Monday, September 3, 2012

CBR IV: Book 28: The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin

I'm not usually one to read self-help books.  But this one caught my eye on the shelf at Target.  It has a pretty, bright blue and yellow cover, and it promises happiness.  Who doesn't want happiness?

Gretchen Rubin divides her project into twelve subjects and covers one per month: Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Mindfulness, Attitude, and Happiness.

Gretchen Rubin is quick to point out that this particular Happiness Project was HER Happiness Project, and doesn't necessarily apply to everyone else.  She encourages everyone to start their own Happiness Project, and has a blog with some tools to help.  I loved how Gretchen Rubin tried to scientifically quantify happiness.  She tried to break it down into its base elements.  There is nothing Earth-shattering in her book, but it did have some good advice.  Think about something that you liked to do as a child, and try to replicate what attracted you to that hobby in the first place.  Gretchen Rubin gets back into Children's Literature and even starts a successful book club. She also attempts to make at least three new friends.  This is something I have struggled with as an adult.  I love the friends that I have, but I haven't made a new friend in at least 3 years.

There is a lot in this book that is admirable, but not be practical for everyone.  Most everyone isn't a stay-at-home mom who can write at her leisure.  Most of us don't have millionaire husbands and rich in-laws who live around the corner and are always willing to babysit.  But don't let that get in your way of starting your own happiness project.  Tackle a nagging task, sing in the morning, and learn to enjoy now.  I know I will.

4/5 Stars.

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