Why do you work? Why do you spend your time with family and friends? Why do you cultivate your hobbies? Why do you sing? Why do you meditate? Why do you watch TV?
Maybe you would like to give a different answers to all these questions. Actually, the answer is just one: to be happy.
Happiness, as discovered hundreds of years ago by most important philosophers, is the final goal of each of our actions.
Pay attention: happiness, not pleausure. You feel happiness when you invest in somethingl, in growth, for you or for others. You feel pleasure when you consume something.
This book is a self-help memoir. Gretchen starten her personal Happiness Project by programming it during a Whole year. Each month focused on one issue:
– January: energy and vitality
– February: marriage
– March: work
– April: parenthood
– May: leisure and hobbies
– June: friendship
– July: money
– August: eternity
– September: your passion (in her case: books)
– October: Mindfulness
– November: attitude in doing all these things
– December: happiness in general.
She did not want to change her life from top to bottom. She wanted to be happy exactly where she was, with her family, job, city. This is one thing that we hardly understand: we dream to change work or to expatriate to the Caribbeans (well, a book cannot make me change my mind…), but if by chance we manage to do this, we notice that we face the same Self. Well, not a case that one of her comandments was “Be Gretchen”.
Do not try to love something because you think that you should love it. I would like to love more classical music and jazz, but I do not. On the contrary, I love pop music, above all when I can follow it well during my running. I would like to love shopping, just to have something to chat with some ladies, but I do not. I would like to love romance books, but I do not.
The changes that Gretchen introduced into her life were all little: starting a reading Group, uncluttering, controlling her tongue when rage was starting, stopping nagging.
Above all she experienced that new things/event/people/activities boosted her happiness level.
I would never follow her suggestion about diet (she is a great fun of coffee and for sure, no vegan), but she has unclosed a forgotten wisdom mass that we shall Always remember: if you want to be happy, think and act happy.
Nothing more. So simple.