My Happiness Project

I was listening to a podcast the other day titled "8 Rules to Happiness" from Oprah's Super Soul Conversations podcast. In the podcast Oprah interviews Gretchen Rubin who is a New York Times bestselling author of the book titled "The Happiness Project" in which she discusses the research she conducted trying to find out how to lead a happier life. I have to say it was a really interesting podcast and I felt like I learned some valuable things. During their interview, Gretchen talked a lot about the importance of creating habits around the things that make you happy and taking out or avoiding the negative aspects or triggers in your life. There was a big focus on work and discipline, which I think is so valid. I think there needs to be a strong effort from within ourselves to try and create a more positive environment, to make decisions to ACT in ways that make us happier. It won't just happen to you, better circumstances won't change your mood. It's about changing yourself in your current situation. Gretchen used an example of a habit she put into practice involving her husband. It was as simple as kiss in the morning and kiss at night. Regardless of her mood in the morning or at night, she practiced that habit. She talked a lot about mindfulness and the mental effort it takes in deciding to practice the habits but that over time once it's become an actual habit, the effort of mindful decision lessens and it's not as painfully difficult. 

During the podcast, Gretchen talked about some rules she formed for herself or personal "commandments" that helped her along the way. So after listening to the rules I decided to form my own, adapting from her's and creating some of my own. 

  • BE TOREY - Don't try to change yourself to what you want to be or wish you were, don't try to be like everyone else, and don't try to become what other people want you to be. Obviously there is always room for self improvement, but always hold on to the real you. 
  • FORGIVE YOURSELF - Don't beat yourself up for mistakes, learn from them and grow. LET THEM GO. 
  • REST IS GOOD - This is specifically something I need to hear. I beat myself up if I'm not productive, if I don't go to the gym, if I'm not always go go go. Listen to your body, don't beat yourself for taking time to rest not only your body but your mind. 
  • ENJOY THE PROCESS & ACCEPT FAILURES - Failures are how we learn and grow. Sometimes the process is more important than the actual end result. Don't ignore the growth that can come in the step by step because you are so eager for the finish. 
  • ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL - This is a tough one but so important. Act the opposite way you feel at the time, for example be kind when you just want to be angry and mean. Trust me it will totally do a 180 to your mood. 

Take some time to form your own rules. Seeking change and personal growth is a process and takes effort. But I think we need to be willing to take that time and work for it. Spend some time in introspection, figure out what you really want, determine what it will take to get there, and start practicing till those practices become habits. During the podcast Gretchen said, "It's tricky to control your emotional state but you can control behavior." Listening to the podcast has really inspired me to do some of my own introspection in an effort to start identifying and forming new positive habits. Hopefully it will inspire you too! Listen to the full podcast episode HERE

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