How to Be Happy: Enjoy the Process.

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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.

From 2006 through 2014, as she wrote The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, Gretchen chronicled her thoughts, observations, and discoveries on The Happiness Project Blog.



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