October 7, 2010

365 Project: Day 139

I had an unexpected epiphany this morning. Things that I had been pondering, ok, things I had been obsessing about, suddenly became very clear to me. Its a strange feeling when you're blindsided by the truth. Its really amazing how things just switched from being confusing and stressful to very simple. If this were a cartoon I'm sure I would've had a huge light bulb appear above my head. The realization was such a huge relief that I actually sort of laughed aloud to myself. Then I realized that I was in public, but I was still smiling at my book. How did I not see things this way before? Perspective truly is everything. 

I just read the book "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com. A friend insisted that I read it and she even let me borrow her copy. I laid in the park one day and read the entire 240 page book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. Hsieh's insight on his life, happiness, setting goals, and his philosophy behind the way he runs Zappos is incredibly encouraging and interesting. He is fascinated by the idea of happiness and has done a lot of research about it. He even recommends other books that he has read on the subject.

Now I'm reading one of the books he recommended, "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Jonathan Haidt. True happiness has always been a mystery to me. Of course I have been happy and I often am happy, but in general I would never call myself a content or happy person. By nature I'm a worrier. I stress for no reason at all. My stress levels have actually caused me physical illness and intense pain on more than one occasion. What makes it worse, is I know that I do this. I realize there is no reason for me to feel this way in most situations, but I can't help it. Believe me, I've tried.

I don't want to be stressed, frustrated, or anxious and I don't think that I should have to be. I don't want to let the little things get to me anymore. I am on a quest to be happy, or at least to find out why I'm not. The way this book explains what makes us happy and why people tend to dwell on the negative is very scientific. Breaking it down in a factual way makes it all very clear to me why I react the way I do. Its fascinating. This book also gives you suggestions on how to retrain yourself to react differently. I have a lot to learn and this is definitely no easy task, but I figure, hey, its at least worth a shot. 

1 comment:

MODERN Prairie Girl said...

just finished "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin and loved it. I'm a list person and this book did a great job of releasing some of my type A for a nice balance of type B :)

I think I'll take the zappos book on trip I'm taking...turning 40 this year and lots of thinking about happiness and what it means. Appreciate your candor about your own journey.