Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happiness Project-Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project- Gretchen Rubin

the facts
satisfaction: up/side
pages: 292
gender: F
nationality: USA
year: 2009

The Happiness Project chronicles Gretchen Rubin's year of trying to be more happy. Each month she would test the applicability of the various theories of happiness to the areas in her life she found important.

This stops short of being a self-help book- yes, there are resources and you can too undertake her journey but Rubin aptly avoids preachiness. She freely shares her anxieties about the existence of this book. She acknowledges her privileges as someone who does not suffer from chronic illness or depression and that, more than anything, kept me reading. And I found she is human and inherently readable.

I read this in chapter bursts and had to tear myself away from it. It's not all applicable to my own life (I do not, for instance, have kids) but the theories she is testing are. For example, I too, often forget that anticipation is its own kind of happiness and while I do not have the responsibility of planning birthday parties I can come away from that anecdote telling myself to remember- yeah you don't want to organize/run that errand etc, but I do want the result and therefore it's up to me and I might as well enjoy it.

I liked her conclusion. She did not find happy to be something you strove for but rather something you accept you already have. And the point made was that if you yourself are happy, the people around you are going to be happier too even if you are the one who has to do the work. It's the little things that matter the most.

I do hesitantly recommend this book as long as you can accept her privilege-you'll then come away with tips and things to think about.

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