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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun Paperback – 5 Jun 2011
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“An enlightening, laugh-aloud read. . . . Filled with open, honest glimpses into [Rubin’s] real life, woven together with constant doses of humor.” (Terry Hong, Christian Science Monitor)
“For those who generally loathe the self-help genre, Rubin’s book is a breath of peppermint-scented air. Well-researched and sharply written. . . . Rubin takes an orderly, methodical approach to forging her own path to a happier state of mind.” (Kim Crow, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Practical and never preachy . . . the rare self-help tome that doesn’t feel shameful to read.” (Daily Beast)
“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.” (Amy Scribner, Bookpage)
From the Back Cover
“Wonderful. . . . Rubin shows how you can be happier, starting right now, with small, actionable steps accessible to everyone.” —Julie Morgenstern, New York Times bestselling author of Organizing from the Inside Out
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—now updated with new material by the author—Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
“An enlightening, laugh-aloud read.”—Christian Science Monitor
This updated edition includes:
· A new extensive interview with the author
· Secrets of Adulthood
· An excerpt from Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier LifeSee all Product description
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As some other reviewers have pointed out, the book can be over self-congratulatory, and if you try and read large chunks of it in one go she will most likely drive you crazy.
On the other hand, this book addresses the state that the majority of people seem to find themselves in - not overly sad, but not overly happy. It provides a novel way to increase your awareness of the aspects of your life which bring you most enjoyment / frustration, and then details the year in which the author tried to readdress the balance of these in her own life. She doesn't claim to have all the answers, and details her failures as well as her successes. She acknowledges that her methods may not work for you, but gives an example of how to incorporate small changes into your every day life.
This book might not change your life, but if you are looking for inspiration or an example of how to instigate a change, it gives pretty thorough guidance.
Will this book make you happy? It very well might help you along the road. Your life will be different to Gretchen's, as mine is, but the lessons are very easy to pick out and there's a lot of supporting material on-line from the author's blog and other sites. You'll be glad to know there is no on-line course or seminar to attend at the end of the book, so you can rest easy. There is an on-line community to engage with if you find yourself wanting to take things further.
Gretchen is clearly a successful and professional individual and a talented writer. The book is well organized, well structured, and very well written. It's an easy read, but is packed with info, and is great on detail. I'm glad I read it, and happy I was wrong in my initial impressions. :-)
The great thing is that this book isn't a 'YOU MUST DO THIS' kind of book...instead Gretchen highlights her own very personal project, and it made me feel very comfortable about doing things my way not just her way.
I'll probably read this again soon. There's so much in here and it seems a long time since I read the first few chapters. The great thing about rereading is you get to develop new thoughts and see things differently based on the fact that your life has moved on from when you last read it. That's what I find anyway.
This is not the type of book I would normally read but I am glad I did.
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