Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Happiness Project

So here we are.... Flying over the top of Queensland bound for Singapore...
Years ago I got a book on Venice and I had always been torn between celebrating my 50th in Venice or Paris! Mid way through last year we got thinking and decided we'd visit both Paris and Italy.  
We have four days in Paris then a tour of Italy then a 4 day stopover in Singapore!
What am I looking forward to most?
I think it is the five fishing villages, although it could be Monet's garden or it could be my birthday celebration at 1-altitude...
Today at Christchurch airport I bought a book to read on the flight.., The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I am only up to page 15 and I am loving it!
What a wonderful concept to want to be happier. I know that since our children were born I have always said I want them to be happy and safe.  Happiness is incredibly important to us as we journey through life. Current research quoted states that genetics accounts for about 50% of a person's happiness, life circumstances; age, gender, income, health etc count for 10 - 20% and the remainder is how we think and act.  That really is quite astounding.  We have a lot of control over how happy we are and how we react to life.   
What is happiness?
Aristotle claimed happiness is the chief good. If that is the case what can we do to ensure we make the most of our journey and be happy along the way... 
Here I am on a happy journey, discovering opportunities for greater happiness... Sounds like a dream....

Part of the project Gretchen started was defining her twelve commandments...  So I guess that is a great place for me to start! What is it that I ultimately believe in! That I hold a core to my way of being!

  1. Seize every moment and make the most of it.
  2. Love my family and spend as much time with them as I possibly can.
  3. Greet everyone - the world is full of people I am waiting to meet.
  4. Tell my story.
  5. Listen to the story of others.
  6. If I learn, teach; if I get, give!
  7. Find MAGIC in most everything!
  8. The most precious gift I have is time...

Phew... That was a mission!  Just when I thought I'd got through the intense abrasion workout, the next challenge is to share my secrets of adulthood! Things I believe to be true now that I am growing up!

  • Life may not always be fair, but it is very, very good!
  • Time spent with those you love is the most precious time...
  • FAIL is just first attempt in learning.
  • Making mistakes is crucial.... Learning from your mistakes even more so.
  • Every season is MAGICal.
  • We have incredible power to effect the happiness of others...
  • Telling the truth often hurts.
  • Giving to others is very good for my soul.
  • Working out is good for my body, my mind and my soul.
  • Seek and value advice.
  • Make sure you can see where you have been when you do the housework!
  • Sometimes the best option is to close the door. 
  • Act promptly sometimes... But know when to take your time.
  • Let the temperature decide what you wear.
  • Blow bubbles.
  • Jump in puddles.
  • Make snow angels.
  • Use every opportunity to leverage technology for connecting and celebrating.
  • Write notes and cards and send them.
  • Have the challenging conversations.
  • Obey the speed limit....
  • Park with excellence until you are excellent.
Well that will do for now... Remember this is just e beginning of my journey! No doubt I will have a very different list by the end of this journey, literally and metaphorically!

"Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."  Aristotle

I wonder now if I chose this book because of what mum said to me a few weeks ago.  Se has been trying to get her head around my new role and understand what it is to be a facilitator.  She turned to me and said, "I think you're a facilitator of happiness.."  What a beautiful phrase indeed and one that brings a really fuzzy feeling to my head and my heart! 


  1. You truly are a facilitator of happiness - take care and travel safe my friend until you are back on NZ soil and we can arrange a catch up!

  2. Hope you are having a wonderful time. So pleased you can spread Magic and happiness from so far away. Ah the power of connective ness.