Personal Commandments – Happiness Project

by Elizabeth Sellers on 29 August 2010 · 13 comments

I heard about The Happiness Project a few weeks ago courtesy of the Owl and Peacock blog. It is a book, project, website and community led by Gretchen Rubin who has looked at how happiness is conceived, perceived and imagined by the great thinkers, writers and philosophers of history and now. She took it upon herself to test out the various approaches, ideas and directions on how to achieve happiness over the course of a year and found what she cons iders the useful ways to achieve happiness. In her own words, the book is “a memoir of the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy”. Such is the popularity of her book, blog and project that it has become a movement with Happiness Project groups springing up all over the USA  where participants meet up to discuss their progress with their own Happiness Projects.

I was at once both intrigued and inspired, so I took some time to read through her website and several ideas resonated. As I have mentioned before, I have had a bit of difficult year so I am going to take on a few of these tasks and give them a try. Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose, right?

First of all, I have written a list of Personal Commandments. These are mantras and guiding principles for my life. I am sure some of these are relevant to most people but each list should be personal. I found this to be a very useful exercise in recognising how my mind works and how I would like to improve my way of thinking and living. It was a cathartic process as well as enlightening. I definitely recommend giving it a try, it is amazing how we let ourselves forget the little things in life like ‘breathing’ that would make a mountain of difference during those daily stressful moments.
I am sharing my Personal Commandments with you here and I will keep you updated on how I progress. For instance, I have started to achieve ‘Surrounding myself with positive people and staying away from toxic people’. I have often found that in the past I have attracted needy people who zapped my energy and often gave little in return. This would often drain me and stress me out and so I have had to learn to be strong by deciding who I spend time with and not feeling responsible for other people’s happiness or quality of life.

What do you think? Would you consider writing your own Personal Commandments? Have a read through some other Happiness Project ‘Personal Commandments’ for inspiration here. And I would love to know how you get on.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

LulaPie August 29, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Love your list, especially the last one. Think I need to have that pinned up somewhere in my workroom.
Thanks for your message about Create Challenge. It's good to have people who obviously paint a lot saying such positive things.
Will you join me and throw some paint around for last week! Yay, why not? I'm not scared (as long as I can use my fingers again). xxx

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PinkBow August 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm

i definitely think it's a good thing to do, even though i hadn't heard of it already. anything that helps & it's easy to forget the small pleasures in life

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Alison Sellers August 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

Your Granny once gave me this poem and now I pass it on to you

Happiness is like a butterfly
The more you chase it
The more it will elude you
So put your mind to other things
And it will come quietly
And rest upon your shoulder

2 other happiness quotes which I always remember are;

Happiness is wanting what youve got ( I like that one)

and,

Happiness is but a brief interlude in a general drama of pain ( Father and Son – English O or A level, cant remember – not so keen on that one though)

Auntie ali x

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Indie.Tea August 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I love the concept, and I like making lists, so I'd absolutely be willing to make my own 'personal commandments'.'
Yours are great!

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conversationpieces August 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I love the idea… I like the idea of writing down your commandments like that. Off to check it out. Thanks x

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Laura August 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm

It's so important to enjoy all those little things and not get carried away with the busy stress of it all. Anything that helps you to do that is a good idea in my book, and yes we should definitely be kind to ourselves. Especially if that involves another helping of the apple and blackberrry crumble that's sitting in my kitchen. Loved your list. L x

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Elizabeth @rosalilium August 30, 2010 at 9:45 pm

@LuluPie – Oooh, I'm tempted by the painting. I think mine will definitely be finger-painting though. That still counts right. Oooh I'm excited now.

@Auntie Ali – Thank you, that is such a lovely poem. It's funny because my last commandment is inspired by Granny and Grandad – they have the 'pull up your socks and get on with it' attitude.

And to everyone else…thanks for the support. I would love to know if you have anything to else to add that works for you. I am always open to inspiration.

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Amelia August 31, 2010 at 9:36 am

I love things like this so much. Apart from the fact that blogging has helped start a business (my experimental art e-course) and made some great connections and some great 'real time' friends, the other thing has been the wealth of info and insights. I recently wrote about this idea briefly in a blog post and for me, um, the commandements I have given myself are along the lines of: be myself and speak my own truth (from the heart!), do what I love with a passion and avoid worrying about the money, life is too short not to just 'do it'! and treat others how you would like to be treated has been a long-standing one . . . . I totally subscribe to the notion that many things can be changed with a change of mind :)

Good luck on your happiness project.

Amelia.x

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Roisin August 31, 2010 at 10:05 am

What a great post – I really like the idea that happiness is something that everyone can achieve, and that one only needs to have a little faith and work to find it.
I have a buddhist proverb which I have kept ever since I came across it, which sums up what I'm trying to say here!
There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way.

~Roisin

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Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries August 31, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Ah so nice! I have to make a list too!
xxx

http://gypsy-diaries.blogspot.com/

P.S: I'm having a megacute jewelry/accessories giveaway… come and check it out! ;)

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Gretchen September 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I saw the nice mention of my blog, The Happiness Project, here! I very much appreciate those kind words and you shinning a spotlight on my work!! Thanks and best wishes,
Gretchen

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Jess September 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

I really like your personal commandments. I love the happiness project too :)

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Elizabeth @rosalilium September 3, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone – there are some really great commandments out there that just keep on inspiring me.
x

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