Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thou Shalt Not Be Miserable!
12 Happiness Commandments - Part 1

Happiness is all the rage these days, and nowhere more so than on Gretchen Rubin's very useful blog titled The Happiness Project. Gretchen recently posted tips on creating your own Happiness Commandments. These are short phrases that stand for big ideals - you know you're not thinking large enough if they sound like items from a "To-Do" list. I've taken Gretchen's advice and come up with my own 12 Happiness Commandments. I think I'm on the right track - here are the first six:

1. Create Calm
Clutter clogs my brain. I feel much calmer in an uncluttered* room, working at an uncluttered desk. And if I'm calm, I'm happy.

2. Remember the Alibi
I'm a great one for telling people that if they only knew what was going on in the minds of others, then they'd feel a whole lot less self-conscious, as most people are probably thinking about themselves. Yeah, I'm a great one for that, and then I go out on my own and feel totally self-conscious. So I need to remember when Fort Lauderdude and I went to the Alibi bar in Florida a few weeks back, and I watched him from afar while I was getting drinks. He looked totally self-possessed and confident, although I knew he was thinking "I get out of here." I need to remember that moment.

3. Stretch and Breath
Instead of bounding out of bed and down the stairs or into the living room, I feel a whole lot better if I first take some time to stretch out after waking up. It's like breakfast, only much cheaper. And breakfast gets done at some point soon after. And taking a few deep breaths actually does help the body calm down!

4. Divide by 15
After all these years, I've found I work best in 15 minute increments. Sure, I can concentrate on something for an hour or so. But that's exhausting. I need refreshers every 15 minutes or so. And a good one is:

5. Walk to Nowhere
A great 15 minute refresher. The "nowhere" part is key. I used to think that running an errand would kill the two birds. I'd get out, and something would get done. But since I instituted these walks, sans multitasking, my brain gets clear and focused and I can think up more ideas. And more ideas = more happiness for me.

6. Option my Life.
Get interested in my life as if it's a billion-dollar screenplay and all of Hollywood wants to option it. If I don't think that, then exactly who else will?

Check back tomorrow for numbers 7-12. And in the meantime, consider Dumb Little Man's 30 Happiness Tips: Program Your Life for Optimum Enjoyment.
*Decluttering tip: Don't let postal mail hit a flat surface. Sort it out by hand before you lay the stack of ads and bills down, then throw away anything that's classically "junk." I then put bills in a box on my desk. This has done amazing things for my living room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On the 12 Happiness Commandments - Part 1 "Remember the Alibi" I dont' quite get what you meant on that. Could you be more clear about what you thought the guy's thoughts were?