Gretchen Rubin- The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

What it’s about:

This is Gretchen Rubin’s account of how she created a 12 month ‘Happiness Project’ to see if she could create a happier life within her existing circumstances.  She chooses a different area of focus for each month of the year, and creates a series of resolutions to help her improve her own behaviour, and establish whether this has an impact on her personal happiness, and that of those around her.

What I love:

  1. The systematic and thorough way in which she approaches the project.  This is a really practical and empowering guide to improving existing circumstances, but more importantly evaluating how one’s own behaviour and outlook can have a transformative effect on personal happiness.
  2. I found her honesty on what she considers her flaws to be refreshing, and it gave clear emphasis to the individuality of each person’s journey.  This book is about sharing ideas for how to make your own life happier, not a ‘How-To’ guide.
  3. This is a really funny book! Tackling a subject that could easily be didactic and overly earnest, Rubin combines insights on her own (undoubtedly extensive) research, with amusing anecdotes about her own successes, failures, and the impact on her often unsuspecting family and friends.

My Favourite Quotes:

  1. “One day I’d stop twisting my hair, and wearing running shoes all the time, and eating exactly the same food every day.” (I could literally have said these exact words, and the moment I saw this, I was in).
  2. “Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate, and a fresh opportunity.
  3. “The First Splendid Truth: To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.”