The Happiness Project

What Have You Learned About How To Be Happier?

One of my most helpful Secrets of Adulthood is “It’s OK to ask for help,” and today I’m asking for your help.

In Washington, D.C., next week, I’m giving a talk about the Happiness Project. As part of the discussion, I’d love to list some suggestions by readers of what they’ve learned from this blog—what specific things have proved most useful.

For example, a few months ago, someone wrote, “I’ve thought a lot about what your father said to you about exercising —that all you have to do is put on your running shoes and close the front door behind you. That has helped me exercise more.”

Someone else told me that she’d started keeping a one-sentence journal , and it had been a source of happiness for her.

I hope that this blog has been useful. If you’ve visited here before, and something particularly resonated with you, or some strategy that you tried really worked, I’d love to hear from you. Just post a comment here—I’m sure other readers would be interested to hear what worked for you—or drop me a quick note at gretchenrubin [at] gmail [dot com] (sorry about the weird format; meant to thwart spammers).

If you read this blog on Slate , you might be thinking, “Gosh, she’s only been posting since January! That’s not much writing before asking a question like this.” Over on my freestanding blog, The Happiness Project , though, I’ve been writing since 2006.

I hope a few people do respond! Whenever I ask for help like this, I get anxious—then I remind myself to Enjoy the fun of failure . It actually does work. Oh … I’ll add that as an item on my own list.

The brilliant Marci Alboher has a fabulous blog on Yahoo Shine , called Working the New Economy . Lots of great material there about dealing with today’s job environment. Alas, I read her post about 7 Deadly Sins of Networking, and How to Avoid Them , and realized I’d just committed a major sin.

Consider starting a group—organized around happiness projects! I’m busily creating the starter kit to send out to anyone who is interested in doing something like that—also would work if you want to start a book group focused on happiness books. If you want a starter kit, e-mail me at gretchenrubin [at] gmail [dot com], and I’ll add your name. (Use the usual e-mail format—that weirdness is to thwart spammers). Just write “happiness-project group” in the subject line. Or use the sign-up box in the top-right column of the blog.