The “>Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is an Author of several books including The Four Tendencies, Better Than Before, The Happiness Project, and Happier at Home. Her weekly podcast Happier has her discussing happiness and good habits with her sister Elizabeth Craft. #anditsprettygood
Both her books and podcasts have won her numerous awards, and I personally; really enjoy her stuff. #makesmepause #makesmethink

The Happiness Project: Review

Described on Amazon as “Drawing on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world examples, Rubin delivers an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.”

And I mean, that is a pretty damn good description. And it’s probably what kept drawing me back to it.

It wasn’t just fluff.
Or hardcore science.
She connected her experiences through her learning, with anecdotes drawing correlations to famous or obscure philosophers and theorists. And it is super relatable, informative and reflection prompting.

Her stories where candid, and unnervingly authentic. There where moments where I had to pause and reflect on why I had such a visceral reaction to her reflections as they scared me at how honest she was being.

Thoughts like “you can’t say that out loud,” or “crap, I’ve thought that before” had me putting down the book while I worked through almost PTSD flashbacks of where I hadn’t been kind enough, had rushed through a journey to get to the other side or had put others before my own wellness.

“Happiness is selfish and misguided.”

The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, pg 217

This line, towards the end of the book. This line hit me a little hard. Because while I had been reading, taking notes, researching the occasional theory she referenced, I don’t think I was immersing myself in it, the way it was intended.

For I think I was viewing the dedication of a whole year on her own happieness as selfish.

And yet the minute I was confronted with this thought.
I was able to break it down.

Lines that Hit Me Hard

‘I wanted to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my energy and health; to create a more serene environment in my apartment; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of boredom; irritation and martial conflict; to support causes that i thought important; and to have experiences that would enlarge me.’ pg 171

Now money is a funny one, but this, this is helping me look at my earnings in a new way. I have never had an issue with ‘I work hard, I occasionally deserve x y z treat.’ But this was a more healthy and profitable headset.

‘Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity.’ W.H.Auden, p79

In reference to this quote, Gilbert stated, ‘starting my blog, for example, made me feel anxious, but deep down, I knew I could do it and would very likely enjoy it.’ Which is quite similar to my feelings on what you’re reading now. To balance the emotion that this may never be read so does not need to be perfect, with the fear that it may be read and thus I judged by its quality, I struggle to sometimes press publish without trying to cram further #deepdive connections and reflections.

My Take Aways

Monthly Break Downs – I <3 these as an easy reference, a slowing down moment and a readjusting my expectations of the coming chapter.
February for focused on

  • Quit Nagging
  • Dont Expect Praise or Appreciation
  • Fight Right
  • No Dumping
  • Give Proofs of Love

Examples from her Community – Printed in a different font, with alternative kerning, these where easily identifiable and had an innate ability to make me expand my own thinking on the subjects. From people writing in to Gilbert about their own personalised Happiness Project, to their versions of the 12 commandments, these where sporadically placed enough that the book was still on Gilbert’s project, but strengthened by her community.

Activities at the Back – Questions, prompts, an interview and a guided how to create your own project; this was a #gorgeous way to finish the book, with actionable steps.

My Happiness Project

While I am not ready to share my finished premise for my own happiness project, I did write about creating my personal commandments HERE based on Gretchen’s ideology. These where written a couple years ago, and while still prudent, will be getting an update for this new year.

“>CLICK HERE to jump on Amazon and grab your copy today.

And if you can’t, try your library, borrow my copy, listen to her podcast, research her stuff and just enjoy what she has to offer. This book will easily stay in my Top 10 for many years to come.

Comment below your thoughts, on The Happiness Project, even if you just research it on Pinterest. I highly recommend you do.