“This day by God’s mercy I am 29 years of age, and in very good health, and like to live and get an estate; and if I have a heart to be contented, I think I may reckon myself as happy a man as any is in the world, for which God be praised. So to prayers and to bed.”
—Diary of Samuel Pepys, February 1662
I love this passage, and it inspired the resolutions for the month of November in The Happiness Project. I resolved to “keep a contented heart,” because I realized that no matter what’s happening in my life, I’m going to be happy only if I “have a heart to be contented.”
One of my most frequent faults is fretfulness — annoyance and complaints about minor inconveniences or little mistakes or oversights by others.
You can hear Elizabeth and me talk about this issue on the podcast, episode 20...when she mentions a time when I complained to my husband about the onions he put in the frittata. I complained — but then I did eventually remember to keep a contented heart, and I apologized for my carping.
One of my main aims is to remember how happy I already am. Do you struggle with this?