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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a…
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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the… (2009)

by Gretchen Rubin

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Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
The biggest problem of this book is its lack of references. A single page wouldn't even pass as a Wikipedia article or a school paper. It has no bibliography, no page of references, no footnotes. Every statement starts with "studies show..." and similar; however, the research in question is never mentioned or acknowledged. Many of the things the author says throughout the book may very well be true, but without references, we'll never know.
Other, less serious problems include the overwhelming amount of quotes and blog posts, which make at least half of the book a copy-paste, and its unscientific approach.
Regardless of the above, the book has a certain something that resounded with me (and many other people as shown by its sheer success), it made me think and consider happiness from an interesting angle. I can't really say I liked it, but I can't say it was a waste of time, either. ( )
  JorgeCarvajal | Feb 13, 2015 |
I wanted to like this book. I really did. But, frankly, following Gretchen Rubin's happiness journey isn't all that interesting. I felt like I was reading her to-do list instead. ( )
  aznstarlette | Jan 26, 2015 |
While I think everyone should take any "self-help" book with a grain of salt, Gretchen Rubin is relatable, and I found her advice interesting and useful. ( )
  Alyssa.Novak.Jones | Jan 18, 2015 |
Há muito tempo que não lia um livro de auto-ajuda e é sempre aquele tipo de livros que nunca dizemos que lemos porque é foleiro e transmite a ideia que não estamos bem quando até estamos. Até ao dia em que não estamos e não sabemos bem porquê.
Acho que a história da experiência da Gretchen Rubin é baseada um pouco nessa ideia: ela já era feliz, apenas queria ser mais sem negar a vida dela, "sem ter de partir pelo mundo" em busca da felicidade. Decidida a passar um ano a descobrir a sua fórmula pessoal para ser mais feliz, a autora decidiu abordar 12 aspectos da sua vida (um por mês) tentando várias estratégias, pesquisando, fazendo experiências, acertando e errando. Resumidamente:
Janeiro - vitalidade; Fevereiro - casamento; Março - trabalho; Abril - ser uma mãe melhor; Maio - lazer; Junho - amizade; Julho - dinheiro; Agosto - Eternidade; Setembro - perseguir uma paixão; Outubro - prestar mais atenção; Novembro - atitude; Dezembro - Todas as anteriores.
Em cada capítulo, além de falar da sua experiência ela cita várias personalidades famosas e obscuras, menciona estudos sobre o tema, conta situações de amigos e partilha comentários que as pessoas fizeram no seu blogue. Por ser uma boa escritora ela passa toda esta informação de uma forma muito interessante, nunca chata, o que acabou por tornar toda a leitura relativamente agradável e pouco "auto-ajuda" como em livros que li antes deste. Devido à quantidade de informação acabei por fazer uma série de anotações no meu kindle (23 no total) sobre como encontrar ou produzir felicidade a cada momento da nossa vida em vez de esperarmos que os momentos de felicidade "aconteçam". Alguns exemplos:
"It is by studying little things," wrote Samuel Johnson, "that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible."
"We tend to think that we we'll be slightly happier in the future than we are in the present."
"Having some kind of physical way of preserving information keeps good ideas vivid and creates unexpected juxtapositions."
"Unless you make consistent efforts, your friendships aren't going to survive".
"A common theme in religion and philosophy, as well as in catastrophe memoirs, is the admonition to live fully and thankfully in the present."
"Refusing to be happy because someone else is unhappy, though, is a bit like cleaning your plate because babies are starving in India."
"It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light".
E a minha favorita de todas:
"The days are long, but the years are short."
No fim achei que este livro não me trouxe nada de novo mas fez algo melhor que isso: trouxe-me a confirmação, através de outra pessoa, daquilo que eu já sabia ser a "fórmula da felicidade".

Opinião completa aqui ( )
  tchetcha | Jan 15, 2015 |
In this book, which is more a diary than a how-to, Rubin shows us the steps she took to make herself happier. I'm of two minds: 1) there are some useful ips and tricks; some reframing techniques; some exercises and habits that she developed that made this book relevant and perhaps even interesting. Certainly, as I was reading, I tried to look at my situation through new eyes to appreciate the good rather than find the flaws; 2) although she abundantly refers to her research, Ruben does not actually share with us the basis of her truths and conclusions nor does she give the synopsis of her research: what we read is her distillation in her applied context - it was therefore difficult for me to decide whether what she chose for her would be best for me. I was left wondering what her thesis or basic question was that lead her to her actions. I also found that by focussing on her faults, she came across as a rather unpleasant, finicky person (with only glimpses into her qualities) which didn't really compel me to want to know her better (and hence, why read her diary?).

Overall, I think Rubin's quest was an honorable and worthwhile one although for me, her book lacked structure (and her website looks like a hodgepodge of miscellaneous information). I'm not disappointed I read it, but would not necessarily recommend it. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Dec 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
A fun, funny and wise book written by Gretchen Rubin, a regular HuffingtonPost.com contributor, it's a distillation of the wisdom of the ages on happiness. It provides eminently practical ways to amplify your happiness pretty much immediately (e.g. gossip less; exercise more; launch a pet project).

(Video review follows)
 
I had fun reading about Rubin's triumphs, insights, and failures. She's honest about her frustrating experiences, which are often more interesting that her successful ones.
 
If you are interested in clarifying your reasons to become uncluttered, are looking to be happier, or simply enjoy the genre of “a year in the life” style books, I recommend checking out The Happiness Project. It’s a great reminder for not letting the joys of life pass you by.
added by bongiovi | editUnclutterer Blog (Dec 29, 2009)
 
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Epigraph
Samuel Johnson: "As the Spanish proverb says, 'He, who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him."
—James Boswell, The life of Samuel Johnson
There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
—Robert Louis Stevenson
Dedication
For My Family
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On the outside, Gretchen Rubin had it all--a good marriage, healthy children and a successful career--but something was missing. Determined to end that nagging feeling, she set out on a year-long quest to learn how to better enjoy the life she already had. Each month, Gretchen pursued a different set of resolutions--go to sleep earlier, tackle a nagging task, bring people together, take time to be silly. She read everything from classical philosophy to cutting-edge scientific studies, from Winston Churchill to Oprah, developing her own definition of happiness and a plan for how to achieve it. She kept track of which resolutions worked and which didn't, sharing her stories and collecting those of others. Bit by bit, she began to appreciate and amplify the happiness in her life. With a wicked sense of humour and sharp insight, Gretchen's story will inspire readers to embrace the pleasure in their lives.--From publisher description.… (more)

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