I have been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Each time I read even the smallest section I am left remarkably uplifted and motivated. I have decided, thanks to this reading, that all books should leave me uplifted and motivated, though perhaps in varying ways. And, therefore, I will hence forth forego books that make me said or anxious. Perhaps this is a bit close-minded and I absolutely respect that assessment, I just don’t care. If you want to be open-minded and spend hours in a book that leaves you feeling miserable or sad or scared, go on ahead, just don’t recommend it to me. I’d rather spend those days being filled with happy thoughts.
Naturally, because I love projects and self-reflection and analyzing people (most especially myself), I would love to have my own Happiness Project. And I may in the future. Perhaps it’s a New Year’s Resolution already in the works. For now, however, I have been examining the fundamental question that spurred the creation of this book: Am I happy?
It’s a fundamental question, in my mind. Just as it’s a fundamental feeling. Even our forefathers had the insight to realize that people require happiness and thus penned the ever notable unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. We have the right to pursue happiness wherever we are. It’s not determined by your citizenship or your annual income. There is no body type that can’t have happiness nor is there a language. Happiness crosses all kinds of boundaries that not only the world sets forth, but that we as individuals put up. An important thing to note is that, you don’t have to be unhappy to seek happiness. Wanting to seek happiness is not a lone right for those clinically depressed. Everyone can seek happiness.
But, as a jumping off point, are you happy? I could write a dissertation on all the things I would like to have that I don’t. I won’t, but I could. I could tell you the things that I would love to change about my life and my person. Again, I won’t. I could write the list to end all lists with all the things that would make me happier. And I may, eventually, but you won’t have to read it.
And then I realized, that’s sort of what this blog is about, right? My list. The items on my list will make me happy. That’s why I’m pursuing them. They will cause me some element of joy no matter how significant or fleeting. And I’m not pursuing that list because I’m not happy. If I’m to be perfectly honest, I love my life right now complete with all its imperfections.
My job situation isn’t perfect and I may always wish I had more money and there are members of my family that are in less than tip-top shape. But I am happy. I find a reason to smile every single day. Multiple times a day.
Find a reason to smile today. And, if you can’t find a reason, pick up that book and see if it doesn’t inspire you to find ways to smile every single day.