Yeah me! I completed my year commitment to my Happiness Project at the end of September.
On a side note, I plan on continuing this project as it has been such a wonderful blessing and quite a profound learning experience.
At the end of her book, the author, Gretchen Rubin, shares the lessons she gathered from her project which she calls her Splendid Truths. I did the same thing throughout my project.
When I reread Gretchen's Truths and compared them to mine, I realized our Splendid Truth were almost identical. Therefore, instead of reinventing the wheel so to speak. I decided to write hers interspersed with my comments.
My Happiness Project Splendid Truths
I will italicize Gretchen's Happiness Project Splendid Truths as she wrote them in her original post—which you can find here.
First Splendid Truth
To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
I don't know that these would be my exact words. I think my way of putting it would be that in order to become happier, you have to become more mindful about what makes you tick.
What makes you happy?
What makes you unhappy?
Secondly, there are the acts which make us feel good because they are right and good but they may not necessarily make us feel giddy with happiness.
Lastly, it behooves us to prune the behaviors which make us unhappy—or the people whichever the case may be.
Second Splendid Truth
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
It is so true that we feel our best self when we know we have a positive influence on the life of others. Acts of altruism not only benefit others, but they are also a happiness booster shot for us as well.
However, the foundation of everything we do must be in alignment with our true nature—or we will burn out and this does not bring happiness.
Third Splendid Truth
The days are long, but the years are short.
Indeed, as I stare at 50 in the face—and will be 50 by the time you read this article—I am keenly aware time marches speedily on without showing any signs of slowing down.
Sometimes, when the days are long—and our to-do list is even longer—and we are tired, it is hard to see the next step. Remember though, this too shall pass.
Fourth Splendid Truth
You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.
Repeatedly and without fail, I found this statement to be true.
Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.
~ Abraham Lincoln
Indeed, on most occasions, happiness is a choice. Granted, it is not solely ALWAYS a choice. Considering the possibility of unforeseen events, happiness is an act of the will. We all know people who have everything required to be happy and yet, prefer to wallow in what they perceive is missing. This is the perfect recipe for unhappiness.
Fifth Splendid Truth
I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.
My first commandment was "Be Florence" and this has been the bedrock of my Happiness Project.
I can only find happiness when I am true to who I am. Case in point, while I—at first—molded my project to the book, I quickly modified it to mold to my personality and life.
Fakeness has no place in genuine happiness.
Sixth Splendid Truth
The only person I can change is myself.
As much as we wish some people were different—and that we could change them—we cannot change anyone but ourselves, not even our children. Trust me, I have a couple of people on my short list of "how I wish they were different." Funny thing is I am probably on someone else's shortlist as well.
The truth is we only can fully control and change ourselves—and that's a full-time job for me. Happiness is found in learning this truth and letting go of wanting things—and people—our way.
Our happiness depends on us, not anyone else.
Seventh Splendid Truth
Happy people make people happy, but I can’t make someone be happy, and no one else can make me happy.
I learned this lesson very early. I have a lot of control over my happiness and I can indeed make others happy with my actions. Nevertheless, I cannot make someone want to be happy nor can anyone else make me happy if I chose not to be happy. Basically, happiness is an inside job.
Eighth Splendid Truth
Now is now.
Now is where happiness resides. This was one of my first and most powerful lessons. All we have is now, not yesterday and not tomorrow either. Now.
My Happiness Project: Conclusion
This project was so worth it on so many levels and I would encourage anyone and everyone to commit to one.
I AM happier although—in truth—little has changed with my circumstances. I have instead learned to cultivate a richer internal soil. Much of my newfound happiness was already present last September before the start of my project.
I discovered something which was here all along but which I was too busy to see, or I focused on the wrong thing, or was too busy whining. I won't lie. All is not rainbows and lollipops and you will still find me indulging in the occasional belly ache—I am but human after all. Nonetheless, I have rehearsed behaviors and lessons which I know now encourage happiness...and well...I am far happier for it.
I would add a ninth splendid truth to this list, happiness is found in gratefulness.