09/13/2010 12:26 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Balanced Life: Be Nice, It Matters

I'm working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone's project will look different, but it's the rare person who can't benefit. Join in -- no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday's post will help you think about your own happiness project.

Several times a week, I walk past a deli at the corner of 62nd and Lexington.

Every time I go by, I smile and get a bit of a boost to keep my happiness resolutions when I see the handwritten admonition on the side of the flower case to "Be nice."



One of my 12 Personal Commandments is to "Be polite and be fair." I adopted that personal commandment years ago. I was about to get a promotion, and I was worried about whether I'd be able to do the job well. I mentioned this concern to my boss, and she said sternly, "Be polite and be fair. Then you'll do fine." I've always remembered that.

It's important to "Be nice," too. Henri-Frederic said the same thing, in a slightly more flowery way, "Life's short and we never have enough time for gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way with us. O, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind."

* I loved this video -- a musician took a photograph of birds on wires, and read it as a piece of music. The harmony of nature.

* Need a good book? Please consider The Happiness Project (can't resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller).

Order your copy.

Read sample chapters.

Watch the one-minute book video.

Listen to a sample of the audiobook.