Happier at Home. Preparation. 

By Gretchen Rubin

Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life.

These are notes as I read the read. The quotations are with attribution, else they are Gretchen’s words.

The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends. Samuel Johnson

My home is a place of unconditional belonging, which is part of its pleasure, part of its pain.

Book is arranged in twelve months, each month dedicated to one theme. Starting with September. September always felt like start of the year to me because school started. In elementary and high school, September was filled with anticipation. New clothes and new backpack. New classes. Maybe new friends. In college at UCLA, fall was football games and new classes.

What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner. Colette.

I love my life and have found happiness at home. It’s a thankful attitude. A reminder of all the everyday pleasures and special place we live and love. But. I could be happier.

A true home is the finest ideal of man. Frank Lloyd Wright

…paradox… My home should calm me and energize me. It should be a comforting , quiet refuge and a place of excitement and possibility. It should call to my mind the past, present, and the future. It should be the snuggery of privacy and reflection, but also a gathering place that strengthen my engagement with other people.

Can seeking more happiness is selfish or pointless?

Current research shows, and casual observation confirms, that some people are tempermentally more cheerful or gloomy then others, and that people’s ideas and behavior also affect their happiness. About 30 to 50 percent of happiness is genetically determined.; about 10-20 percent reflects life circumstances ( such as age, gender, health, marital status, income, occupation); and the rest is very much influenced by the way we think and act. We possess considerable power to push ourselves to the top or bottom of our natural range through our conscious actions and thoughts.

That’s amazing. Some people are just gloomy. Some are just happy. But not fully so, each can make choices to move the rest of the 30 percent to happy.

…in my view, the opposite of happiness is unhappiness, not depression.

Research shows that happiness is the cause and the effect of many desirable circumstances, such as strong marriage, more friends, better health, success at work (including making more money), more energy, better self control, and even longer life.

Four Splendid Truths
To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
One of the best ways to make myself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy myself.
The days are long, but the years are short.
I’m not happ unless I think I’m happy.

To be happy, it’s not enough to eliminate the negative; I must also have sources of positive emotions. Also, because I’d gain the most happiness from a particular experience if I anticipated it, savor ex it as it unfolded, expressed happiness, and recalled the happy memory, I’d take steps to amplify my enjoyment of each of these four stages.

As I sit on a long plane ride to Maui for vacation with my family, my happiness is anticipation of this day and savoring every moment of it and then remembering long after the kids have grown.

Feeling right is about virtue (living up to my own standards) and also about living the life that’s right for me.

Feeling right for me affects my job the most. I don’t speak to my day job on this blog. But it is something that hits me every couple years, when faced with career decisions.

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