Last week, while reading the submissions to the Faith and Feminism blog carnival hosted by Danielle at From Two to One, I discovered a great blog: All Things Beautiful. As part of her participation in a blog linkup related to The Happiness Project Alyssa shared recently 12 commandments she wrote to help her focus more positively on life. Although I am not reading the book or participating in the blog linkup, I really liked Alyssa's twelve commandments and decided to write twelve statements of my own. In addition to prompting the idea, I appreciate the twelve statements Alyssa wrote for herself, some of which found their way into my own list.
To me these twelve statements (I like that word a bit more than commandments) remind me how to live in order to experience a greater level of happiness – or really more joy (although I recognize that the two words are not entirely interchangeable) in life. No matter how much some people might try to convince me that I should, I don't wake up every morning with a rosy outlook. I don't feel like “praising the Lord” every moment. Probably this is my own personal shortcoming, but the harsh reality is that life can be difficult and some days really suck. On such days, it is really helpful to remind myself of a few basic principles that can help change my outlook. They are not magical incantations and don't guarantee that my perspective on life will suddenly change. But by writing them down I can look back at them when unhappiness threatens to bog me down.
Unfortunately I don't have a great notebook to write my statements in like Alyssa does, so I'll just do my best with the formatting capabilities of my blog engine. Now, presented in no particular order, here are my twelve commandments:
Let others know they are loved.
Take one thing at a time
Be true to yourself.
Learn something new.
Savor the moment.
Look beyond yourself.
Give your worries to God.
Be gracious and compassionate.
Take time to listen.
Take time to photograph the flowers.
I should write these out and hang them over my desk as well, so I'll reflect on them throughout the week. It's not an exhaustive list—I could have added a number of other statements—but I think they give me a good starting place.
What do you think? What twelve statements would you write for yourself? What would help you to stay positive when life tries to drag you down?