Thursday, December 30, 2010

Week 50

It is finally ending...The Happiness Experiment. It actually seems to have gone really quick. Here are the final two secrets of happy people:

Secret #99
Money does not buy happiness.

"We spend so much time chasing dollars, worrying about dollars, and counting dollars. It may surprise you to learn that satisfaction with life is no more likely among the rich."

Something that I learned from this secret: more people buy lottery tickets than vote. Very interesting. Everyone wants to be rich. We all think that if we can just afford that one thing we will be happy. But it never ends at just that one thing. Once you start thinking that things can make you happy you are already on your way to unhappiness. "Remember, if money could buy happiness, there would be high-priced happiness stores on every block."

"A study of life satisfaction looked at twenty different factors that might contribute to happiness. Nineteen of those factors did matter, and one did not. The one factor that did not matter was financial status."

Secret #100
What does it all mean? You decide.

"Your future--how you feel about it, yourself, and everything else--follows from the decisions you make, the priorities you develop, and the perspective you see things through."

You are in charge of your own life. You get to decide what you are going to do with the life that you have been blessed with. You are both the driver and navigator on this road trip called life. You get to choose for yourself where you go.

"In a study that followed the exploits of over 100 adults for a period of two years, it was found that the effect of "good" and "bad" events quickly faded. That is, subjects' happiness was not dependent on the sum of events but on what they made of those events."

And now for a quick review of secrets 51-100:
51. Make your work a calling.
52. Never trade your morals for your goals.
53. Don't pretend to ignore things your loved ones do that bother you.
54. Get a good night's sleep.
55. Buy what you like.
56. Accomplish something every day.
57. Be flexible.
58. Events are temporary.
59. Be your own fan.
60. Join a group.
61. Be positive.
62. There will be an end, but you can be prepared.
63. How we see the world is more important than how the world is.
64. Keep a pen and paper handy.
65. Help the next person who needs some minor assistance.
66. Take care not to harshly criticize family and friends.
67. Some people like the big picture, and others like the details.
68. Do things you are good at.
69. Go visit your neighbor.
70. Smile.
71. Don't accept television's picture of the world.
72. You always have a choice.
73. Be agreeable.
74. Don't ignore one part of your life.
75. Listen to music.
76. Let your goals guide you.
77. Use your job positively.
78. Don't forget to have fun.
79. Believe in ultimate justice.
80. Reminisce.
81. Be conscientious.
82. Don't dwell on unwinnable conflicts.
83. Enjoy the ordinary.
84. Focus not on the world's tragedies, but on the world's hope.
85. Get a hobby.
86. Envying other people's relationships is pointless.
87. Give yourself time to adapt to change.
88. Focus on what really matters to you.
89. Realize that complete satisfaction does not exist.
90. Surround yourself with pleasant aromas.
91. Don't let others set your goals.
92. You are a person, not a stereotype.
93. Know what makes you happy and sad.
94. Keep reading.
95. We must feel needed.
96. Say "so what".
97. Have a purpose.
98. You have not finished the best part of your life.
99. Money does not buy happiness.
100. What does it all mean? You decide.

I think that I will look back on these reviews often to keep all these secrets fresh in my mind. I really think that if we follow these simple secrets that we can all be happier. Wouldn't that be nice to only come in contact with happy people. It would also be nice for other people to come in contact with a happier us.

In the end, just like secret 100 says, we decide if we are going to be happy or not. We choose for ourselves if we are going to go through the world happy or grumpy. All the secrets in the world for happiness all come down to that one, Decide.

Thank you to those of you who have attempted to follow me on this experiment. I think even if not a single other person read any of these posts, it still was worth it for myself. I can truly say that I came out of this a happier person. Just knowing that each day begins with a choice to be happy or not is the key.

Let me know if any of this helped you on your journey to happiness. Which secrets were the most helpful? Are you happier?

You decide!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Clara Jane Zinser

She's here!!!

Clara Jane Zinser was born December 10, 2010 at 3:07pm. She weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. So far she has been a dream baby. Eats great, sleeps great, and loves to cuddle. Her sister and brother are adjusting well to having her home. They love to hold her and give her kisses. I just got the pictures loaded on the computer so I will post some soon. Life with three kids hasn't been too bad so far. We'll see how it goes as she gets older and does more than eat and sleep!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Father Christmas

Christmas this year has been so much fun! Iris and Donevan are both getting old enough to understand a little more about Santa Claus and all that fun stuff. Iris a little more than Donevan, but they are both getting so excited.

A friend of ours in Carson City has Father Christmas in her tux shop (Tux Town; for those in the area you should go!) during December so we decided to drive down and take the kids to see him. Iris was sooo excited. She couldn't stop talking about it!

The whole time she was on his lap she talked his ear off and couldn't stop smiling. It was so cute. She would have sat there all day talking to him if she could. She told him all about the decorations we've put up and the cookies we made. And of course she told him what she wanted: 
A horse for her Jessie doll (Bullseye)
A computer (she's only 3!!!)
And a phone (again only 3, I'm in big trouble!)

There were some really cute ones of the two of them together. So different than the first ones we got of them together on Santa's lap. Donevan was only about a month old then. They are growing so fast!

 Donevan was fine until Iris got down. He didn't really want to be up there by himself. Not as impressed by him as Iris was. Made for some funny pics though!

When the baby comes (which is in 4 days!!!) we might make another trip down to get some of her first Christmas with Santa photos.

Week 49

Secret #97
Have a purpose.

"Without a purpose nothing matters. You can work forty hours a week, come home to cook, clean, and then take up seventy-two new good habits, but if there isn't a reason you are doing it, none of these activities will mean anything to you."

I like how the book uses taking a test in school as an example. Why should you study for that test? Because you want to pass the class. And you want to pass the class so you can get a degree and you want to get a degree so you can get a job. But if you don't think about the purpose of all this then there is no point to study for that test. And that job is probably a long ways off, but it's the purpose that you need to keep focused on.

"In research on college students, a comparison was made between students who enjoyed their lives and studies and students who were least comfortable with their environment. A major difference between the two groups was a sense of underlying purpose in life, which almost twice as many of the former group had."

Secret #98
You have not finished the best part of your life.

"We hear that youth is wasted on the young. People who say this are accepting the myth that only the young can enjoy life to the fullest. The truth is that older people do not consider their young days to be their best days; most enjoy their senior years more than any other part of their life."

I think that each part of our lives has so much to offer us. So many lessons to learn and things to enjoy. I enjoyed my childhood and look back on it with many wonderful memories. I am completely enjoying starting a family of my own and watching my own children grow and enjoy their childhood. I look forward to the time when they are grown and are starting their families. You are only as old as you feel. There are days that I do feel really old, but I try not to let it bring me down.

"Researchers conducted a long-term study of northern Californians, interviewing subjects multiple times over three decades. When asked when they had been the happiest in their lives, each time eight out of ten answered 'right now'."