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The Happiness Project

January 1, 2010

I was reading the “Weekly Roundup” at The Simple Dollar, and Trent posted a link from Dumb Little Man about freelance writing online.

That got me thinking about the possibility of freelance writing as a way to fill my time either while I search for a second job, or to use as a second job (if I have any success at it).

In perusing around Dumb Little Man, I stumbled across a link to The Happiness Project (@ Alex Shalman . com). He invites people to answer the questions themselves, as well as reading through the interviews that he’s done.

So, here goes:

The Questions

1. How do you define happiness?

Happiness is general lightness of being. Happiness is walking around with a smile always threatening to break across your face, and a barely perceptible skip to your step. It’s getting getting enjoyment from little things in life, and seeing obstacles as interesting challenges that fill you with energy and excitement.

2. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?

Right now my happiness level is around a 4 or 5, but for most of my life it’s been right around an 8 or a 9, especially when I was a child.

3. What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)?

Spending time with my husband.
Completing a project at work and getting it right the first time.
Figuring out the solution to a tricky puzzle.
Playing with Excel.
Budgeting.
Balancing my budget (as silly as that sounds).
Playing with numbers.
Being able to immerse myself in a truly good book.
Planning for the future.

4. What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?

The things that take away from my happiness are:

The stress of my job, and trying to perpetually be two steps ahead of my boss.
The uncertainty of my current employment situation.
Not knowing what I want to pursue as my career.
The fear that I’m never going to figure it out, and I’ll be wallowing with this uncertainty forever.
The feeling of time slipping away from me.

Things that can be done to lessen their impact on my life:

I suppose I could quit my job, but then my husband and I would really be in a pickle financially. Interestingly, working part-time and changing my job description will actually help my stress-level quite a bit.
I can work on figuring out what I want to do for a job, for my career, and what the next step is toward that goal.
Write down all the things I want to accomplish in my life and realize that there’s time to fit all of them in.

5. What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?

Traveling.
Spending time with my husband.
Having a family.
Finding a career that fits me.

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