The Happiness Project book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the. In fact, Rubin's “happiness project” no longer describes just a book or a blog; it's a movement. Happiness Project groups, where people meet to discuss their. Let me suggest my book The Happiness Project. I can't resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller, on the bestseller list for two years, and translated into.
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“This book made me happy in the first five pages.” —AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally . The Happiness Project summary will show you how to declutter your home and brain at once, 2 principles for good relationships & why money. The Happiness Project (the book) was released in late December. I'd hoped to review it when it was published, but work on my own book got in.
It also often opens a window into religious exploration for me as well. September — Pursue a Passion In a way, pursuing a passion builds upon many of the themes already in this book. Dig in deep. For me and for many others , one great way to build upon a passion is to embark on a big, ambitious project that requires us to dig deep. Write a novel. Build a new deck. Master a particular technology.
Start an ambitious blog. To do these things, you have to set aside time — but the projects themselves provide a lot of spiritual happiness and personal reward.
Yet, just as often, if we study our lives, those currents make sense. We have a surprising amount of control over them as well. Most importantly, that awareness can be a real source of happiness.
One effective way to do this is to meditate a bit each day. Looking at the world with fresher eyes makes all the difference. To put it simply, just pass it on. Laugh when others are around. Help others out. Use good manners and be polite. Be positive when you talk about things. Surround yourself with people who do the same thing.
This will all add up to a lot of reflected happiness in your life. December — Boot Camp Perfect If all of these changes seem overwhelming or impossible, remember one thing: the perfect is the enemy of the good. Take small steps and do them when you think of them or when you can do them. The key is to put little positive steps into your life and let the aggregate of those steps help you reach a higher level of personal joy.
Far too often we take stuff for granted. Especially here in a developed country. When you were thirsty today did you have to walk 4 miles for clean water to drink? Can you wipe your own ass? Be thankful. Be in the moment. November: Keep a contented heart. Here she mentions laughing, using good manners and giving positive reviews. Sorry I'm not taking your advice on that one right now, Gretchen.
The question that remains is, what is happy? What makes you happy? Are you happy? How do you define it? Is happy being in a constant state of bliss or exuberance? Or is happiness found in contentment? Or is happy simply not wanting to eat a gun today? Where does this pressing NEED for happiness come from? In , more than million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants here in the United States.
What the hell are we so unhappy about? Or is happiness found in contentment? Or is happy simply not wanting to eat a gun today?
Where does this pressing NEED for happiness come from? In , more than million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants here in the United States. What the hell are we so unhappy about? What exactly are we seeking? Why can we not seem to find it? There are thousands of books on finding happiness. I'm not convinced this is the best one. A cop pulls him over and asks, "Where have you been?
View all 18 comments. May 19, Katie rated it did not like it Shelves: Let me preface this review by saying, I really tried to like this book. The cover looked fun. The concept up lifting. I went into reading it with high hopes. I didn't look at any previous review I should have. So, here goes The author is a rich white lady living in the upper east side of manhattan with her two healthy little Let me preface this review by saying, I really tried to like this book.
The author is a rich white lady living in the upper east side of manhattan with her two healthy little girls and her as she described gorgeous rich husband. He's rich, like, stupid rich. Research his family. Your jaw will drop that she had enough time between swimming through piles of money to write this self indulgent crap. Her project includes all the things you would expect: These simple steps could be very enlightening if done by someone anyone but an upper east side yuppie could relate to.
Side note: I got through the cleaning out closets chapter fine. It's when the author had to start interacting with other people that it went quickly downhill. One particular story had me gobsmacked. It was her mother in law's birthday party. The point of the exercise was that she was supposed to do "proofs of love. So, she starts planning this shindig, whilst farming out tasks to everyone else so don't think this was a monumental accomplishment.
Can you feel the love? Fast forward to the day of the party. Everything is going swimmingly. MIL looooves her party. She loves the food cooked by her son who is a private chef. Loved her presents. Love, love, love.
So, the night went well? Love was proven, right? Not so fast. The author was feeling like her efforts weren't being recognized enough. Even though her MIL had a fantastic night no one stopped the party to golf clap her organizational skills. That is until her well trained husband, in the middle of gift opening, pulls out a gift for the author.
Suddenly, all is well! The author stops pouting because finally it's back to being about her! Order is restored. So, all in all I just can't with this book. But this one is getting tossed. View all 15 comments. Anyone who is looking to make personal change. Wow, when did I become so cynical and not even realize it? Just like Julia from Julie and Julia: However, this book helped me get out of my funk and become more creative. I didn't want to review this book until I tried my own "happiness project" because to be honest I was very sceptical about the results.
