Monday, July 11, 2011

The Happiness Project

So right now I'm reading this book called The Happiness Project and it's gotten me thinking a lot about what makes me happy in my life.  I wouldn't say the book is my favorite, at some points it almost seems like a self-help book which I was definitely not looking for.  But I can see why I picked it up, I seem to be drawn to books, articles, ways of life, about happiness (and I'm sure I'm not the only one).  I just find it really intriguing to learn what makes a person happy, what makes a community happy, what creates happiness in our world.  Happiness is such a complicated term used in so many different ways.  I strive to try and be happy in whatever situation I am placed in.  I know this is a bit idealistic and obviously I'm not always happy, but lately I've been thinking about happiness and positivity and how I live my life.

Something that really stuck with me recently on my outlook on life was a sermon I went to over 4th of July at my grandmother's church.  My grandmother goes to a very modern church with screens with the music on them, a full band and lots of energy.  Although it is not the kind of place I would choose to worship on my own, I am very respectful of her church because she has found a community that has embraced her and helped her grow.  The sermon that the minister gave over 4th of July really turned me off though.  He talked about our birth right and how we as a people constantly lose our integrity and respect of ourselves by the actions we take.  I just walked away from the service and felt bad about humanity because of that minister.  I don't believe inspiring people comes from putting fear or remorse in them.  I believe that inspiration comes from hope and positivity.  It comes from giving people something to strive for.

So that sermon got me thinking about the way I look at life and I find that I do always look for the positive in things (sometimes to a fault).  I believe that people are inherently good but sometimes put in situations where they make fatally wrong decisions.  I know I'm sounding a bit cliche and naive but I don't really care because I think it's important to know what you believe.

Anyway, back to the book I'm reading.  I just wanted to share a few things that have kept coming back through my mind as I'm reading this book:

1. Be Gretchen (that's the author of the book) - as I think about this I can only think of how important it is to be yourself and stand up for yourself, no matter what.  So with that all I can be is me, my silly, dingbatty self, Peyton...sometimes you need a reminder.

2. "The days are long, but the years are short" - As I just had a semi-big Birthday and am wallowing in the fact that I have officially entered my mid-20s I seem to be understanding this quote more and more each day.  I always come back to the thinking that the years get shorter when you get older - why?  Because you've experienced more, when your 2, 2 years is your whole life and that's a really long time.  But when your 25 2 years is only about a 12th of your life and that's not nearly as much time (this might be insanely obvious, but I always think it's interesting to think about).  Anyway, this quote just strikes me because I always find myself saying, wow, where did those 3 years go, or wow where did spring go - and this quote sums it up and reminds me to enjoy the long days and take advantage of them, because before you know it, it'll be another year.

3.  Act the way I want to feel - I found this "commandment" in the book to be a really interesting one.  Yes, just like everyone, I have bad days.  I also am put in situations where I'm intimidated or nervous and generally in those situations I close into myself.  This commandment talks about faking it until you make it - even if you aren't happy if you put on a happy demeanor and bear through it, you generally will become happier yourself.  And I think this works with being shy too, so I'm going to try and make a more concerted effort to act the way I want to feel.

Be Peyton.
So, if anyone is still reading, I hope you enjoyed my semi book review/personal view on happiness.  What makes you happy?  Do you have certain mottos or quotes that you live by?  What's your outlook on life?

Happy Monday, linking up to lowercase letters miscellany monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters


  1. i loved this post! it totally made me step back and think about what REALLY makes me happy

  2. This was a fantastic post, Peyton! I definitely need to buy the book because you're not the only one who says wonderful things! Hope you had a happy Monday!

  3. I love the idea of acting the way I want to feel.