The Happiness Experiment

The Inspiration
One of the most thought-provoking and inspiring books I’ve been reading in the past couple of months coincidently conveniently had much to do with a favorite subject of interest for me and a lot of other people: happiness.
 
I have been told by many fine people including my boss, my parents and an ancient looking woman in the produce aisle that the 20’s are the happiest and most joyous time of one’s life. The 20’s are full of hope and promise and excitement of the future. These are times of being carefree with friends, living in cramped but artsy apartments, going out drinking on a Thursday and still making it to work on time, dating, dancing and finding out about who you are.
 
I will not generalise but personally for me, the 20’s has been more of a time of all of the above wrapped up in confusion. While I enjoyed the apartment, the friends, the job income and the parties, I still wonder. Is this it? Surely, there is more to living than blogging, partying, Facebooking and falling asleep on the bus every morning and afternoon on the way to and from work!
 
Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project certainly seemed to think so. The Happiness Project was written and inspired after an epiphany on the subway Rubin had. What exactly makes one happy? Why am I not happier?
 
I figured that if Rubin and I shared similar thoughts while on the subway, we might have similar things, make similar adjustments in lifestyle and adopt similar habits to be happier individuals. And so, I embark on my very own Happiness Project. I have decided to call this The Happiness Experiment because unlike Rubin, I did not read countless books on happiness and philosophy. I have not read the lives of the saints or interviewed people about their happiness patterns. All I have is Rubin’s book and a need to see if she’s right. Do we actually have a direct control on our happiness?
 
The Experiment:
Rubin took a year to complete her happiness project, with each month focused on a different theme. She went the whole nine yards. Mapped out her themes, made a resolution chart and wrote the book. Knowing my ADD with undertakings like this and keeping in mind that this is more of an experiment, I have decided to make mine a 12 week program. Each week will focus on the corresponding theme that Rubin outlined each month. This makes my experiment a 3 month commitment that puts me right up to the first day of summer. It’s a perfect spring project.
 
Goals:
- To complete this 3 month experiment without ADD, boredom or just total disinterest.
- To find my own unique sources and strategies for happiness.
- To become a happier person
- To inspire you to find what makes you happy. 
 
One of the main reasons I decided to blog about this is for accountability. I don’t know how many of you will follow me with The Happiness Experiment but I’m hoping for feedback and thoughts about the weekly themes and findings. I would love it even more if you joined me! :)
 
And so, here we are at Week 1 of the Happiness Experiment.
Theme of Week 1: Boost your Energy.
Points of focus: Go to sleep earlier, exercise better, toss, restore and organise, tackle a nagging task and act more energetic.
 
I will see you at the end of the week with a report on what sleeping, doing laundry and exercising did for my happiness level ;)
 
Wish me luck! Until then…stay happy and I really hope you stick around for this one!
 
Please note that The Happiness Experiment is a seperate page from my regular blog posts and is not updated in the regular home page of the blog. Please click on The Happiness Experiment tab above for all experiment related updates.

13 thoughts on “The Happiness Experiment

  1. This is on my reading list. After I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love, I picked this book up and Barnes&Noble and thought hey…I’m on it.I don’t have to travel to three countries to find my inner happiness…I don’t have the cash for that…just cash for trips to Ensenada ;) I read her blog, very awesome indeed. I have to start reading the book I though. She’s the one that inspired me to “post a everyday” … the madness! Great to know there are other fans out there.

  2. I have no idea why anyone over 29 would tell you that your 20s are the happiest part of your life. That is crazy talk! The 20s are for screwing up and figuring out some stuff and being dumped and trying find a career and wasting money and drinking too much and sleeping around. Good lord, I wouldn’t do my 20s over for anything. They were a blast and would have been very entertaining blog material if blogs existed then but “happiest”….uh, no.

    Congratulations on your Freshly Pressed!

    Maggie

  3. i see, however i think i somewhat disagree. happiness is a state of mind. it is to be kinder to self and friends. so i am happy i dont believe in boredom. i dont sign autographs either. i dont need a guru or coach. i am therefore i am grateful for this space. peace.

  4. ‘I still wonder. Is this it? Surely, there is more to living than blogging, partying, Facebooking and falling asleep on the bus every morning and afternoon on the way to and from work!’

    I’m totally with you!

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