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)
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.
given the author isn't a professional audio reader I thought her voice and overall clarity was great. the content of the book is more a story of a year into the authors life. although this may appeal to some it wasn't exactly to my taste. but having said that would I recommend this to others? yes depending on who.
While I did not find much new enlightenment in this book, I did learn a lot about myself. I found this book extremely useful if you're willing to keep an open mind and think critically about how her own process can relate to your own process. There's no huge breakthrough here, but it does take all of those little tips of how to be happier and put it into one place. This book was a great reminder of things I want to work on and how to tackle them. It is also useful to see inside of someone else's brain who is similar in some ways in order to dig deeper into my own mind. This is a book that I will definitely read again in the continuous pursuit of bettering myself while also remembering to be happy with where I already am.
It's always a joy to listen to a book read by the author. And Gretchen did her own book full justice!
As for content, the book is excellent. It engages the listener with questions and you actually want to stop and reflect.
Good luck to those who'd be starting their own happiness projects. Enjoy the book and stay happy!
Would never try another book written by Gretchen Rubin.
A professionally trained actor. Doesn't matter who..someone with a clear and pleasant voice.
The topic is interesting, it's just painfully difficult to listen to her voice.
First of all, this is a great book. It's very inspirational. For those haters, what did you think it would be about? She's describing her one year experience! But there are many splendid truths that you can apply to yourself. I just loved it and will be buying copies for friends and helping them clean their closets.
Gretchen was on to something & I'm glad she was brave enough to write a book on her personal ah-ha moment. I think many of us (especially women) are trying to navigate between the many hats we wear, and get worried when we start feeling like we're losing ourselves and our personal purpose. Gretchen has mastered the navigation blueprint of doing it all (& in some cases, that means letting some things go). This is a definite re-read several times. AND, I would suggest this to young women entering into college to read this. Get things figured out before a husband & babies get involved. You'll be better equipped to enjoy that incredibly valuable & precious time more fully.
I had heard of the Happiness Project but had not made the time to read it. When I finally did, I was pleasantly surprised by how much good information was in there, practical yet inspiring! A tough mix. A personal account woven with real-life studies and anecdotes. A worthy read that will inspire you to look at your own life.
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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