Rubin decided to devote a year to seeing if she could improve her level of happiness, and “The Happiness Project” was born. She turned to scientific research, age-old wisdom and popular culture for ways to do this—focusing on a different subject each month. “A ‘happiness project’ is an approach to changing your life,” she writes in "A Note to the Reader." “First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.”
As she compiled her subjects and resolutions, she found “overarching principles” emerging. These she dubbed her "Twelve Commandments" and her "Secrets of Adulthood."
I enjoyed this book so much that I’ll be sharing several posts about it with you over the next few months. I’m not choosing to pursue a formal Happiness Project of my own right now, but I couldn’t help coming up with my own “Twelve Commandments.” They are, in no particular order:
- There is time enough.
- Live joyfully.
- Be Kathy.
- Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.
- Pause before you say no.
- It is what it is.
- Rise to the occasion.
- I am enough.
- Slow down—faster isn’t better.
- Progress, not perfection.
- Help is everywhere.
- What would I do if I wasn’t scared?