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The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a…

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the… (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Gretchen Rubin

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Title: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
Authors:Gretchen Rubin
Info:Harper (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 301 pages
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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 by Gretchen Rubin (2009)


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Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
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 |
I saw this book at the store the other day in passing and decided to give it a try. I liked the way Ms. Ruben set up her book. The by-month system worked well for me as a reader and I liked that I could organize her thoughts.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Ruben always gave examples of what she was up to and how she did or didn't accomplish her resolution. I did not like the many many pages devoted to what her blog commenters had to say about certain things. Don't get me wrong, I love to hear what others have to say but not in your book that is about YOUR project. An interjection with a commenter's thought or quote here and there would have been sufficient, not in every chapter after she made her blog.

I loved getting to know Ms. Ruben's family. I have never met her, her children, or her husband but I feel like I know them all and would be thrilled to meet any of them. I liked how Ms. Ruben didn't place herself on a pedistal or sell herself short. Her account of the project seemed very accurate and I liked that she included her triumphs and her failures.

I enjoyed this book very much and would love to read others like it by Ms. Ruben. As far as setting up your own Happiness Project the book gives a general outline on how to do it but I think in order to attempt it myself I would need more help than just the book provided.

Also, she included a suggested reading section that rocked. My favorite part of the book! ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
Where do I start with Gretchen Rubin and her "Happiness Project"...

I liked and disliked the book/author at the same time. I believe everyone should be striving to better their life and try to accomplish things to make them happy. Gretchen Rubin's book is essentially her own account of trying to accomplish just that. I liked her approach of breaking it down into a 12 step monthly program that acts as a continuous New Years Resolution. However, I don't like the personal experiences she uses. This woman is rich, has a wonderful husband, children, in-laws, lives in New York and pretty much has the ability to quit her lawyer job to stay at home and pursue her writer dream. Well, good for her. Not to sound bitter but her experiences put some perspective on what "problems" people like her try to tackle and it can be quite laughable. This book would be great for someone who has it all but is bored and gets easily irritated with having it all. Don't get me wrong, I did come out of this with many good tips and ideas for increasing my happiness but I also was very irked by the pompousness of Gretchen and her perfect life.
( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
So I don't agree with everything a 100% but mostly? WOW. It's such a smart, methodical approach to happiness!

Mostly I don't think not ever criticizing is a good idea, I think one should aim to limit oneself to constructive criticism (could totally work on this myself
For quotes visit:
http://readingz.livejournal.com/281487.html ( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
I started going to bed earlier so as to sleep more and be happier. It actually makes you feel happier when you are rested! Good read , ( )
  Mariavictoria | Apr 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (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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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
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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