The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

I first heard about this book through my lovely sister in-law and otherwise I am not 100% sure I would have read it. Why? I would be worried it would be too heavy. I like helpful books but not when it is too heavy or unrealistic filled with tales of hiking Mt. Everest cause for my life, that is not gonna happen.

6398634 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. – GoodReads

Know what I loved about this? That she didn’t go climb a mountain or take a trip around the world. Who has time or money for that? Not this blogger. Everything she tried to apply or change was all doable tasks and all of them were doable. Work out, eat healthy, make time for family and friends…etc. All of that I can do without doing a whole lifestyle haul, something my hubby would not be too keen on.

Rubin breaks down the book month by month and each month is a new theme with sub-themes. I obviously did not take a year to read and each month take a new journey or challenge with her, but I got a lot out of it and some of the stuff she did I already am doing. (Thank you Janine for the 52 Weeks of Less Stuff Challenge)

For me, the best sort of self discovery/inspirational/help books are those that don’t fill the pages with gibberish you have to translate. I wanna read something that feels more like I am sitting down with the author and just having a chat. An honest here’s my experience and journey chat and Rubin achieved that. She is relate able and this book follows suit.

An as a disclaimer…before I read this book I would not even come close to categorizing me as an unhappy person but I still got a lot out of it and would recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants a good read that they will get something out of.

Twitter: @gretchenrubin

Website: The Happiness Project

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6 thoughts on “The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin

  1. I loved this book for the same reasons you did. You don’t have to take a trip around the world to fix your life. Arguably taking time to inventory your life and center it around what you realyl want will make you far happier than any trip you take on a whim.

    Loved this book – I have Happier at Home on hold at the library 😉

    • Ooo I will have to check that one out. Thanks for the rec.

      Yes, I just feel improving the quality of your life and making your life happier and figuring out what makes you happy will be a long term life change. Where as a trip may bring a moment of a change it wouldn’t, generally, bring the same lasting change. However, I am willing to test this theory out if someone wants to pay for me to go cage dive with Great Whites or hang out with Chris Fallows as he does a documentary for Shark Week or as he does GW research. Please PTB!!

    • Hi Carole, absolutely, feel free to link. Thanks so much.

      The book was amazing, a really applicable book also. I have already started applying a lot to my life and have noticed a big difference.

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