The Happiness Project was born one day when author, Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany on the city bus, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Rubin, wife and Mother to 2 young girls, wondered was she making the most of her life? She decided to dedicate 1 year to testing out ancient wisdom, lessons from modern culture and scientific research on happiness. Throughout the year Rubin makes many discoveries on how to unlock happiness within her.
To guide her project Rubin formulates twelve commandments, starting with “Be Gretchen.” In addition, she creates a list of “Secrets to Adulthood”, one example being “people don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.” Coming back to this wisdom helps Rubin accomplish her resolutions. Each month Rubin focuses on a new resolution, ending the last month in a culmination of all her resolutions for the year.
This book was funny, wise, and very real at the same time. The years do go by incredibly fast so what are you waiting for? Choose happiness now! Reading this book you will come to understand through Rubin’s personal examples that happiness can be achieved here and now. It may not always be the easier choice; in fact, often “it is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.” Wouldn’t you agree all great things are worth the effort?
From the book:
p. 23 Buddhist saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
p. 156 “I learned another reason not to say critical things about other people: “spontaneous trait transference.” Studies show that because of this psychological phenomenon, people unintentionally transfer to me the traits I ascribe to other people...What I say about other people sticks to me- even when I talk to someone who already knows me. So I do well to say only good things.”
The Happiness Project was not only inspiring, it was motivating. When you see the changes made in Gretchen Rubin’s life, you become excited to test drive some of the wisdom in your own life. Rubin also has a popular daily blog where she encourages others to start their own Happiness Project and provides readers with tools on how to start. After reading The Happiness Project, I walked away from the book with the feeling of personal growth, which in and of itself creates happiness.