I don’t usually go for non-fiction, but I’ve been meaning to read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for a while now.
The summary from Goodreads:
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
Rubin didn’t have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn’t.
Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that “treating” yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn’t relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.
Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.(less)
I really enjoyed this book – I found that SO many of Gretchen’s insights resonated with me and my life. I feel inspired and energetic thinking about this idea. I loved the idea of accountability – she used a resolution chart to track her progress. I am all fired up to try my own Happiness Project. I feel like I’m pretty happy generally, but many of the things Gretchen struggled to conquer / diminish (the ‘bad’ like nagging, criticism, complaining, etc.) are things that I would really like to cut down on in my own life. I really appreciate her systematic approach (yay lists!) and I think that a first step is just sitting down and giving myself the time to think about these kinds of ideas and how it applies to my own life.
Gretchen has a blog: http://www.happiness-project.com/ which I will DEFINITELY be checking out in detail!
I would HIGHLY recommend this book, if only just food for thought. (I feel like I now have lots of food for thought!!!). 5 / 5! I love feeling inspired and enthusiastic! Thanks Gretchen!!
Have any of you read this book or started your own Happiness Project? I would love to hear your comments!