Gretchen Rubin

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.

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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.

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