Ok, it is official. I just registered for the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon. AHHHH.
After all of your support both in the blog world and on facebook in regard to my big marathon decision, I think you deserve a round of applause. The decision will definitely help me cross something off of my bucket list, too!
Ultimately, my decision came down to how much I am willing to push myself. Also, what am I willing to do for myself to achieve greater happiness in my life?
I have been very “happiness oriented” lately. I’d say a lot of it has to do with the fact that I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
I loved the book. It was extremely eye opening. Am I happy? Well, yes. Can I make smaller changes to make myself happier? You betcha!
Throughout the book, Gretchen looks for ways to make her life a happier one. She does not take off on a long trip to discover herself or make drastic changes to her lifestyle. She takes one year to identify little parts of her life that can be altered to make it an overall more pleasant experience.
The whole book goes month by month and focuses on the major aspects she alters or enhances throughout her days. She records all of her monthly goals to keep herself in check.
She also sets guidelines for herself; one of the most important is the “Be Gretchen.” In my case, “Be Nikki.” All in all, the happiness project is about making yourself happy, and as she learned, happiness can be contagious!
Gretchen learned a lot through her experience. There are a few things I sticky noted that I would love to share with you! I especially liked the splendid truths that she realized throughout her journey:
- First Splendid Truth she realizes: To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. Do what makes you feel good, discover what is hindering you from feeling good, and make decisions that allow you to live the life you want. Also, make your life one that will benefit you in the future as well as the present. Allow yourself to grow as a person.
- Second Splendid Truth: One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. It’s your life. Make yourself happy! When you have to decide between careers, choose the one that is satisfying. Don’t be afraid of huge decisions that will better your attitude. When others see your happiness, they will feel a sense of happiness, too! People like happy people! Isn’t it nice to see a loved one be successful? Happiness is contagious!
- Third Splendid Truth: The days are long, but the years are short. Ever heard anyone tell you to enjoy the time you have, because it will be over before you know it? It’s definitely true. You may have the “longest day ever!” But in reality, that day is a mere snippet of a year. It is hard to appreciate each day, but appreciating what you have at the present will make you regret letting the time slip by. Treat each day with a happiness outlook. Search for the happiness in the littlest of places to make the most of each moment. You don’t want to look back and not remember what was going on! Gretchen recorded quick sentences into a journal so she wouldn’t forget the little things in life that bring pleasure.
- Fourth Splendid Truth: You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy. Put your mind into happiness mode. “Of course it’s not enough to sit around wanting to be happy; you must make the effort to take steps toward happiness by acting with more love, finding work you enjoy, and all the rest.” Recognize your happiness. Take the effort, and you will notice that you are happy!
Gretchen also designs a blog during her year-long project. I felt I could definitely relate to this whole thing! I get such a great sense of love and friendship through my blog, and it has definitely led me to feelings of happiness in the short few months I have had it! Another round of applause to all of you! While writing, she mentioned having to remind herself to “Be Gretchen.” My whole blog experience has revolved around being truthful with myself and others on my blog. It is easy to write what people want, but lying won’t bring happiness!
I noticed myself trying to use these principles in my life. As I walked home from class last night, I was thinking about happiness. I started thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to walk to class at a university in which I am getting a quality education, making great friends, and bettering the lives of others as well. This realization in itself made me happier.
All of this being said, I urge you to read this book. Or at least read Gretchen’s blog. Find happiness in your life. It may be hiding, but it’s there. Everyone has happiness in their life. Whether or not you work toward finding this happiness is up to you!
Work toward goals and resolutions. Goals are more one and done – once you accomplish a goal, it is over. Time to set a new one. Resolutions are more ongoing. Exercising better is a resolution. You never reach an endpoint. It is something you strive for all of the time.
What do you do to bring happiness to your life?
Do you know of ways in which you could bring more happiness to your days? Everyone can be happier than they are!