Gretchen suggests that we develop our own happiness commandments. She posts tips about developing them here:
They need to be personal, commandments that are ours alone. I don't expect to develop a list quickly. But I will start now. I do like Gretchen's first one: Be Gretchen. I suspect that we all want to be ourselves, and some of us try too hard to be someone else or to seem like someone else. In my life I have done this particularly with men. I slip into "accommodate" mode very quickly, before I even realize it, and end up projecting a me that isn't. So I'll suggest as my first commandment:
1. Be Judy, especially in personal relationships
My second commandment may seem contradictory:
2. Act As If
I have followed this commandment for much of my adult life and it has gotten me through tough times. What it means, of course, is "whistle a happy tune" when I am afraid, act as if I know what I am doing, act as if I deserve respect, act as if I already am what I want to be. Over time I believe that when I act as if long enough I am no longer acting, and therefore I am following commandment no. 1.