The Happiness Project

Achieving and maintaining happiness.
6:53 | 02/08/12

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for The Happiness Project
Every lap at Torrey Johnson and this is app -- Happiness is something that everyone wants -- according to best selling author Gretchen -- and it's something that everyone can have. She started a happiness project as a personal quest for happiness and it's turned into a movement reaching people all across the globe. Hey Gretchen thanks so much for coming and I'm very happy to be talking -- -- good at so speaking of that now you have years of study. Happiness to your credit how do you define -- -- what is happiness. We'll have to say that I really don't worry too much of the definition of happiness there's something like fifteen academic. Definitions of happiness. But I really take advantage of the lawlessness and the brightness of the term happiness and if for some people it's more about satisfaction and for others about peace or joy. -- contentment. It's a term that's that's brought enough to encompass all those so I know what it is when I'm happier. And that's what I focus on instead of really trying to define what that ultimate definition might be. Zdeno and you feel it had actually exactly -- for a lot of people they are convinced that there just. One step away from happiness like I just find -- boyfriend I'll be happy if I can only get that job of that promotion I'd be happy. And that's all of these -- and those things have been hacked into us happiness is definitely. Not given so wire -- stuck in that pattern of thinking and patently escape that trap. We you're exactly right it's a very widespread phenomenon called that a rival fallacy were you think if only I could arrive at that goal. Then I would be happy but in fact when you get there you're not as happy as you expect to be. It's a one of the things to do to process that is to really focus on the process on the happiness that you get. On what's called. -- goal attainment when -- working toward your goal and the satisfaction that you get by seeing yourself and it step by step. Because it is true that there's great satisfaction in reaching a goal but if you put all your eggs in -- basket and think that all the happiness is gonna be when you actually cross the finish line. You're good you're gonna feel deflated when it actually happen. Yeah and I think that's and so many and everybody experiences back yet so when it went searching your -- which. Long ago became that number -- New York Times best seller you try -- a whole lot of things. -- the biggest -- -- on your quest for understanding happiness and and perhaps even some surprises. From all of the people you've connected with -- -- this happiness movement. Well it didn't surprise me personally the most was the idea that novelty and challenge for happiness because I kept reading -- that's what the scientists and the philosophers that. But I thought that for me mastery and familiarity brought happiness I -- I thought well that's just not can be true for me but I I decided to test it for myself and by starting a blog. The is that felt very new and very challenging. And I found that indeed novelty and challenge are huge and sense of happiness and that idea of a learning something in expanding yourself and figuring out how to do something -- A lot of times it doesn't make you happy along the way because there's a lot of moments of -- resentment or insecurity feeling frustrated or stupid. On but then that feeling of learning how to do something new whether speaking French -- -- your dog -- planting a garden or learning a new software. On it it really does -- want to happiness and I was very surprised because I find myself while I thought that this was not going to be true for me. But now I completely reversed my. What I have not and I do believe that novelty and talent are important happiness. So for people that you are ready to commit to the challenge can it see it creating their own form of happiness project. What's your advice where Rick and they Begin right now. -- -- -- I would say is get enough sleep most Americans don't get enough sleep and you don't get enough sleep you don't have that energy -- of the self controlling you're more likely to get sick. And -- just getting in a sleeping getting a little bit of exercise and really there's really important. And I think to think about what something that adding you'll have been -- -- less for something good in your life that you want to see more of and think about some very practical manageable steps that you could take. To work on that you know keep. Keep the bar low figure out something that's very practical one thing over and over to my surprise people mention is on an -- for their happiness. Is the resolution to make your bed. As small as that is it something it's manageable its first thing in the morning something people can actually -- And it helps get them in the mode of making small changes and -- increased. Which I think is so fascinating because so often you know people say focus on something big -- something big you really want and you're saying quite the opposite wall. Sometimes when you think about something big -- -- seeing some abstract and so intimidating that you don't know where it starts I think. Whether you're thinking bigger thinking small really break it into those small manageable stops. And think about what can I do tomorrow -- something that I can really stick to look at what some -- and I can do every day of work towards that goal. And by making it very concrete and very manageable he really put yourself on a path. -- really being able to accomplish something nothing so intimidated that you that you actually become paralyzed. And you have very robust community online where we get help him doing that where your readers and fans and followers gather. To communicate about happy -- and so tell us some of the ways that you hope people will participate with -- -- happiness project on your site. We'll -- there right about some new adventure in pursuit of happiness so I have -- -- and people are great about having their own ideas and it's given. It makes the conversation so much -- to hear what many people bring a certain ideas and I also have a happiness challenge for 2012 which is about. On people getting rid of the pigeons of discontent. There's little nagging things that has dragged down -- happiness so. Readers all talk about what are their pensions of discontent and what are the ways that we can all work on eliminating them. And people concerned happiness pressure groups on what for people who want to get together and talk in groups about happiness project is there something about being in -- group. Like -- air Weight Watchers or whatever that helps you get that energy enough enthusiasm to keep you working -- schools. So -- happiness group if that's the one yes. All right thanks so much -- -- thanks for talking to us think yeah. And to start your own happiness project you can pick up a copy of -- book or participate online by visiting happiness -- project.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"6:53","description":"Achieving and maintaining happiness.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"15539307","title":"The Happiness Project","url":"/GMA/video/happiness-project-15539307"}