Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
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 of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of best-selling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles 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.
Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her - and what didn't. Her conclusions are sometimes surprising - she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference - and they range from the practical to the profound.
As an added bonus, this recording includes a sampling of Gretchen's podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In this episode, "Choose the Bigger Life", Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth Craft, discuss happiness, good habits, and whether Gretchen is going to get a dog.
©2009 Gretchen Rubin (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
"Packed with fascinating facts about the science of happiness and rich examples of how she improves her life through changes small and big. The Happiness Project made me happier by just reading it." (Bookpage.com)
I love reading/listening to books that promote personal growth. This book gave me a lot to think about. The Happiness Project provides a systematic approach to cultivating richer, fuller happiness in our lives. She shared relatable personal experiences and research that helped me see the importance in putting more thought into creating a plan for more happiness, not just expecting it.
Gretchen Rubin's struggles are not at all similar to my own. That really did not matter. Her candor helped me appreciate our individual humanness and that each person's project will be individual.
I want to find others willing to try this whole thing out so that I can measure my growth with others interested in these ideas. I think Gretchen Rubin's ideas are worthy of a movement in how we all could accomplish more meaningful and richer interactions with others as well as enriching our own lives. This is a thought-provoking, good use of time.
As Rubin prefaces her book, happiness looks different for all of us. So not every chapter of this book will be directly relevant to you or your life. Still, the principles of growth, mindfulness, and accountability outlined herein will make everyone happier.
I had read mixed reviews and almost did not purchase this book. I would have missed out on a terrific book. I miss Gretchen already and may listen to it again, especially because I could not take notes while driving. Even if you do not fit into Gretchen's demographic (as I think that some of the bad reviewers did not), anyone can gain insight from her project. she has a blog and other online forums that can enhance the experience if you want more. I have certainly become much more self aware and tried to employ some of Gretchen's suggestions.
Very thought-inspiring and genuine. Its the kind of book that you want to read periodically. It leads you to some "ah-hah" moments that inspire change in perspective.
Loved that Gretchen was the narrarator, seemed she was talking to just me! Improving life seems doable, no matter who you are.
I am in a point of transition in my life and Gretchen gave me a lot of enjoyable food for thought. Even though writing is not something I find enjoyable I could see how I could adapt my own happiness project. I really enjoyed the quotes from so varied authors. It encouraged me to broaden my reading list.
Was too instructional i guess. it wasnt a good read for me. at least give it 2 chapters before you decide because i can twll she is very good. maybe ill try another of her books.
This was an enjoyable book to listen to and had some good points about striving for happiness in our daily lives. Nothing earth shattering, but I'm on a quest to keep myself reminded to face each day with joy and expectation. This book fit in nicely with that goal.
I've listened to this book twice already and will probably listen to it again. So much great information and so well written. I find Gretchen very relatable and down to earth in her approaches.
this was a fun listen that i dipped in and out of over a period of time, and towards the end it touched a couple of really interesting and resonant points. anyone who posted a negative review because they couldn't get over the the author's voice should get over themselves.
"Absolutely loved it."
Well read, and an inspiring journey. I loved the way it was broken down into each month and would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about making some changes to be happier without destroying what they already have :)
"A must read"
I absolutely loved this book. well researched fantastic read. Can't wait to start my happiness project.
"Happiness within reach"
Hopefull, Inspiring and Systematic
When I read a book I often try to imagine that the writer is reading it to me. And this was exactly that! I loved that it sounded so natural, like listening to a friend's story.
I'm going to give it a second listen and start my own Happiness Project. I've already did a major clean up in my house because I couldn't wait to get started. Gretchen has a point: "It's the rare person who can't benefit from a Happiness Project."
I found this a really interesting thought provoking book. I think I might have to just start my own happiness project.
"Annoying woman narrator"
No it would be easier to follow the program she suggests if it were read rather than listened to.
When her child threw up.
Yes, yes I know she's the author but I would've preferred a different narrator. She sounded really whiny.
The longest year of your life!
A great idea and one I will be trying in 2016 but at times I struggled to listen to her and almost gave up countless times. But I'm English. Folk from other countries especially the US may find her easier to listen to. Great ideas but poor narrator choice. Also it was difficult to tell when she was talking about her own life or quoting people who had shared their experiences with her.
"Easy and inspiring listen"
I find the book easy to listen and follow. it has very practical ideas about how to improve ones daily and overall life.
"Filled my morning walks nicely "
Good listen not much practical tips more of a read through her own experiences, saying that I haven't yet requetsed the tool kit so I will do so. I'm sure there is more materials. It's a motivating audio I will for sure listen to it many times
I found the book very inspiring. Many people make resolutions and then do not keep them. This book shows a structured approach to accomplish them. It also shows a success story that inspired you and shows that it is achievable and worth to work on yourself and your happiness.
Great deal of common sense delivered in a numerous and self deprecating way. If you listen to this book and think of it as journalism rather than 'self help' I think you will get more from it.
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