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The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun Paperback – December 29, 2015
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“For those who generally loathe the self-help genre, Rubin’s book is a breath of peppermint-scented air. Well-researched and sharply written. . . . Rubin takes an orderly, methodical approach to forging her own path to a happier state of mind.” (Kim Crow, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Practical and never preachy . . . the rare self-help tome that doesn’t feel shameful to read.” (Daily Beast)
“Packed with fascinating facts about the science of happiness and rich examples of how she improves her life through changes small and big The Happiness Project made me happier by just reading it.” (Amy Scribner, Bookpage)
From the Back Cover
“Wonderful. . . . Rubin shows how you can be happier, starting right now, with small, actionable steps accessible to everyone.” —Julie Morgenstern, New York Times bestselling author of Organizing from the Inside Out
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account—now updated with new material by the author—Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
“An enlightening, laugh-aloud read.”—Christian Science Monitor
This updated edition includes:
· A new extensive interview with the author
· Secrets of Adulthood
· An excerpt from Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits—to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life
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Tl;dr: Don’t bother reading the book.
The book makes me understand the one star reviewers’ unhappiness and the unhappy effect they made on people around them and spread by their reviews, and I am sincerely sorry for them. It is easy to be heavy (or negative) and it is hard to be light (happy and to make people around you happy). Thank you Gretchen for all your efforts to become more agreeable, more loving (to your children, husband, friends, strangers, etc.). You showed me how to become a happy person not for the sake of myself’s happiness but also for the sake of my children, my family, my friends, and the world.
I have one question to ask those people: How?
The book is divided into 12 different chapters, one for each month of the year whereby the author dedicates that month to changing something in her life: career, marriage, children etc. Overall, it sounds like a great idea. However, the "advice" generated in the book is alarming. Her big marriage advice was to treat her husband "nicer". If you are shallow enough to not already treat your spouse nicely, I doubt your marriage will be saved by the book. As for children...apparently, the lesson is don't let their whining annoy you. As a mother of two, good luck with that and that came with the program, so suck it up. The whole book just seemed so ridiculous to me. I can't think of one piece of advice I gleaned that wouldn't be so obviously apparent for anyone with an ounce of self-reflection.
What bothered me most of all about this book is the obvious attempt just to sell. The author is very clear about her purpose in writing to be just to sell books. So, in this book, she gathered all her blog entries from other readers and tacked them in. Not all the entries were relevant or interesting and it just felt like an attempt to make the book thicker. There are also lots of quotes and "studies" about happiness, more obvious attempts to fill the pages with something relevant. The title kind of got my goat, too. A year trying to fight right? Can't recall an instance where the author was really focused on anything other than her own selfish pursuits. Read Aristotle? Not a chapter in the book so I'm not sure how it made it to the title other than to make the book seem more worthy.
You want some happiness? Save the money you would normally spend on this book and look elsewhere. Buy yourself a latte, a bouquet of flowers, take your spouse or boyfriend out for a hot dog, buy a stranger some balloons...
Top international reviews
Will this book make you happy? It very well might help you along the road. Your life will be different to Gretchen's, as mine is, but the lessons are very easy to pick out and there's a lot of supporting material on-line from the author's blog and other sites. You'll be glad to know there is no on-line course or seminar to attend at the end of the book, so you can rest easy. There is an on-line community to engage with if you find yourself wanting to take things further.
Gretchen is clearly a successful and professional individual and a talented writer. The book is well organized, well structured, and very well written. It's an easy read, but is packed with info, and is great on detail. I'm glad I read it, and happy I was wrong in my initial impressions. :-)
The great thing is that this book isn't a 'YOU MUST DO THIS' kind of book...instead Gretchen highlights her own very personal project, and it made me feel very comfortable about doing things my way not just her way.
I'll probably read this again soon. There's so much in here and it seems a long time since I read the first few chapters. The great thing about rereading is you get to develop new thoughts and see things differently based on the fact that your life has moved on from when you last read it. That's what I find anyway.
I tried a few of the ideas in the book and it was very helpful. Whilst I know I’ll never find happiness in a book, it showed me that there are small thing I can do in my life to make it more enjoyable. Not only can I do them, I should do them because if life is more enjoyable we are more productive and so begins an upwards cycle!
I also listened to this book, narrated by Gretchen, Which helped make her suggestions feel more achievable.
This is not the type of book I would normally read but I am glad I did.
Gretchin's need to organise and keep track of her resolutions is very alike my need to stay organised and have resolutions (something that got lost during these hard months).
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be happier, even if you are perfectly happy.
It did inspire me to create my own happiness project, however I found it very difficult to know where to start! It takes alot of determination to complete the amount of resolutions that Rubin does so I do admire her for that. I have however started my own resolutions for the new year although not following her new resolution per month system.
Really worth a read if you feel like you need a change in your life or to be a little happier!