The Happiness Project is a favourite of mine. I found it in O’Hare airport when I was stuck between flights and it turned out the airline had no in-flight entertainment system (curses!). As it turned out, this was a blessing in disguise, because it’s otherwise unlikely I would have ever picked this book up. I’m not much of one for self-help, or non-fiction/memoir, but this book transcends my dislikes. I took a lot of what Rubin wrote to heart, and still reflect on it today.
As Rubin writes: “A ‘happiness project’ is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, bordeom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.”
I think what I enjoyed the most about Rubin’s book was that it didn’t ask me to step outside my life. Unlike Elizabeth Gilbert, in Eat, Pray, Love, who drops everything and moves to Italy, India, and then Bali in order to re-discover herself, Rubin tackles her happiness at home. Not all of us are able to uproot our lives because of family, jobs, or simply because we don’t want to, and Rubin’s book allows for a real life reboot.
January is a great time to think about the year ahead and what you can do to improve your lot in life. My husband and I greatly improved our happiness by simply remembering to do the dishes after every meal, and buying a few more bookcases (read: 6) for all those books scattered around our apartment. Sometimes radical changes aren’t required to find happiness, sometimes it’s the little stuff.
Listen to the clip from the audiobook of The Happiness Project read by Gretchen Rubin. Both the audiobook and the ebook are available to download from Shelfie! Download the app and bundle this great book today.