QUOTE: By the end of January, I was off to a promising start, but did I feel happier? It was too soon to tell. I did feel more alert and calm, and although I still had periods when I felt overtaxed, they became less frequent. I found that rewarding myself for good behavior— even when that reward was nothing more than a check mark that I gave myself on my Resolutions Chart— made it easier for me to stick to a resolution. Getting a bit of reinforcement did make a difference. I could see , however, that I’d have to remind myself continually to keep my resolutions. In particular, I noticed a decline in my order-maintaining zeal by the end of the month. I loved the big payoff of cleaning out a closet, but keeping the apartment tidy was a Sisyphean task that never stayed finished. Perhaps the “one-minute rule” and the “evening tidy-up” would keep me attacking clutter regularly, in small doses, so that it couldn’t grow to its previous crushing proportions. Nevertheless, I was astonished by the charge of energy and satisfaction I got from creating order. The closet that had been an eyesore was now a joy; the stack of papers slowly yellowing on the edge of my desk was gone. “It is by studying little things,” wrote Samuel Johnson , “that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.”





What gets your attention?

What human needs or problems relate to the quote?

What is it like to have that problem?

What other resources connect to this idea?

What is the solution suggested in the quote, if there is one?

What would a camera see if the solution was implemented in my life, in my family’s life, or in my church or community?

What are the steps that I would take on Monday to implement that solution?



What does this say to my context as a …

… person?

… follower of Jesus? 

… to a church? 

… to a community – my neighbors?



The quote is from The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin,  located at page

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