Book: The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon:  “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized.  “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.”  So she decided to do something about it – to research and apply happiness to her life.

With humor and insight, she chronicled her adventures during the 12 months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.  Since Rubin is a mom and loves her city, she didn’t uproot herself;  instead, she focused on improving her life as it was.

Her conclusions:  money CAN buy happiness when spent wisely, novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness, over ‘treating’ yourself can make you feel worse, andthe very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.  Happiness involves a combination of feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth.  The Happiness Project is illuminating, entertaining, thought-provoking, and compulsively readable.

I loved the mix of logical thought (she was a lawyer and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner before she left to become an author) plus her wit and blunt honesty about her own triumph’s as she struggles to ‘Be Gretchen’.  I liked that she started a website to help others chart their own happiness project.

This was a New York times #1 best seller, and I have to agree with the reviewer that said it’s “…a cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art Of Happiness  and Elizabeth Gilbert’s  Eat, Pray, Love”.   The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.

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