Title: The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Publisher: Harper 2009
Rating: 5/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Nonfiction Adventure (perpetual); TBR Reduction; 52 Books - W29; OLW Home; Dewey Decimal
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, Rubin 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. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
After my less than stellar review of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I'll admit to being a bit apprehensive about this volume. But I shouldn't have been worried. I loved this little book. Rubin has a great way of laying out her ideas and stories that is accessibly and not pretentious. I was a bit afraid that I would be preached at throughout the book. Instead, I felt myself wanting to be friends with Rubin and join her crazy project. By the end of the book, I was convinced that I need to do my own Happiness Project. I know I won't have the exact same monthly focuses or resolutions as Rubin, but I'm sure many will be similar. As I am in the middle of trying out Ali Edwards' One Little Word project, I'm going to sit on the Happiness Project until January. And it will give me time to reread the book, host a book club meeting on it, and formulate my own resolutions and focuses.