The Happiness Project and the Happiness Project Toolbox

What Does Happiness Truly Mean? How Do We Find It?

HappinessIts amazing how the journey to financial freedom is leading me many directions towards self reflection in other areas of my life, such as how to find real happiness.

Want an excellent example of a blog / book / community site well done? Take Gretchen Rubin, a writer whose new book, The Happiness Project, will be available in January 2010. Her blog  is an account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier.

Based on this blog, she put together a site for individual and / or collaborative use focused on motivation and happiness through a happiness tool box.


I love the idea that you can be working on your own goals for happiness, but also can get real time updates from your friends that join, or just those in the ‘community’ to inspire you.

I especially like the concept of the “Personal Commandments” section. I have actually started a written journal of family ‘rules’ or concepts that I want to use and reflect on while raising my daughter. I think I will transfer and add to these on this tool box site. I also love the concepts behind “Happiness Hacks” (quick helpful tips for the community) and “Secrets of Adulthood”. I found myself somewhat unprepared for a lot of the teachings of adulthood and can see the usefulness in learning from others. The inspiration board is a nice place to view quotes and, well, get inspired.

There are a few interface changes that I would make to improve the toolbox.

  • It would be great to export and print your resolutions, commandments, etc for putting in your house and re-enforcing your messages to yourself
  • I would love to be able to see a more visual percentage of a resolution’s progress and completion (same goes for lists, etc) It took me a while, but I did find the check box to mark it as complete.

In general, the fuctionality of the tools could be improved for the user experience, but the community and concept is outstanding. Though the tool interface itself could be improved a bit, I love the concept and will be trying this toolbox out some more.

Rubin’s Happiness Manifesto includes:

  • To be happy, you need to consider feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
  • One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
  • The days are long, but the years are short.
  • You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.
  • Your body matters.
  • Happiness is other people.
  • Think about yourself so you can forget yourself.
  • “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.”—G. K. Chesterton
  • What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you, and vice versa.
  • Best is good, better is best.
  • Outer order contributes to inner calm.
  • Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have.
  • You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.
  • “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” —Robert Louis Stevenson
  • You manage what you measure.

What do you think it takes to be truly happy? How do you decide what areas in your life to focus on first?

photo by wa?.ti

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