Monday, October 4, 2010


Gretchen Rubin makes the point that enough sleep is of central importance to happiness. Recent reading has convinced me of this, and I’d love to one day do an experiment in living without artificial light.

But for now, getting to bed at an early hour is what I will do.

After the weekend’s experience of not sleeping well, I got to realize something: not getting to bed early enough waste time twice: once when I spend midnight hours being unproductive, and the second time when I spend my waking hours being under-productive because of lack of sleep.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You don't have to be normal to be happy.

I found this very interesting and informative piece on autism. It’s a good read, a very personal view, and very useful.

Ten things everyone should know about autism.

What does autism have to do with happiness? Point 9 in the blog post is titled Autistic people can be happy without being cured.

The point ends But being a happy autistic person isn’t “being brave” or “making the best of it”. It’s quite simply being happy. You don’t have to be normal to be happy.

This is quite liberating for me: I don’t have to be normal to be happy. Or, as Gretchen Rubin will say, everybody’s Happiness Project will look different.

The autistic person’s happiness project is of course a good bit more difficult than the the neurotypical’s, so my slightyly ideosyncratic happiness project may also work for me, but it might not be easiest.

Friday, August 6, 2010


There’s one thing that’s very detrimental to my happiness, and I consider making a Happiness Commandment out of it. I think it would be “Don’t Wait.”

This is not the kind of “wait” found in procrastination. This is the kind of wait as in “waiting for”. If I wait for somebody to phone, for somebody to come around, for something to happen, and there’s no deadline or no certain time to it, I become unhappy. I’m not sure about the emotions involved, I just notice that I become passive and after a while I feel unhappy.

Yesterday afternoon I saw a friend in passing, and she said “I’ll call you tomorrow.” This morning I wondered if I should wait for the call, and I realized that the promise was so vague and unlikely that I would just be waiting for something that won’t happen. This realization (which was not particularly new) pointed me towards a part of my assumptive world that I can change to improve my happiness.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I’m wondering if I should make changes to my gym routine to improve my happiness.

On Mondays I do a gym class with weights. It’s very effective, and it’s the only strength training I need to do, in my experience. But because I’m putting quite some effort into it, I’m sore for the rest of the week. While the soreness is not distracting or very pronounced, I’m wondering if it might be affecting my happiness subconsciously.

I was prompted in this thought by a tip from Gretchen Rubin.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The power of words

Have you ever noticed that specific wording to a goal or resolution has a profound effect on one’s attitude towards it?

As I use 43 Things I’ve recently noticed that months of resolving to clear my desk of clutter has had no effect, but once I decided to “turn my desk into a haven of peace and productivity” I very quickly saw results. My “declutter” goal is dead in the water, but my goal to “live in a spacious and tidy environment” is sailing ahead.

Discovering this power of words has made me happy, and I look forward to explore it more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to daily: Reflect on at least 5 things for which I'm grateful (Happiness Manifesto #2)

"By writing down things I'm grateful for I learned to think about being grateful."

How I did it: Every day I spent some time thinking about things to be grateful for, and wrote them down here. On days that I did not have internet access, I saved them and posted them later.
In the beginning there were a few days that I had skipped, but it soon became a firmly entrenched routine, the last thing I did before I switched off my computer.
It was a rare thing to be able to sit down and rattle off five things to be grateful for. Most days it took some thinking.
Knowing that there would be a quiz at the end, I started paying attention to things I could be grateful for. I made a mental note of the things I noticed, but usually by the end of the day I had forgotten what it was. That did not matter much, because I had already felt grateful, and that's the important thing.

Lessons & tips:

  • It is easy to be grateful in the style of "I am grateful for ... despite ...", but that still contains some negativity. Focus on pure gratitude.

  • Do it every day.


  • 43 Things.

  • Other people's gratitude.

It took me 999 days.

It made me grateful