A New Year, A Fresh Start and Eight Splendid Truths

Pacific GroveImagine.

You’re setting off for a much needed holiday.

You’re focused on relaxing, enjoying yourself and on having a good time.

Perhaps winding down from work and disconnecting from the technology that stalks our every move.

The plane doors finally close for your long haul flight to your dream destination.

All that remains to fill those long hours, between you and your oasis, are movies you’ve seen already, uncomfortable sleep or if you’re very lucky a great book.

On my last trip my luck was in and I tripped over a wonderful, thought-provoking, inspiring, ‘leaves you with a smile on your face’ book that can teach every one of us some useful tips on how to be happier.

I’ve written before about Gretchen Rubin and her excellent book The Happiness Project, an account of her quest over the space of 12 months to make her life happier.   Why be concerned with being happier?  Well as she says so eloquently “…the days are long, but the years are short”.   Live and enjoy life, as much as you can, while you have the opportunity.

Her latest book Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life takes a deeper dive in to her second happiness project to understand what makes us happier at home.  Be that in relation to the environment, our relationships, things, kids, husbands, clutter (or lack of), gratitude and appreciation etc etc etc.

“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” Dr Johnson

The culmination of the book is The Eight Splendid Truths.  What struck me is not only that these apply to your home life, but they’re easy to adapt to also benefit your work life.   And they carry an uncanny resemblance to the philosophies of NLP.

Here they are in their glory.  I’ve put the words that really stood out for me in bold – feel free to ignore my highlights as you wish.  I’d really recommend you pick up the book to understand them in more depth.


To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.


One of the best ways to make myself happy is to make other people happy.  One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy myself.


The days are long, but the years are short.


I’m not happy unless I think I’m happy.


I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.


The only person I can change is myself.


Happy people make people happy, but I can’t make someone be happy, and No one else can make me happy.


Now is now. 

Remember, too often  “One lives in the naïve notion that later there will be more room than in the entire past.”  Elias Canetti, The Human Province  


5 responses to “A New Year, A Fresh Start and Eight Splendid Truths

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