“In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier,” it says on the back cover. In Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project (see photo above for complete title), Rubin made happiness resolutions which she tried doing for one whole year. Each month had a theme; she devoted June to Friendship, for example, where I learned how important it is to show up and make time for your friends. Reading the book actually made me want to test-drive her own happiness resolutions. I enjoyed The Happiness Project very much.
I’m having a difficult time writing about it in just one blog post; I feel it’s worth dedicating one whole blog to, and a single post is not enough. I could actually think of one blog entry for each of her resolutions, for every idea and quote she has given. I could write a composition about a question she’d posed in her book: Was it supremely self-centered to spend so much effort on my own happiness? I could write another about trying one of her resolutions: Go to sleep earlier (which I am still struggling to get better at, by the way). I could write about one of her Secrets of Adulthood: What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you — and vice versa.
One other thing I’ve learned is to appreciate happy people and all of their efforts to be, or at least look, happy and not ruin their happiness by criticizing their ideas or making rude comments or saying negative things about activities, movies, or books they say they like, which I admit doing. I used to think that generally happy people find it very effortless to be happy, that it’s something that comes naturally to them, but in fact, the “joyous ones” admitted that being happy all the time could be draining and exhausting too but that they choose to be happy; therefore, I think it is a selfless act. It is more effortful to be happy than to be unhappy. “It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted.” Okay, I won’t anymore.
Anyway, since I’m starting to feel that my thoughts about the book are extremely cluttered, I’ll end this post now. I hope everyone would consider reading The Happiness Project. I doubt anyone wouldn’t learn anything valuable from it.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin was published in 2009.