Monday, May 14, 2012

Book Review: The Happiness Project - Getting Started

After a recommendation from my sister-in-law I went to my nearest Barnes and Noble and bought it. I started reading it that night and I love it. Gretchen Rubin determined that she wasn't as happy as she could be so she went on a year long "journey" to find her happiness. I was going to wait to review it until I was at the end but I've decided there is so much insight that I will go chapter by chapter.

Getting Started
In her search to define happiness she came up with this as a possible definition "Defining happiness: that the opposite of happiness is unhappiness, not depression." (pg. 7, the Happiness Project) I thought this quote was so true because I wouldn't say I'm depressed but at times I'm unhappy and there is a big difference. Depression is a serious condition that should be treated by a doctor.

She also comes up with her 12 Commandments to guide her in this process and I love this concept. I'm working on a set of mine own. Some examples of her Commandments...

1. Be Gretchen
10. Do what ought to be done.
12. There is only love.

But what sold me on loving this book was her "Secrets of Adulthood" which included such insights as

People don't notice your mistakes as much as you think.
By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
Happiness doesn't always make you feel happy.
If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough.

I found my self going "wow she's right" to many of her "Secrets of Adulthood."

In her experience not everyone will be on board with your "happiness project" some people will assume you are happy enough. And she determined that "one of my goals for the happiness project was to prepare for adversity - to develop self-discipline and the mental habits to deal with a bad thing when it happened." (pg 15, The Happiness Project) And I like this concept because I think having a good foundation before something bad happens makes a world of difference. It makes things a bit easier to deal with.

I'll keep you up to date as I go along. I also recommend her website it has some great suggestions, tips, etc.


Gwen said...

I read that book a few years ago. I had trouble with it but definitely found it helpful in the end. Good luck with your own Happiness Project. :D