So, my personal j Wow, when did I become so cynical and not even realize it? So, my personal journey to getting back on track to being happier started in the LGA airport in the Hudson News Bookstore. My plane was delayed and I had finished my other book I had brought with. So, being bored and knowing I was going to sit there for a while, I purused the books at Hudson News. This is the one that spoke to me and I started reading it in the airport.
Most of the information isn't anything spectcular and it's all stuff that I already knew, but obviously I needed to hear it again for the millionth time, before it finally sunk in.
I wasn't happy because I wasn't making time for the one thing that really makes me happy So, I decided to start my own project. The first thing I did was clear the clutter out of my apartment. Not only did this make packing tons easier for my move to my new home, but it also lifted a mental weight that too much stuff can have over you and you'll not even realize it.
This was a good first step for me. The stuff I didn't have use for I gave away or donated in hopes that someone else who does need it can. The second step was making more room for creativity every single day. I am really good at making time to read since I have an hour commute via train but I wasn't showing up at the page everyday to write and that really soured my mood.
So, I started a journal where I would write just a sentence every single day, even when I didn't want to, and you know what? Because I showed up and made the time for creativity, I started writing more than a sentence.
I was writing paragraphs, and then pages. That made me really happy and for the first time in a long time I realized, I can do this! The third and final step and the one that's still a work in progress for me is spending money on unnecessary things.
I became addicted to internet shopping.
It's really easy to do. I would just log on to some of my favorite sites: Etsy, Sephora, Groupon, site and could order in an instant anything I wanted via my credit card. Pretty soon, I was in debt, and I had massive amounts of unnused products, books, and other things I didn't need.
So, I stopped spending on the internet all together and bought only the things I absolutely needed like food and began to use up the things I had lying around. This made me feel happier, however, it's still hard for me to go into a store and say, "yes, this is a really good deal, but I don't need it.
Like Gretchen, I too just wanted to share my thoughts on this subject, and hopefully inspire others, not to do the same things I've done, but to find their own passion that will make them happier every day and grateful for the little things that we tend to overlook. View all 19 comments. Dec 05, Alea rated it it was amazing Shelves: I have no idea how to properly convey how I feel about this book.
I felt so much for it and because of it and it's kind of crazy. I saw so much of myself in the author and some of the examples she explained, half the time I was sitting there dumbstruck. She breaks down her resolutions in such a way it's very easy to follow along and she is so specific in how they work out you really can't ask for much more.
Rubin writes in a way that it was very easy for me to relate to and understand. It's a rea I have no idea how to properly convey how I feel about this book. It's a real achievement how much research she did and how many information she is easily able to get across to the reader.
Just her Happiness Project in general was a large undertaking but it seemed like so much fun as well.
I actually feel happier just having read it and also trying out and noticing little things here and there about myself. This is a book that I think will stay with me forever and one that's definitely worth a yearly read, I can not stop talking about it.
I would consider it a must read for just about anyone.
The Happiness Project (Book Review)
I found myself only reading a bit a day so I could draw it out longer, I didn't want it to end. It's funny that I've reacted to The Happiness Project so strongly too because originally it just sounded like a cute and fun memoir which is something I love to read, but it was so so much more than that. You might think with it being a bit of a self help book that it could get preachy or be filled with boring clinical talk or charts and graphs but it's nothing at all like that. It's someone sharing their wonderful experience with great insight that is very easy to transfer to your own life.
The Happiness Project is an achievement by the author and I would strongly suggest this book to everyone. View all 3 comments. I found it the epitomy of self absorbtion.
I've read many happiness books, often looking to use excerpts in my hospice speaches and volunteer training, but I felt this was so dumbed down.
The Sadness in Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project
If you don't mind the constant references to her clerking for Supreme Court Justice O'Connor and her monied life and the mundane attempts at her "happiness project" you might be ok. Anyone who ever had any religious, marital of psych type of background, ie "Golden Rule", would be able to do this and probably al I found it the epitomy of self absorbtion.
Anyone who ever had any religious, marital of psych type of background, ie "Golden Rule", would be able to do this and probably already is. I didn't realize through the library's description it would carry you through one month at a time of her life.
Hey, be kind, take your husband's clothes to the cleaners before he asks you?? Plan a super party for an inlaw, by gosh, just jump in and plan it and take control.
Don't snipe at your spouse over stupid things for one whole month and you will feel happier. I realize she comes from a monied background and that doesn't influence my take at all. The book was shallow and just another version of I'm unhappy, it hit me one day, so I called my hubby outside his office and told him to look down at me while I waved because it made me happy type blog.
This book was very 80's without the good advice. View all 8 comments. The author is right that everyone's "happiness project" will be different, but I question how much value her book actually brings when the demographic seems to be narrowed to wealthy white women.
It feels less like a practical self-help book and more like the journal of a bored mommy blogger who decided to do some cute little experiments to spice up her life. It's worth noting that she is neurotypical, and that she and her family are very wealthy and live in the upper east side of Manhattan. I d The author is right that everyone's "happiness project" will be different, but I question how much value her book actually brings when the demographic seems to be narrowed to wealthy white women.
I don't fault her for these things, but they become quite evident by how surface-level her methodologies are. I see the merit in trying out these things, but many tactics are common sense and her story is nothing remarkable nor does it provide anything new to the table.
Dec 06, Tina rated it did not like it Shelves: The most useful part of this book was when the author suggests not continuing to read a book you're not enjoying. I stopped there. Great advice. View 2 comments. Nov 22, Melanie rated it it was amazing.
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This is not great literature. This is not earth-shattering or mind blowing in any way. Yet somehow, underneath the veneer of light-hearted entertainment, this sneaky little book is filled with profound truths. It is also filled with extremely interesting bits of psychology and sociology research that are sprinkled throughout its pages, mixed with her personal journey and constantly evolving considerations.
A study in self-empowerment if I've ever seen one. A witty, self-examined life which bristle This is not great literature. A witty, self-examined life which bristles with good ideas and a contagious desire for self-realization that actually ends up radiating a stubborn, beautiful light.
Often funny and self-deprecating, Gretchen Rubin made me think about many areas in my life which could use a little boost of "intention", and mindfulness. And just for that, I'll willingly give her 5 stars. View all 6 comments. Jan 10, Jenna Copeland rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm not one of them-- while I don't think the book will change the mostly-good-already trajectory of my life, there were some nice insights and a swift kick in the rump to remember to enjoy life more and nag less.
Absolutely worth my investment of time. Do be warned, though, that Gretchen Rubin is a classic Type A overachiever and this book is organized and written accordingly. Being a gold star addict myself, I've gladly Wow Being a gold star addict myself, I've gladly written my resolution checklist and have it hanging on my wall-- full of happy little pencil marks. But, if you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person, this book may just annoy you a lot.
My favorite criticisms that I've seen here and elsewhere use the life comparison argument: We all know that money downloads you all the love and happiness you can ever need without one having to even lift a finger. You may not have the time or resources to do all of the things suggested in the book and which wouldn't likely make YOU happy anyway but get inspired and what's the worst that can happen?
You get a little more sleep or do that nagging chore or nag your spouse less or reconnect with an old friend. And all without the upper east side address.
View all 5 comments. Apr 15, sleeps9hours rated it it was ok. This was an inspiring book in some ways, but also annoying.
The author admits that she is part of a new trend in books in which the author takes a year for self improvement. Over time the book dragged though. I was quite impressed with the plethora of quotes throughout she collects them , and tons of little ideas and research results I found interesting. I had to get past the fact that her personal This was an inspiring book in some ways, but also annoying. I had to get past the fact that her personality seems a bit off-putting. Flawed can be more perfect than perfection.
A parable. We are happy when we are growing. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating. View all 4 comments. Apr 20, Diane rated it it was amazing Shelves: Oh, how I loved this book. I have read quite a few year-long project memoirs, but this is one of the most meaningful to me. Gretchen Rubin decided she wanted to be happier in her life, and, being an organized and thoughtful person, she devised a plan.
Each month she would focus on one area of her life to improve, and by the end of the year, she should be measurably happier. The first month she focused on her energy levels, then her relationships, later she concentrated on being more successful in Oh, how I loved this book. The first month she focused on her energy levels, then her relationships, later she concentrated on being more successful in her work, she also tried to be more mindful, etc.
I found this book to be very inspiring, and I have adopted several of her methods. One of the key lessons I took away was that it's easy to fantasize about making your life more enjoyable, such as dreaming about winning the lottery and moving to the Carribbean, but the reality is that if you want to change your life, you need to find a way to do it here and now.
