My Happiness Project

I have been reading the book The Happiness Project to look for ideas to bring more happiness to my life. While I am not generally unhappy, I do have many moments of unhappiness and most of them are a direct result of my behavior. With that in mind I used the book to come up with a list of some things I would like to work on.

Stop at least one negative statement about a person place or thing. 

Most of my unhappiness comes from my mouth. When I get frustrated or annoyed with something, or when I am joking around with a group of friends or co-workers, I will blurt out either one or more negative things about a person, place or thing. This is an incredibly bad habit and 99% of the time I feel terrible after the words have come out of my mouth. This will be a tough one for me but it is one I am determined to stop. For now my goal is to stop at least one negative statement a day. In recent practice I haven’t been able to stop all negative statements but I have stopped quite a few. Practice makes perfect, right?

Wear sunscreen daily.

I have had pre-cancerous cells removed in the past due to sun exposure. I no longer lay out in the sun on purpose but I do many outdoor activities. Despite my warning, I still do not wear sunscreen on a daily basis. Sometimes I even skip it when I know I will be doing outdoor activities. Earlier this month I bought a sunscreen that was rated highly for daily use. Since then I have almost daily applied it to my face (despite the greasy feeling). Some days I will even apply it to my arms. It is a goal of mine to make it daily on my arms and face. In addition I will apply to my entire body when full exposure is expected.

Cut some slack 

When someone gives you attitude or is rude to you, cut them some slack. You never know what they are going through – their dog could have recently died. This is a tough one, especially when I am not in my best mood. Why should we hold someone else to a standard that we ourselves cannot uphold? People have bad days….it is nice to cut them some slack.

Stop being judgmental 

I like to pretend that I am open to all people but the truth of the matter is that I make snap judgements. This just needs to stop. Many people prove me wrong. Maybe someone who isn’t talking to me is not “snobby” but is just shy. You never know – give people a chance. I have met the best people when I just open myself up to someone randomly.

Breathe and breathe deeply. 

It is hard to be angry and anxious when you are concentrating on deep breathing. It is a stress reliever. I tend to be a shallow breather so this is especially important for me.

Stop being a debbie downer.

In discussions someone will present an idea and sometimes I immediately go into discredit mode. This happens mostly in the work environment. I understand the evolutionary need for this. Someone in the pack needs to be able to see all the things that can go wrong with a scenario. (exp: We shouldn’t take that route because lions hang out there and lions will kill us). Sometimes it is helpful, but sometimes it is just a road block or just overall negative. I also find when I am in discredit mode I tend to be thinking and not listening. More listening is needed. There will always be time to think through the scenario later.

Stop being a one upper. 

This happens in social gatherings. I am sure my close friends have seen me do this. Someone is having a conversation about some place they went, or something they did, or something they like. I feel the need to either confirm that I did the same thing (find commonality) or express something else to prove that I do stuff too. Sounds really immature but I still have not grown out of this and catch myself doing it constantly. Again the huge issue with this is that I am thinking(or talking) and not listening. I should be listening and validating. Additionally I tend to interrupt the person to get my point across – RUDENESS.


I am not going to lie to myself and believe that I will floss every day; even though that is the ultimate goal. A more attainable goal will be to make sure I floss at least 4 days in a week. Not a perfect goal but it just may be enough to prevent me from losing my teeth. I am already at 2 days this week – yea me.
I would ask my friends and family to help me by calling out when I am straying from my “happiness” tasks, but that would prove to be difficult. One additional item that I have not added to the list (yet) is that I don’t take criticism as well as I think I should. If my friends and family starting “correcting” me, I would just setting them up for some Leala attitude. Yes, this needs to be addressed as well. However I would not like to bite off more than I can chew. All in good time.

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