Happiness Manifesto

I’ve written my Happiness Manifesto inspired by Gretchen Rubin. A manifesto is a public declaration of intentions and values.

Newly revised version:

  1. If all else fails, let go a little. Or a lot. Don’t sweat small stuff (It’s all small stuff)
  2. Different people like different things.
  3. Effort over outcomes. Show up.
  4. Events involve pieces beyond us.
  5. Win-win or no deal, and that’s okay!
  6. Listen. Notice what right. Say good things out loud.
  7. Mistakes are neutral at worst, helpful at best. Decisions go forward, not backward.

 

Original draft (November 3, 2016)

  1. If all else fails, let go a little. Or a lot.
  2. I love that we all get to exist.
  3. Different people like different things.
  4. Effort over outcomes. Show up for yourself.
  5. There’s always many factors
  6. Win-win or no deal, and that’s okay!
  7. Listen. Notice what right.
  8. Say good things out loud
  9. Mistakes are neutral at worst, helpful at best.
  10. Don’t sweat the small stuff (It’s all Small Stuff)

“Dead people never get rejected, they never fail, they never feel stressed. And they’re dead. We do not want dead people to be role models.” Susan David, Ph.D.

“Courage is fear walking. Courage is being able to notice your fear, notice your disquiet, and choose what you want to do in the service of what is ultimately values aligned.

“Instead what we do is have what I call ‘dead people’s goals’: I don’t want to get stressed. I don’t want to get rejected. I don’t want to fail.

“Dead people never get rejected, they never fail, they never feel stressed. And they’re dead. We do not want dead people to be role models.

“Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is fear walking.”

From Susan David, Ph.D.: On Resilience and Emotional Agility Good Life Project

“The sulk is a fury that another person hasn’t understood something key about you.” Alain de Botton

“The sulk is a fury that another person hasn’t understood something key about you. Mixed with a real commitment to not explaining what that thing is. Blaming them for not understanding you. But refusing to explain because that seems to be a betrayal of love.

“So you get home, you bolt the bathroom door, and you refuse to say what’s wrong. You expect the lover to read through the door and into your soul. And just KNOW.

“That’s a childhood fantasy that the parent can see into you. That God can see into you. It’s very touching and so dangerous. The truth is, we have to learn to become our own advocates.”

Alain de Botton

Debbie Millman interviews Alain de Botton on

“A part of maturity is about an ability to talk in an unfrightened way and a reassuring way about some of one’s more troubling desires.” Alain de Botton

“A part of maturity is about an ability to talk in an unfrightened way and a reassuring way about some of one’s more troubling desires.

“As people get older they get better at this. When I watch older people getting into relationships now, one of the good sides is that they say things like “There are just some things I need to tell you about themselves. I’ve learned this over long years. On Sunday evenings, don’t say anything. I’ll just be in a strange mood. I’ll be okay on Monday morning. It’s maybe just best to leave me alone”

“That may be the hard won fruit of years of arguments with another person who has been the educator in this field.

“Young people in their desire to please and their fear of their own peculiarities may not be able to lay out their oddities in a way others achieve that understanding.”

Alain De Botton

Listen to the full interview with Debbie Millman and Alain de Botton on

John Hodgman on Consent-Based Relationships

Believe in the life-shaping power of honest, respectful, consent-based relationships.

“On a gut level, I just feel like you need to let your own truth be enough. Which is not to say ‘I’m sorry I can’t attend because you are boring to me.’ You do not need to go out of your way to be hurtful to people. Nor do you need to deceive. Every time you deceive I think you do a little damage to your soul. So let your own truth be good enough. Say ‘I’m sorry, I will not be able to attend.’ And then offer no further explanation. You also have the right to decide how to spend your time. Evenings of dinners that are not for you shouldn’t be an obligation just because someone had the idea to do it.” John Hodgman

Listen to the full podcast: Judge John Hodgman Episode 317: Deep in the Misanthropy Hole | Maximum Fun

On Letting Go: Parable of the Two Monks and a Lady

Two monks were voyaging together. At a certain point, they happened on a stream with a solid current. As the monks were getting ready to cross the waterway, they saw a very youthful and charming lady likewise aiming to cross. The young lady asked whether they could help her cross to the opposite side.

The two monks looked at each other in light of the fact that they vowed not to touch a lady.

Without a word, the more seasoned monk lifted the lady, carried her over the waterway, set her tenderly on the opposite side, and continued on his 
journey.

The more youthful monk couldn’t accept what happened. After rejoining his sidekick, he felt puzzled. An hour passed without a word.

Two more hours passed. At last the more youthful monk could not restrain himself. He exclaimed “As monks, we are not allowed to touch a lady. How could you allow yourself to carry that lady on your shoulders?”

The more seasoned monk answered calmly, “I set her down three hours ago. Why are you carrying her now?”

The first value on my Happiness Manifesto: If all else fails, let go a little. Or a lot.

Sharon Salzberg on the Stories We Tell Ourselves

“Teaching in Washington DC, one year a friend was determined to tame to the basin and it was cherry blossom season. I just thought it was so exquisitely beautiful, all those beautiful cherry trees, those delicate pink blossoms. Then my friend says ‘Oh no, it’s past the peak.’ and I thought ‘Now I’m having a bad experience.n This isn’t good enough. It’s past the peak. I was perfectly happy before. And now my experience is not good enough”

Sharon Salzberg

Listen to The Upgrade Podcast How to Find Real Love with Sharon Salzberg