What is the happiness project?
The Happiness Project is where we learned about the concept of happiness, and then using those ideas we wrote essays and created visual components. We each wrote daily entries in a happiness journal. We spent a week learning about happiness through videos and articles. Each student chose a country, researched its happiness level and designed a poster that illustrated its level. Next, we composed essays that answered questions about what happiness is and how it is achieved. Finally, we created art pieces that represent what happiness is to us as individuals.
Throughout this project my concept of happiness grew. In the beginning, I thought happiness was easy; you hang out with friends and family or go exercise, and you are happy. My initial concept of happiness was that happiness is just when you are in a good mood. I learned that those activities can make you happy, but there are many other ways to be happy. I also learned that happiness is more than a positive change in mood. My views on happiness were greatly broadened, and I realize that achieving true happiness requires effort.
Happiness art piece:
My art piece consists of two canvases that have been splatter painted with multiple colors in the style of Jackson Pollack. One canvas has a snowboarder and the following quote, “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” by Theodore Roosevelt; the other canvas has a skateboarder and the quote, “Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.” said by Victor Kiam. Suspended between the two canvases there are two copper wires each with two origami birds; beneath the two copper wires, I positioned a third quote, “Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” stated by Marcus Tullius Cicero. The multi-colored splatter paint represents how you need all different types of experiences, even bad ones, to truly know happiness when you find it. The snowboarder and skateboarder represent finding your passion and experiencing flow, which can cause happiness. The origami birds represent friends and family, which when supportive can also produce happiness. The quote by Roosevelt tells me that as you look toward the stars, you can dream of all the possibilities, but you need a solid foundation on which to stand to search for those possibilities. Kiam’s quote communicates the need to try without the fear of failing, because trying really isn’t failing. Cicero’s statement seems self-evident. Good friends make our lives better. These three quotes tie together the components of passion/dreams, hard work and a support structure that lead one on a path toward happiness.