I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin in time to apply a project to my new year. Rubin approaches the question of her own happiness by working to improve her daily life in little ways. I enjoyed the book, found it informative and applicable to my life.
Rubin is a very informative writer. As a former lawyer, she knows exactly how to present organized research and a plan of attack, but in a likable way. Each month, Rubin works on something that will increase her happiness. I could have taken notes on each chapter! I don’t want to walk you through all of those notes I wish I had taken, but I would like to talk about what most affected me in Rubin’s book.
Rubin makes a list of fundamental rules for herself to follow. The first of which is “Be Gretchen.” Somewhere in the middle of her year of pursuing happiness, she realizes that what does make her happy is not necessarily what she feels should make her happy. And she acknowledges the loss of that person who never existed: the girl that doesn’t enjoy clubbing or rappelling or shopping. I really identified with that statement. I have found that things that make my friends happy do not necessarily make me happy. I will never be a single CFO in New York City wearing the best Louboutins and living a glamorous life. I will never be single again. But you know what? I am ok with that. I am so happy to be marrying E. When I read that passage and realized that many other people felt that way about the person they thought they ought to be, the book truly turned a corner for me. I enjoyed everything I read, and even went back to re-read some portions before.
I will give one piece of advice. If you are not interested in all of Rubin’s research on happiness, then skip the intro and jump right into January. Don’t give up on the book because of the intro.
If you are interested in starting your own happiness project, I suggest reading the book and visiting www.happiness-project.com. The Happiness Project really informed my New Year’s Resolutions, and has been such a positive guide for living. I highly recommend this book, and hope you find your happiness.