Book Review: The Happiness Project

November 2, 2014

The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Genres: Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Lifestyle, Happiness Research
I listened to the audiobook read by the author.
You might like this book if you like self-help books, authors on quests, bloggers who write books, or are genuinely interested in the study of happiness and how to have more of it in your life.

Gretchen Rubin set out to have more happiness in her life and figure out how over the course of a year. She is methodical and organized in her endeavor, with lists, plans and schedules. One might think the study of happiness is incongruent with a research-driven, step-by-step approach, and at first I was a bit put off by her resolutions, commandments and splendid truths, but by late spring (she reports month by month) I was totally engrossed and truly interested. As I listened, I thought a lot about how much of a choice it is to be happy, and how much control we have over that decision. She often mentions how this is her project and hers alone and that anyone who embarks on a happiness project of their own should make it just that, their own. I found myself considering habitual responses, environmental challenges I've created and other obstacles to my happiness and how I can make changes. I was encouraged and energized by the book and, while I'm not going to jump on any bandwagons and embark on a full-fledged happiness project, I am glad I discovered it now. I am in the midst of a year-long fitness and behavioral project and this book has become a good adjunct. I check her blog occasionally now and find good things there.

I like good things, and I like this book. Give it a try, even in small bites. Focus not on emulation, but on looking for inspiration. You might find just one idea that sparks an important change in your behavior, environment or habits.

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