Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
-T. S. Eliot
Appropriately, the inaugural post of InsideOutHappy begins with a quote; better yet, the words are a nod to my life-long habit of borrowing and surrounding myself with words of others who said it better. And in that spirit, this endeavor also must begin with a debt of gratitude to a stranger whose own words I’ve surrounded myself with for a awhile, and whose simple efforts towards choosing happiness so echoed my own passions, that I had to join the fray. Gretchen Rubin created The Happiness Project in March 2006 with these words:
“One afternoon a few years ago, I realized with a jolt that I was allowing my life to flash by without facing a critical question: was I happy? From that moment, I couldn’t stop thinking about happiness. Was it mostly a product of temperament? Could I take steps to be happier? What did it even mean to be ‘happy’?”
My own light bulb came on a few years ago as well, though I must say my personal philosophy of intentional happiness has taken longer to percolate. The concept evolved from a vague realization that I had been gifted with some natural lens calibrated for seeing the silver lining, and that most people could see it too, if it was pointed out. And that over time, those around me started occasionally pointing it out to me first. So this skill can be learned, and the result of this education isn’t a foreign language or an MBA, but true, deep, intentional happiness. So here, presumptuously, is my very best effort to try to turn a vague realization into a method, or at least share the things that inspire me. Because lasting happiness comes from the InsideOut…
Gretchen, if you ever read this, my sincere thanks.
What do you think? Can happiness be a learned trait? Do you have a quote or mantra that helps bring you back to center?