Are you happy? Not the “great hair day” or “I’m in my skinny jeans” kind of happy. Not “the new shipment of my new book finally arrived” kind of joy, either. We’re interested in the deep, gut-level happiness you feel when you are living the life you dream of.
That’s the kind of happiness that Gretchen Rubin aspired to find when she penned The Happiness Project: Or, why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun.
“I’d always vaguely expected to outgrow my limitations,” she writes. “One day, I’d stop twisting my hair, and wearing running shoes all the time, and eating exactly the same food every day. I’d remember my friends’ birthdays, I’d learn Photoshop, I wouldn’t let my daughter watch TV during breakfast. I’d read Shakespeare. I’d spend more time laughing and having fun, I’d be more polite, I’d visit museums more often, I wouldn’t be scared to drive.”
Then, one April morning, she had a sudden realization. “I was in danger of wasting my life. As I stared out the rain-spattered window of a city bus, I saw that the years were slipping by. ‘What do I want from life, anyway?’ I asked myself. ‘Well, I want to be happy.’”
At that moment, she grasped two things: “I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and my life wasn’t going to change unless I made it change.”
And so Rubin made a promise to herself. For the next 12 months, she embarked on a project she called “The Happiness Project.” It’s a powerful process. One that Rubin has given us permission to share with our readers over the next year. In January, for instance, you’ll learn to boost your energy. In June, you’ll make time for friends. By making small changes each month in 12 areas, at this time next year, you’ll be happier—and your closets will be cleaner, too.
On Jan. 1, 2015, be on the lookout for your first assignment. For now, scroll down to read our Q&A with Rubin. For even more insights, listen to our podcast interview on Inkandescent Radio.
What makes us happy at The Inkandescent Group? For starters, it’s the new office we opened last month at 1719 W. Main Street in Richmond, VA. We are working with the talented students and faculty in the PR, video, and arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and several of those students are our newest Inkandescent Interns. The next time you are in town, stop by and visit our new digs!
Also in this issue:
- Which countries have the happiest people? Why do people in isolated Bhutan measure Gross National Happiness? And is happiness really good for your health? Don’t miss these interesting research studies. Check out the latest happiness research.
- Does learning about history make you happy? It will after you meet Cate Magennis Wyatt, founder of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground.
- Craving a little comfort food this holiday season? You aren’t alone. Check out these Top 10 recipes.
- Why do people work too much? The findings may be just what you need to stop being the person still at the office after everyone else has left.
- Hiring expert Barbara Mitchell tells us her #1 happiness rule.
- If you are a student with a loan, how do you feel about being in debt to the federal government for the foreseeable future? That’s the question college junior Eurah Lee tackles in her first episode of the new Millennials Radio Show.
And that’s just for starters. We hope that this issue inspires you to find what makes you truly happy—and puts you on the path to accomplish your goals.
We leave you with this parting thought from Benjamin Franklin, whose Autobiography inspired Rubin. Franklin insisted: “Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”
Here’s to finding your inner bliss! Happy holidays from the entire Inkandescent team. — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine