Sass and the City

‘The Happiness Project’: A Book Review

The Happiness Project

Photo Credit: Success for Solopreneurs 

When I packed my bags for New York, I knew I needed the essentials: makeup, clothes, shoes, electronic cables, bedding, etc. But my suitcases didn’t feel complete without one thing: books. So I rummaged my shelves of unread books (I have this awful habit of collecting books I want to read but don’t get to for a while… resolution, perhaps?) and found a few good reads. Among them was The Happiness Project, a reoccurring title on display at Barnes & Noble.

Name: 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

Author: Gretchen Rubin

Year: 2011

Premise: Gretchen Rubin, a mother, wife, writer, and New Yorker, has an epiphany on a bus ride one day and realizes she lives a very blessed life – but could be even happier. Through a methodical and very detailed ‘happiness project,’ she plans to spend a year realizing prudent, realistic, measurable goals in multiple areas of her life and build on them cumulatively.

Review: The Happiness Project boasts an incredible premise and really offers great encouragement. Rubin wasn’t at all perfect during the project and admits to her weaknesses. She provides her readers with real, authentic, messy, successful tales of her attempts at self-improvement, all in the context of her background and present life. While the book did drag on at times (and linger on certain stories or sections), I took away something meaningful from it, which is, to me, the end goal of any piece of literature. The Happiness Project taught me that you are in control of your life and your happiness. Your actions and mentality directly affect those around you and your quality of life. Even if you fail at first or don’t feel 100% capable of making resolutions work, any little step is better than none. Rubin’s book reinforced the notion that if you can do something in under a minute, do it right away. It also reinforced the idea that you have to take time out for you, even if it’s an activity as silly as reorganizing a drawer. If that’s cathartic for you, go ahead. One quote that has stuck with me since is G. K. Chesterton’s “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” Being ‘light’ appears effortless and simple, but requires patience, self-control, discipline, and love. But most importantly, Gretchen Rubin inspired me to start my own blog and fully embrace my passion for writing. For that alone, the book was completely worth a read.

Rating: 3.5/5

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