Betties Book Brief: The Happiness Project

This month, our team at Back Office Betties had the privilege of reading The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

The Happiness Project is rarely described as a book or a blog. More often it’s described as a “movement”. This book takes you on Gretchen Rubin’s year-long journey to answer the question “What do I want from life, anyway?” The simple answer? “To be happy.”

The Happiness Project is great for people that are on the go, lead busy lives, and generally just don’t have the time to dedicate to a lengthy tutorial on how to live your best life. Each chapter is packed with useful information and provide abundant stopping points if time constraints require you to tackle a few pages at a time, or you simply want to reflect after taking in these words of wisdom.

We’ve compiled some top takeaways for you which will be beneficial in your daily pursuit of happiness below:

1. Spread happiness and be near people who spread it too

“In a phenomenon called “emotional contagion,” we unconsciously catch emotions from other people – whether they are good moods or bad ones. Taking time to be silly means that we’re infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are one third more likely to be happy.”

2. Challenge and growth are the keys to happiness

“Challenge and novelty are key elements to happiness. The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction. If you do new things – visit a museum for the first time, learn a new game, travel to a new place, meet new people – you’re more apt to feel happy than people who stick to familiar activities.”

3. Working towards a goal makes you as happy as achieving it

“The challenge, therefore, is to take pleasure in the “atmosphere of growth,” in the gradual progress made toward a goal, in the present. The unpoetic name for this very powerful source of happiness is “pre-goal-attainment positive effect.”

“Enjoy the process.”

4. It’s normal to search for happiness even if you’re already prosperous financially

“As countries become richer, their citizens become less focused on physical and economic security and more concerned with goals such as happiness and self-realization. Prosperity allows us to turn our attention to more transcendent matters – to yearn for lives not just of material comfort but of meaning, balance, and joy.”

5. Being productive takes focus but brings happiness.

One great way to free up some time to focus on your own Happiness Project? Hire virtual receptionists from Back Office Betties at your law firm! You can only focus on so much every day. By using a virtual receptionist, you have more time and energy to focus on going to court and dealing with other aspects of your practice and life. You can leave your law firm’s phone calls to our competent, well-trained, and courteous virtual receptionists!

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