Sunday, October 14, 2012

Well Read: The Happiness Project

I was first introduced to this book when my cousin, Alicia, started blogging about it several months ago. In July, I noticed a stack of them for sale at Anthropologie and considered buying it, opting for a stripey tank instead. Recently, I received an email from with a list of book titles I might like to read and there it was again. Ok, Universe, you've captured my interest!

I really enjoyed the book, which is part memoir/part self-help. Gretchen Rubin states that, while she considers herself a pretty happy person in general, she knows that she could be happier. She decides to try an experiment (called The Happiness Project) where, over the course of a year, she works on resolutions to make herself the happiest she could be. I really loved the format of breaking her resolutions in to 12 parts - one for each month of the year - and then further dividing each month's "goals" in to subcategories. Not only did this make it easy to follow, it also allows you to refer back to certain sections again and again.

Gretchen tackles some obvious issues such as health, relationships, & money but she also includes more lofty items like spirituality & attitude. I'll tell ya, it's a very comprehensive list. This book isn't just one person's perspective on what defines happiness though. Rubin cites countless "experts" including Homer, Aristotle, Oprah, psychologists, and even a hypnotherapist. She references literature and scripture. She surveys her friends and acquaintances. She admits to becoming obsessed with the idea of happiness. The tone and anecdotes are pretty funny which just makes her all the more relatable.

This book gave me a lot to chew on. While I, too, consider myself to be a happy person, I found myself making notes in the margins of things I could do to be happier &/or to eliminate some areas of unhappiness in my life. Rubin offers online tools to start your own Happiness Project and I think I will, keeping you updated with progress, of course.

I would encourage everyone to read Gretchen Rubin's "Happiness Project" and if you feel inspired, purchase a copy for later reference. Then maybe start a project of your own? I would love to hear about it!

1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to read this book, but have never gotten around to it. This post makes me want to bump it up my to be read pile though. I love the thought of you making notes in the margins :) Have you seen The Happiness Project 5-year journal? Even though I haven't read this yet, I want to start the journal this new year!