Don't get so hung up on the big things that you miss the small stuff — there are little things you can do every day that can help improve your life. Focus on those positive behaviors. I first read The Happiness Project several years ago, and since then I have pulled it down from the shelf several times to review a chapter, or to draw inspiration from Rubin's enthusiasm.
Her project won't work for everyone, but maybe you'll be inspired to try your own. Dec 11, Christy rated it liked it Shelves: I always like when authors narrate their own books, and Gretchen Rubin did a nice job with the audio.
I listened to the book fairly quickly, it only took me 2 days. On the parts that related to my life, I can give an awesome star rating to. Unfortunately, a lot of the book had to do with parenting and other things not just ones own happiness and I found myself completely zoning out.
Still, it was a solid read and there are parts 3. Still, it was a solid read and there are parts of it that were insightful and I'll take away and use.
View 1 comment. Jun 14, Caroline rated it it was amazing Shelves: It involved following Gretchen Rubin in her year-long pursuit to increase the amount of happiness in her life.
I learnt a lot along the way, and often they were things I was not expecting to learn. I didn't agree with everything she tried - but then neither did she - some of her projects just didn't work out. But a lot of them did, and she has given us all a lot to think about. The book has been a great success, spawnin I enjoyed reading this book, it was fun and stimulating, and it made me HAPPY.
The book has been a great success, spawning a blog that loads of people seem to read and take part in, but the hype isn't just hype - I think she deserves the positive feedback.
She takes a different topic each month of the year.. The main messages I got from this book about happiness? Be you. Blow doing anything you don't enjoy. If your real pleasure is collecting Cindy dolls - then just go for it, regardless of more highbrow pleasures that might turn other people on Try and work out what makes you happy, and then keep a resolution chart that will ensure that you actually DO the things that make you happy.
Rubin says that keeping a resolution chart was the very nub of what made this project successful for her. It ensured that she kept practising her new habits, or in Rubin's words "Accessibility to good ideas and practises makes it easier for the subconscious brain to access them.
Finally, the book ends with an excellent list of books for further reading. Happiness is a virtuous circle. Just 20 minutes exercise a day, 3 days a week for 6 weeks, will boost your energy. Even walking. As Nietzche says Do it. It makes you feel better and it gives you energy. Throw things away, but also create more filing and storage.
You want stuff stored away, not stashed on surfaces. Tackle a nagging task: Studies show that one of the best ways to lift your mood is to engineer an easy success, such as tackling a long-delayed chore. It can give you a dramatic boost. Act the way you want to feel: William James "By regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not. Practise enjoying their good habits.
Try and keep cheerful. GK Chesterton "It is easy to be heavy: This is a phenomenon whereby we unconsciously overestimate our contributions or skills, relative to other people. This again involves celebrating the good stuff about people around us. Good arguing: Tackle one subject at a time. Ease into arguments, don't just blow up immediately.
Don't say "You always", or "You never". Be aware of how to bring an argument to an end, instead of keeping it going for hours. Showing matters: We need to SHOW love and caring. Pierre Reverdy "There is no love; there are only proofs of love". The experience of 'growth' versus achievement: Many researchers agree that it isn't achievement that brings us happiness, but rather GROWTH, eg training for a marathon, or learning a new language.
There is also the "hedonistic treadmill" whereby we quickly get used to new pleasures, so the good feeling wears off. An atmosphere of growth offsets that, that is why gardening is better than admiring your new dining room table. Novelty gives us pleasure. We enjoy mastering new things. New things also enable us to expand how we see ourselves. The arrival of a goal often brings more work and responsibility eg having a baby or downloading a house.
Arriving at one goal usually reveals another, yet more challenging goal. The challenge therefore is to take pleasure in the 'atmosphere of growth'. Enjoying the now, without worrying too much about the future.
I didn't take any notes from this section I have no children , but it was my favourite chapter in the book.
Rubin isn't the perfect parent, but sometimes she is darn good. She warmed my heart in this chapter. MAY Emotional contagion. Studies show that we subconsciously catch emotions from other people, whether good moods or bad ones.
Taking the time to be silly means we are infecting one another with good cheer, and people who enjoy silliness are a third more likely to be happy.
Follow the author
Benefit of the doubt.I think of the things that make me truly happy and they are so incredibly simple and uncomplicated. I gave this book away. Loving it show more. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Eventually, you will succeed — and that success will lift you high. Unsubscribe at any time. Act lighthearted. Matt may be a little strong in his condemnation, but it is true that Rubin started from a very different place than most of us.
We all have different things that make us happy.
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