The Happiness Project

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I recently read an inspiring, motivational, and life changing book. Yes, that’s right! I said life changing! How annoyed I used to get by those annoying happy people on my Twitter feed dishing out advice on how to be a happier and better person. ‘UNFOLLOW’ I hurriedly clicked, thinking who are you to be preaching happiness on my feed, get off, now.

I know there will be sceptics out there like my step-dad, for example, who will see self-motivational reads as a ball bag of scepticism, and perhaps as an artic truck load of self-involved vanity, like I used to too. Who knows…is this what you think, Paul? 😉

I read Gretchin Rubin’s The Happiness Project during my month off work. A month is a long time and really makes you think when you would really rather be working. In the past, as you’ll know, I realised that I don’t appreciate what I have enough. This was back when I had an epiphany and realised that we should ask ourselves what we are thankful for when we feel down. This is still, unfortunately but knowingly, the case. The recent stresses in my life made this question totally invalid as I lay there feeling angry at the recent events and at who caused these events to happen. There was no getting passed this annoyed sensation that was making me cry, making me angry, and making me quite a not very nice person to be around.  I knew that only I could get myself out of this inconvenient moping depression. So, I left that job first and foremost. Then, I started to read and write and do things that I enjoyed a lot more.

This led to a light-bulb day. An email containing a $10 1 year anniversary voucher from KikkiK took me to her store, where I fell madly in love with this bright yellow book with The Happiness Project title inscribed in shiny gold. For a millisecond I thought to myself is this going to be like the time I paid ACTUAL MONEY for a book with the title How to Spend Less. What an oxymoron brain conundrum that was…

I started to read this little package of miracles and felt as one feels ten minutes after finishing the first coffee of the day. My brain was filled with excitement and great ideas on how to be at my happiest. I am, after all, living in New Zealand where everything is possible (well, most things when you use your imagination, you obviously couldn’t go to France for the weekend). You can go to the south island and see white mountains and drive through mountain passes, or sit along the many wharfs that make up Auckland harbour with a coffee and watch the boats, you can take salsa classes, attend book clubs, take a ferry to Waiheke, visit the Coromandel, run around the Wynyard Quarter listening to your favourite tunes, join communities of French people via meetup, or anything else that springs to mind!

After reading Gretchin’s plans for January and February I started to formulate my own Happiness Project, and anyone can do this! The overall aim in this 12 month project is to ‘be you’, and in my case ‘be Chloe’.

Gretchin’s rules are easy to follow. For the first month, be more energised (think happy, think energy), get to grips with the project and mould the tasks to suit as you go. I am very excited about this 12 months project, because I do love a project. It coincides well with my new role as a Reintegration Coordinator in prison, and my new Tuesday Book Club, and my new found love for Happy Hour at Y Not along Princes Wharf. One thing it has already taught me, in the hope that I settle into my new job, is to do things for you and you only even if it is really for someone else. This way you feel happy that you did it for yourself with the added bonus of gratitude, if you get any at all.

Out of curiosity and to get a glimpse of Gretchin’s great ideas you can click this link to take part in her 21 Day Relationship Challenge . I am doing this in secret starting with my first email from Gretchin tomorrow. Then my partner won’t know why all of a sudden I have made these little changes in myself. Let the challenge commence! He doesn’t even read my blog so there is a fat chance of the old chap knowing what I am up to.


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