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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

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
There are a ton of books written on happiness and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin takes some of the best ideas as she goes thru a personal search to see what really works. Each month of a single year Rubin tried to apply the principles of a widely known source of happiness. She is brutally honest about what worked and what didn't. In the end she felt happier but ultimately there is no magic pill and what works for one person does not necessarily work for the other. An interesting read that gives some good ideas on your own pursuit of happiness. ( )
  realbigcat | Oct 15, 2017 |
I forget where and when I first heard of Gretchen Rubin. I listen to her podcast, but I don't remember which came first, book or podcast. Perhaps because I am so familiar with her findings, there was nothing really new here. The life-stunt format was OK, and it was nice to see things laid out, but I didn't feel that this book was very helpful to me.

I do recommend her later books, which built on this one, as being more detailed and helpful. Also, the podcast is packed with useful tips and insights. ( )
  teckelvik | Sep 6, 2017 |
Rubin brings us along on her journey to transform herself into a happier person. A worthy aspiration and wonderful memoir we can all relate to and learn from. ( )
  CherieKephart | Aug 3, 2017 |
From my Cannonball Read V review...

Meh.

Since one-word reviews are frowned upon at the Cannonball Read, I’ll elaborate. Like Sophia, who read this book prior (and whose review I should have read first), I had some issues with the depth of this book. I got some useful tips from it, and it was a pretty quick read (I read it in about three days), but I didn’t enjoy it. It was like watching a rerun of one of the filler episodes of Friends – it was fine, and I laughed a bit, but I could have been doing something better with my time. (And also like the characters in friends, the people in this book are affluent, white, and seem fake.)

That’s probably part of my problem. I don’t particularly like what this author presents of herself. While that doesn’t really matter with other books, it’s kind of a big deal with this style of book. There was an ‘aww shucks’ quality that is not my particular cup of tea. Additionally, this woman started from pretty high up on the happiness scale. Not that any happiness discussion should be limited to those who have been deeply unhappy, and I recognize that there is value in helping people improve their lives regardless of where they started from, but COME ON. This woman is rich. This woman has two healthy, adorable daughters that she clearly loves. Both the kids grandparents were alive as of the writing of the book, and her in-laws (whom she also adores) live around the corner. She makes a living following her passion. And all of that was BEFORE she started the Happiness Project.

But as I said, that doesn’t necessarily mean what she’s going to say doesn’t have value; it just means a whole hell of a lot of people aren’t going to be able to find much in common with her and so may find it a little hard to think that singing in the morning is really going to change things for them. And Ms. Rubin is clear that this is *her* happiness project, and that everyone’s will be different. But I’d be more inclined to start on my own if the one I’d just read hadn’t been so … weirdly lacking in self-awareness. For example, she talks about wanting to eat better but seems to applaud herself because she’s NOT going on a diet. She’s just … cutting out food groups entirely to lose weight. O-kay. And while she has the healthy view that you can’t change others, you can only change yourself, some of the discussions around trying to give up needing to be praised kind of make her husband look like he’s taking total advantage of her. And since I know about 300 pages worth of her marriage (i.e. next to nothing), I’ve no right to actually judge that relationship. But it was impossible to remove my thoughts on the author from what the author was saying.

Here’s my take-away: if you respond well to checklists, you’ve got an interest in somewhat saccharin writing, and you are looking for a dozen or so useful nuggets, sure. Add this to your list. Otherwise … no need. Shoot, you can even email me and I’ll send you the items I thought were the most useful if you’d really rather not bother. ( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 8, 2017 |
Somtimes you just need to be hit up the side of your head to see the obvious. ( )
  dpevers | Jul 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (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)
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gretchen Rubinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bernard, DaphnéTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borda, JulietteCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cipriano, EllenDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, ArchieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gittinger, AntoinetteÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kord, RussellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lenth, LarsOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Bree, ChristineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walendowska MonikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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A "happiness project" is an approach to changing your life. (A Note to the Reader)
I'd always vaguely expected to outgrow my limitations.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Contents:
January, Vitality: boost energy -- February, Marriage: remember love -- March, Work: aim higher -- April, Parenthood: lighten up -- May, Leisure: be serious about play -- June, Friendship: make time for friends -- July, Money: buy some happiness -- August, Eternity: contemplate the heavens -- September, Books: pursue a passion -- October, Mindfulness: pay attention -- November, Attitude: keep a contented heart -- December, Happiness: boot camp perfect -- Your happiness project -- Further reading.

Happiness Project Tool Box
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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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