It’s a real pain to be disorganized. You spend a lot of time hunting for your keys; you have to order a replacement birth certificate; you know you must have ten hammers someplace in your house, because you always end up buying a new one when you need it, because you can’t find the ones you already have.
more about: happiness
The most idiosyncratic and cryptic of my Twelve Personal Commandments is “Spend out.” What does that mean? I’m a bit of a miser. By spending out, I mean to stop hoarding, to trust in abundance, to stop keeping score.
A humbling fact about my happiness project is that many of the ideas that have made the biggest difference in my life are so…simple. For example, consider one of my twelve personal commandments: Identify the problem.
Today is a big day for me. It’s the publication day for my book, The Happiness Project. I’ve been working on it for a long time — it’s hard to believe that it’s out in the world at last.
I’ve been working on my happiness project for years, and it makes me very happy that my book, The Happiness Project, is about to hit the shelves.
It’s an account of the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture. I describe everything that I tried during that year – and what I learned about how to be happier.
Starting a family tradition sounds like an oxymoron, right? But traditions have to start somewhere. Studies show that traditions are quite important to family happiness. In fact, family rituals encourage children’s social development and boost feelings of family cohesiveness by 17%. They help provide connection and predictability, which people–especially children–crave. Without traditions, holidays don’t feel much different from ordinary life. And they’re a lot of fun.
On our last family trip to visit my parents in my hometown, Kansas City, it occurred to me that one of the reasons we have so much fun there is that we make the rounds of our “favorites” – our favorite hamburger joint, our favorite ice-cream store, our favorite toy store, our favorite book store, our favorite barbeque place (several contenders for this—it’s Kansas City, after all!)
One of my Twelve Personal Commandments is to “Spend out.” This somewhat cryptic phrase encompasses several resolutions, but one aspect of “spending out” is to remember to spend money appropriately. I’m an under-buyer, so I need to make a special effort to buy even the things that I truly need.
And yesterday I actually bought some pens.
Here’s something to do—or rather, not do—that has boosted my happiness and (I bet) the happiness of the people around me: I’m trying to resist the urge to talk about things that are annoying me.
One of my favorite authors, Samuel Johnson, observed: “To hear complaints is wearisome alike to the wretched and the happy.” I finally realized the truth of that statement.