Secret of Adulthood: What’s the Best Way to Make Yourself Happy? Someone Else Happy?

Further Secrets of Adulthood:


I have Eight Splendid Truths about Happiness (very inspired by the numbered lists of Buddhism), and this is the Second Splendid Truth. People often talk about Part A, but much more rarely about Part B. But I think they’re both true–agree? disagree?

  • Nic Daniels

    Yes good advice, sometimes we get too caught up within ourselves and fail to realise the needs of others. I am guilty of this as well.


    • NewLifeChrist

      The Gift is in the Heart of the Giver..

  • I love to make others feel happy and really good about themselves, it’s been my life’s work – my clients even call me the feel good fairy. I’m in no doubt that there’s a massive pay off for me in this work – that I feel very happy when they are. And I’ve noticed over the years that when I’m really happy – it makes those around me happy too. A win/win situation. Love your Eight Splendid Truths Gretchen.

  • Wow, that is so true. Great quote Gretchen, thank you 🙂

  • ryhaan

    wow the truth has been spoken and let it resonate thru us all

  • Veronique

    Sometimes though the best way to make others happy is to make yourself happy. I have been dealing with a very difficult teen for the past few years and some. I have found the only way to stay sane is to do things for myself once in a while otherwise I just do not have the inner resources to deal with what gets dished out.

  • I’m only now finding that balance. For years I was a pretty self-centered young woman, and then things swung to the opposite extreme, where we were serving in ministry at the expense of all else. Both of those ways of living are unsatisfying. It’s so true we are way-blessed by what we do for others, and we also really do something good for others when we make time to care well for ourselves. The Happiness Project is one of the most challenging and important things I’ve read recently – thank you for making it ok to think long and hard about happiness. I needed permission to do that. And my whole family is benefitting! I’m trying to include the theme of happiness in my blog more now, because I think women really need that encouragement. Thank you so much.

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so happy to hear that my work resonates with you.

  • Anita

    Very true … be happy first, then all else follows!

  • It’s exactly like the airplane safety demos say:

    Secure your own mask first before helping others.

  • Ishan Kapoor

    Happiness is not outside, it comes from inside. The way you see the world matters and not the other way round. If you are happy, everything outside will seem good and livelier.

    • Alissa Ripley

      I agree, we can always encourage others, yet we can’t make them happy. They must choose for themselves. I’m sure any parent would vouch for that!


  • Wonderful truths. I have to concur and will visit your other suggestions.