wear (anymore) and I don’t buy items that I can only wear “on a special occasion”. Of course it’s fine to see that I don’t struggle with a topic that so many people consider a problem.

February tackles the subject of marriage which is currently not a topic for me either. But the thought of accepting your partner or friends with all their problems and bad characteristics made me think. You can and should do that with your partner (wife or husband) and of course your children, but one cannot do that with every person you have to deal with in real life. I tried to accept my clients and the aspects of their personality that sometimes fall on my nerve. But it’s just not possible to accept it if you get treated unfair. You cannot accept everything that people throw on you, sometimes you need not only „fight right“ but also fight for your right. You can’t do that by always being friendly. This won’t work in real life. Others won’t play by your lovely happiness rules. Sometimes you will have to show your teeth.

He didn’t want to spend hours pumping up my self-confidence. He was never going to play the role of a female writing partner and it wasn’t realistic to expect him to do it.

This might be a worthy fact for life: No man wants to do that. Men want to have a female partner that already has self-confidence and isn’t addicted on getting compliments all the time. Gretchen Rubin accepts the fact that it’s important for her to get praise for the things she does for her family. „Earning gold stars“ is an interesting term and it also shows that not only children can be baited into doing things but adults are also very much interested in praise for their work and life. I guess it should be easier to praise yourself sometimes.

It makes me sad for two reasons. First, it makes me sad to realize my limitations. The world offers so much! – so much beauty, so much fun, and i am unable to appreciate most of it. But it also makes me sad because, in many ways, I wish I were different. … But it doesn’t matter what I wish I were like. I am Gretchen.

This part really made me think. I compare myself and my life with other people far to often. Many people my age already have marriage, house, children. But it doesn’t matter that I don’t have that because I have a job I love and the freedom to explore life my own way.

Gretchen Rubin also mentions that she will never be an astronaut. I never wanted to be an astronaut but this is comparable with my frustration when I found out that I will never be able to read all books in the world or find all geocaches in the world (not even all in Vienna will be possible). You can do anything you want but you can’t do everything. I will someway be able to find that one mystery cache I’m struggling with and I will someday find that GCQRZK (which is kind of a Nemesis for me). I realized that I always loved the thought of being styled in an extravagant way but I was never feeling comfortable when I was wearing extravagant clothes or makeup. This is just not myself. I’m wearing jeans and black shirts all year and that’s how I’m feeling well.

It’s definitely a good idea to start thinking about happiness and explore ways to find more happiness in your everyday-life. Happiness won’t come to you, you have to make yourself feel better.

Weitere Informationen:
The Happiness Project – Blogfem.com