What I’ve Been Reading: The Happiness Project

About a year ago, I started reading The Happiness Project at the gym. I enjoyed the book, because it spoke to me at time that wasn’t so great. Things weren’t bad, but I wasn’t particularly happy.  I surprised myself by picking it up. I typically steer clear of non-fiction and especially self-help, but this book jumped out at me. The author’s well-researched and thoughtful approach to finding happiness kept me interested, and I looked forward to starting my own project.

Then, I got pregnant, which meant I quit working out, started feeling nauseous, and eventually, forgot I was ever reading it. In fact, it took me so long to finish this book that Gretchen Rubin actually wrote a sequel in the interim.* (It’s called Happier at Home.)

Shortly after the baby’s arrival, I remembered the book and decided to finish it. To my surprise, I had one chapter left. One chapter, that was it. So, after a year, I can now officially report back on the it.

The book is organized by month with a different focus and set of goals for each. She covers vitality, marriage, work, parenthood, leisure, friendship, money, eternity, books, mindfulness, attitude and happiness. The book is very personal, so like me, I’m sure you’ll find some chapters or passages to be less applicable. But, more than likely, there will be parts of this book that reflect exactly how you feel, because Gretchen includes so many anecdotes from great thinkers and philosophers, along with her own relatable thoughts.

While some of the items she focused on weren’t important to me, I found the majority of the book to have really great takeaways. One of my favorites was the “Eight Splendid Truths of Happiness.” The three that resonated with me were:

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

“The only person I can change is myself.”

“Happy people make people happy, but I can’t make someone be happy, and No one else can make me happy.”

This book became a quick favorite of mine, and in addition to rereading it, I’m thinking of starting my own project in January. Have you read The Happiness Project? If so, I’d love to hear what you think and if you decided to start your own.

*Gretchen is stopping in KC on Sept. 20 for a book signing with Rainy Day Books.


2 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading: The Happiness Project

  1. Crazybananas (@Crazybananas)

    This is one I really want to pick up. I’ve obviously been doing the happy thing for a few months, and it sounds really similar. In fact, the person who designed the Path Finder course that changed it all for me is good friends with the author of this book. Glad to hear it’s a good one!

  2. Pingback: Happiness Project | { Concentrated Poetry }

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