A Touching Realization About Happiness And Life

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unnamed-1Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Gretchen Rubin, author of two New York Times bestsellers, is our go-to gal for the best get-it-together know-how. Every week, she'll be dishing up her wisdom straight from her popular blog, The Happiness Project, to get you on the road to a more productive, healthier you. Here's to a 2014 resolution that sticks!

One of my “Secrets of Adulthood” is that “Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.” Yesterday, although the drawing class was very tough, I left feeling exhilarated.

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This morning, I felt completely different. I dreaded the thought of showing up. I remembered how much my back hurt, how worried I’d been that I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and in particular, how tremendously frustrated (almost panicky) I’d felt when starting my chair drawing. I had to remind myself that sometimes, happiness is painful. The activities that contribute to long-term happiness don’t always make me feel good in the short-term. I don’t always look forward to those activities. I may find them actually upsetting.

I had to be in my seat by 9:30 a.m., so it wasn’t long before my dread of going to class had turned into a reality. And, once I was there with a sketchbook in front of me, I felt fine. But, I realized that it was an advantage to be taking the intensive class, five days in a row. If I’d been taking the course over a semester, I would’ve been dreading the class for a week. Maybe I would have talked myself out of coming back.

Today was tough, too. The more I learn to see, the more I learn to see what I’ve done wrong. But, whenever I got discouraged, I’d just take in my entire drawing and gloat, “I DREW this corner! And, it actually looks like a corner!” After three days of instruction. Amazing.

NEXT: Appreciating The Simple Things In Life

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Gretchen Rubin, author of two New York Times bestsellers, is our go-to gal for the best get-it-together know-how. Every week, she'll be dishing up her wisdom straight from her popular blog, The Happiness Project, to get you on the road to a more productive, healthier you. Here's to a 2014 resolution that sticks!