Title: The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Publisher: Published January 1st 2010 by Harper
Quick Review: 4 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: I saw this book and author on Oprah and it sounded interesting.
Where I Obtained the Book: At my local library.
Synopsis: Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany on e 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.
Review: Great book, I took each of her chapters and did a self analysis. I took each chapter and wrote down things I could do to be happier in that arear of my life. I think I'm a happy person, but I could be happier. It’s a choice, happiness, not something that just happens. Striving to be happier will also help those around you be happier. The old saying; ‘When mama aint happy, anit no one happy’ is so true. It is tough sometimes to be upbeat and pleasant, but it is so important for yourself and your loved ones.
A quote I love she brings up in this book. “The days are long, but the years are short.”
Gretchen is a graduate of Yale Law School and was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. She was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized that she really wanted to be a writer.
Her bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill and Forty Ways to Look at JFK are succinct, provocative biographies. Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide is biting social criticism in the form of a user’s manual. She also has three terrible novels safely locked in a desk drawer.
She lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters.