I recently decided to reread The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I couldn’t get into it the 1st couple of attempts mainly because I prefer to read fiction over nonfiction *gasp* but honestly speaking, I couldn’t relate much to the author, or where she was coming from, not by a long shot. However, that tends to be the case with many best-selling books, especially the entrepreneurial ones…so, that was just an excuse too. So, after I got my mojo back, finally coming out of that blasted haze, I decided I needed to make a better effort at my own personal development.
Then, after 3 random encounters and discussions about happiness, I decided to take up some research on the side about the subject. Also, I think that in order to be fully present and truly experience all the adventures, (and misadventures) that life and business have to offer, you have to already be at a place that welcomes happiness.
So here’s my starting point…
When I think about defining Happiness I don’t believe a Wikipedia look-up will do me any justice. So, I’ve decided to start with my current conclusions surrounding happiness, and grow from there.
1) You Define Your Happy. I’d like to believe that we have some control over happiness. With that being said, I suppose I’m referring to circumstances and our emotional response to them. Rubin refers to some research that says, “in determining one’s level of happiness, genetics accounts for 50%; life circumstances…account for about 10 to 20 percent; and the remainder is a product of how a person thinks and acts.”
In another instance, I’m referring more to owning your definition of happy; that means making big girl decisions to attain happiness on your own terms, and claiming said happiness like you know you should…I’m just about tired of the whole “you complete me” “you’re my other half” spiel and the singlism that comes down on anyone who dares claim happiness without a partner in the picture. Even if they did have a partner, feeling free to be happy despite opposition to what he looks like, or whether or not she chooses to have a child, or a certain job, etc. Owning your definition of happy means not leaving it in someone else’s hands to determine what happiness means for you.
2) You Have to Believe You Deserve Happiness
3) You Have to Pursue Said Happiness Relentlessly (Because it’s fleeting)
4) You Have to Give Negative Fudge Sickles About Anyone who dares to convince you otherwise (In reference to point #2)
5) You Have to Consciously put forth an effort to Maintain Happiness, happiness goes up and down, I also think it’s an emotion based on the external with that being said, I don’t care what anyone says, money most certainly can contribute to maintaining happiness.
6) Your Definition of Happy may indeed be someone else’s definition of selfishness ( in which case refer back to point #4)
7) You’ll probably do better to seek Joy and Contentment –Ha! I know, it seems like I just totally contradicted myself, but I do believe there’s a time and a place for all three. I hope to dig more into that in blog posts to come (and with more research).
Until next time…
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So, until I cycle back around to this topic, I’d love to here your take on Happiness. What do you believe to be true about happiness? How do you define Happy?