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Book Review: The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin
ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):
Award-winning author Gretchen Rubin is back with a bang, with The Happiness Project. The author of the bestselling 40 Ways to Look at Winston Churchill has produced a work that is “a cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.” (Sonya Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want) In the vein of Julie and Julia, The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
A friend recommended this book to me awhile back and I’m glad I finally read it. I think the idea of a “happiness project” is intriguing.
Rubin conducted her “happiness project” over the course of a year, with one “resolution” per month. Her plan was to tackle one resolution at a time and build upon those resolutions throughout the year. Some of her resolutions included: boost energy, make time for friends, and pursue a passion. She went into detail on each one about how she would accomplish those “resolutions” (she cautions the reader not to view them as “goals” which can be accomplished once and then we move on to something else, but rather these are resolutions that she will continue to strive to keep over time).
I connected a lot with Rubin as she discussed her husband and her kids and balancing work/life as a working mother. She is a likable person with a positive energy that she wants to spread to others. I felt inspired to start my own happiness project and may even use some of her examples (like cleaning out the clutter in my house and getting my birthday calendar organized!).
One of my biggest takeaways from this book was that our general mood affects those around us – in our home, in our work environment, in our social media communities, etc. Wherever we are on the happiness scale, there is always room to move up higher, and when we choose to do that, we can have an impact on everyone around us. Why not give it a try?