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Emily Ley Blog

The Happiness Project

April 02, 2012

I am reading what might be one of my favorite books ever. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin is a remarkable book.

I love the full title: The Happiness Project Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

Now, why am I reading this book…

I’d heard about this during last year’s Making Things Happen tour. Someone mentioned that the book had a lasting affect on them. And well, who doesn’t want to be happier. I always want to be more organized, a better cook, a more “present” person, etc etc etc but I haven’t really thought about being happier in general.

In the big scheme of things, I’ve got it pretty awesome: I’m married to my high school crush, I’m a mama to the cutest little boy ever and I work from home doing work that I love.

But sometimes I take all of that for granted and I complain. I throw in the towel and get frustrated that I have to manage Brady and work all at once. I get annoyed with Bryan because he leaves his shoes scattered across the living room every night after his run. I sigh at my full inbox.

And I don’t want to. I know, in my gut, how blessed I am. I just want to know it every minute of the day. I want to feel that genuine gratitude as much as possible and teach Brady the same. I want to love, give, serve more.

So I am reading The Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin was a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized her life’s purpose was to be a writer. She decided to take a year of her life and devote it to The Happiness Project – a quest to be happier and more “present” every day.

I’m starting Chapter 3 and it’s already made an impact on my everyday. Chapter 1 focuses on clearing clutter and ridding your home and workspace of excess. I do a pretty good job of this generally, so I whizzed through this section. (I get great satisfaction out of prancing through my house with a big black trash bag gathering things to give away. Its bizarre). Chapter 2 focuses on marriage. It reminds me a lot of the book Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. You should check that one out too. (Thanks G)

One of my favorite parts from Chapter 2 is Gretchen’s goal to be ridiculously nice to her husband for an entire week: no nagging, no frustration, only love, hugs, admonishment, compliments, etc. She had to be nice even when she really didn’t want to. Now, of course, she didn’t tell him that she was doing this – but it underscored her idea that (and I love this SO MUCH – I need to eat these words)

ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL.

When she acted more loving and caring towards her husband, she found that she felt a lot more tenderness towards him. I love this so much. I may or may not be trying this with Bryan right now : )

More updates as I get through this book. It really is worth checking out.

xo,

Emily

PS: Speaking of happiness, apply for the Making Things Happen Scholarship before its too late! Contest ends tonight!

PPS: Right now, Brady is singing (well, it sounds like “da da daaa daaa” and “uh oh uh oh uh oh”) the Veggie Tales version of Back Street Boys. Where is my video camera.

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