Make Lists of Things That Bring You Joy and Sadness–From The Happiness Project

Yesterday, I decided to reread, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read this years before and I found many helpful tips that I have since applied in my life. Though I’m just starting to reread the book, I already discovered another tip that I haven’t tried, and that is to make a list of all the things that give you joy and another list of all the things that bring you sadness. My sadness list was completely revealing, and now I’m ready to make resolutions to decrease their occurrences.

My happy list didn’t surprise me. It was filled with all the activities that I enjoyed like writing, singing, making arts and crafts, teaching, etc. It also had entries like friends, family, etc, which were in line with my most potent resolution for this year, spend more time with people.

When I finally wrote my sadness list, I noticed that it was filled with entries that were related to people. I’ve been feeling all of these things quite frequently, but I never realized how much my sadness was connected to how people treat me and my worries and fears about how people see me.

Because of this, I had several realizations. One, what other people think of me is none of my business. I can’t control how they’ll perceive me. No matter how nice I am to people, it is inevitable that there will be people who won’t like me. I can’t live my life as a people pleaser.

Two, I have to focus on my responsibilities in this situation. My first responsibility is to live a life of integrity. I have to really think about the principles by which I want to live by. I can do this during my bus-ride ruminations. If I feel satisfied by how I am living my life, then other people’s opinions on my life shouldn’t matter.

My second responsibility is to express myself. Whenever people say things I don’t like, I should tell them what I feel. I shouldn’t expect them to change, but I should expect myself to be up front about the effect of their actions and words on me. With the help of these resolutions, I hope I’ll have a happier life.

More Happiness and Inspiration:

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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.

All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I am a person. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations. 

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