Happiness Project: Watch my new one-minute movie, Secrets of Adulthood, and think of your own.

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you should have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

I had so much fun with my last one-minute movie, The Years Are Short, I decided to do another one. The Years Are Short is touching (or at least I hope it’s touching); Secrets of Adulthood is on the whimsical side. It features some of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood (see left-hand column of my blog for the complete list).

What exactly are Secrets of Adulthood? They’re the lessons I’ve learned as I’ve grown up. I’m not sure why it took me years to grasp that over-the-counter medication actually will cure a headache, or that what I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while, but it did.

Check it out! Secrets of Adulthood.

This week’s proposed resolution: Think about your own Secrets of Adulthood. What have you learned the hard way? What hard-won wisdom do you have to keep repeating to yourself?

I remind myself of the observation by Benjamin Franklin, one of the patron saints of the Happiness Project: “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.” If you come up of your own Secrets of Adulthood, please consider posting them – we can all benefit from seeing what other people have learned.

I’ve started sending out short monthly newsletters that will highlight the best of the previous month’s posts. If you’d like to sign up, click on the link in the upper-right-hand corner of my blog. Or just email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. No need to write anything more than “newsletter” in the subject line. I’ll add your name to the list.

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • Great movie. Loved the visuals, audio and ofcourse the learnings you shared.

  • Wonderful video. Does Soap & Water really remove most stains? It can’t really be that simple!

  • sylrayj

    In a week, this (whatever, such as getting a root canal recently) will be a memory. In a month, it’ll just be a note on a list of appointments kept. In a year, it won’t even be that. It will be gone soon. Time blunts everything.

  • One important rule I’ve learned … Literally and figuratively, dont’ rush. Decisions, thoughts, moments are more complete when we allow them at their own pace.

  • beth_nc

    One secret of adulthood for me — having routines isn’t boring.
    I used to think that it would be dull to organize life around lots of routines. It seemed more interesting to do things based on my inclinations at that time.
    Actually, having routines in place (for food, housework, my job) means I don’t have to spend energy worrying about when to do mundane tasks. In fact, the routines give me more time for fun, creative activity.

  • Bylinediva

    I actually sent this in an email to friends today, since my birthday is in two weeks….
    so i guess this is my grown woman happiness manifesto….
    i love email, but not texting
    i love hip-hop but li’l wayne, despite his rock star swag, is the most overrated rapper of the last two decades
    i am heavier than i’ve ever been in my life but i have much more confidence
    i really don’t give a damn what people think because age has earned me the right to say and do… what the fuck i want
    one of my favorite things to do is still just chill out and read a book
    i like my men younger and taller and again don’t give a damn what anyone thinks because they just came up with a term for what i’ve been doing all along
    i don’t smoke buddah i can’t stand ses, but a good glass of good wine makes up for many things
    age makes you realize and then admit that you don’t know everything
    the problem with most younger people is that they think that they do
    black really don’t crack if you take care of it, because i know women in their 50’s that put young girls to shame
    maturity is hard on the body but great on the soul
    pimpin’ really ain’t easy
    superficial things fall to the wayside but the important shit gets more important as you get older
    Everything old ain’t new again, but some of it’s better
    You definitely do get what you pay for whether its in money or other things
    Youth IS wasted on the young but its still fun to be at that stage
    Love is real, if you can find it…or allow it to find you
    I could happily live without a cell phone and cable, but not without movies, MP3’s or the Internet.
    As Chris Rock once said “Good sex is the one thing in life that is not overrated” or something like that….and it does get better with age….for women.
    Creature comforts really are important
    Quality and authenticity are important in music, men, cars and designer bags
    Cats are the most hardheaded creatures on the planet next to toddlers and a woman who’s made up her mind about something
    Self-esteem, as Katt Williams once said, is just that SELF-esteem, no man or woman or job or car or bank account can give you that
    The things a woman really needs: a good gynecologist, a friend who will help her bury a body, the ability to forgive, a good bag and good shoes, a passport, a good set of luggage, a good mattress, a great hairdresser, and a man who knows how to let her know when she’s trippin’ without having to disrespect her to do it and if she has kids….a good bullshit indicator….
    the other thing i know for sure…that i don’t know shit for sure and those that say they do are arrogant…..

  • I love seeing other people’s Secrets of Adulthood. My list is getting longer and longer.

  • Kelly

    Very nice–and thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing.

  • anastassios

    What I have found out the hard way was a) that life is mysterious b) don’t judge a book by its cover c) to be modest, humble

  • You can never get inside someone else’s marriage.
    Other people have questions, too, so just ASK already.
    Flexibility is a lot easier when there’s an established plan.
    (I posted this query on my blog, too.)

  • My secret: you should buy whatever you want at the grocery store, because it’s always cheaper than eating out.

  • adora

    – Talent is a myth. High-level achievement is impossible without hard work and persistence.
    – Anything you lack can be trained.
    – Money problems aren’t real problems. Sickness, death & relationship problems are.

  • Flavia

    Love both movies. Beautiful music!
    One secret of adulthood from me:
    Judge not or you too shall be judged.