on happiness and making good
Yesterday morning, I went to my local cafe to have a cup of tea.* Even though I had a ton of work to do, I took The Happiness Project with me (a book I mentioned a few days ago). I haven't gotten very far yet, but there were two passages in the early parts of the book that really stuck with me.
The first was when the author, Gretchen Rubin, discusses her state of mind when she decided to embark on her Happiness Project:
"The words of the writer Colette had haunted me for years: 'What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner.' I didn't want to look back, at the end of my life or after some great catastrophe, and think, 'How happy I used to be then, if only I'd realized it.'"
The second passage related to her ultimate reason for starting her Happiness Project:
"And -- though I didn't recognize this immediately -- I started my happiness project because I wanted to prepare. I was a very fortunate person, but the wheel could turn ... One of my goals for the happiness project was to prepare for adversity -- to develop the self-discipline and the mental habits to deal with a bad thing when it happens."
I love the ideas presented here: (a) that there's something to be said about actively and intentionally working towards happiness, and (b) that happiness is a goal worth working for, no matter how happy you might currently be. I think so often we sort of wait around for our luck to change, for happiness to just sort of happen to us. I love the idea that you can go out and Make Good. Make Happy.
In a lot of ways, that's what the life list I think is going to become for me -- a way to actively Make Happy as I go through my life. What do you think -- does the concept of actively seeking and creating happy ring true for you? Also and related, if you can think of a time when you consciously and intentionally made some happy in your life, I'd love to hear about it.
* In furtherance of number 56 from my life list, yesterday morning's tea was number 1: Jardin Bleu by Dammann Freres. Verdict: it tastes like a good, black tea; but, oh my word, the aroma. Inhaling this tea was like standing in the middle of an expansive, fragrant garden. Just heavenly.