Get weekly newsletter updates from Gretchen.

How to Be Happy: Enjoy the Process.

How to Be Happy: Enjoy the Process.

The Sixth of my Personal Commandments is “Enjoy the process.” I learned this commandment from my father, who reminds us to “Enjoy the process” at every turn.

I’m finishing up the first-pass page proofs for my book. This is the first time I’ve seen my manuscript looking like a real book, and it’s very gratifying, as you can imagine.

Nevertheless, as I was editing, I was feeling overworked and plagued with self-doubt -- when I remembered an afternoon a few years ago, after I’d just started actually writing the book, when I’d fantasized about the delights of the very stage I’m in right now.

And I realized – Enjoy the process! This is the FUN part! I like editing much more than writing. It’s exciting to see the book taking shape. Instead of getting worked up and agitated, I should let myself take pleasure in hitting this milestone and in moving forward.

As corny as it is to say, it’s true: I’ll be happier if I find happiness along the way (technical term: pre-goal attainment positive affect) instead of expecting to be happy when I reach a certain goal. Even if hitting that goal doesn't make me as happy as I expect, if I enjoy the process, I'm happy.

For people who are thinking about careers and career changes (lots of folks like that, these days), a great resource is the Career Renegade blog and book, Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.

* Hey super-fans! As expected, the pre-launch of the super-fabulous soon-to-be-unveiled website has been pushed back -- now, to April 20. Hang in there! I think that date will hold.

If you haven't signed up as a super-fan, but would like to volunteer to help with the pre-launch of the website, or other various things, I'd be thrilled to hear from you. You can click here or email me at gretchenrubin1 [at] gmail [dot com]. Just write “super-fan” in the subject line.

icon emailNewsletterLight

One Last Thing

Interested in happiness, habits, and human nature?

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. I share ideas for being happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative.

icon schooled

Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.

The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t actOur Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.

Take the quiz

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Sign up to get my free weekly newsletter. It highlights the best material from here, my Facebook Page, and new original work.