I picked up this book on whim. Yes, I judged a book by its cover. It had buildings on it. I like buildings. So I read the description and it sounded like a book I could find useful. It sat on my bookshelf for a couple of months before I picked it back up to read it.
And it was good.
The premise of the book is the author’s journey to spend a year doing things that can help make her happier. She prefaces by saying that she is not an unhappy person, but has areas of her life that she is not happy with.
I connected with this concept.
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “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.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
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. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
The book is an easy read overall. Her writing is easy to comprehend and as a wife and a mother, I connect with her story. She is a writer by trade, and as a blogger, I do have some of the same work challenges as well. I also connected with the author’s revelation that it’s ok to just be herself (“be Gretchen”) and embrace the things that she is good at and is interested in. And in the same vein, that it’s ok not to put energy into things she just simply doesn’t have a passion for. Instead of comparing myself to others, reading this book helped me further embrace the things that make me, me and helped me stop wasting time trying to be someone I am not.
You can preview the book by clicking “preview” on the widget below.
Life is short. You can spend your time trying to force yourself to go against your nature in an effort to be someone you’re not, which inevitably doesn’t make you happy because it doesn’t satisfy your innate spirit, or you can accept your gifts, your shortcomings and your uniqueness and strive to be your best self.
I give The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin a solid 4 stars. If you are at a point in your life where you are trying to focus on the things that matter and make each day count, this book definitely will make you think and help you examine some things about yourself that you might not have otherwise thought to look at.
You can purchase the book at Amazon.com.