Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Happiness Project - Gretchin Rubin Book Review

Having read and enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love", The Happiness Project was recommended to me as a similar read. The book derived from a blog by an "ordinary" woman - ie a married, working woman with kids, trying to change her life at home rather than going on a worldwide travel searching for herself.

Gretchin Rubin's desire to be more happy didn't come around off the back of being unhappy, but more just maximising her joy around doing every day things. She studied happiness and philosophy in depth and through this, and her own thoughts/ experiences produced a year long "Happiness Project". Each month was dedicated to a different topic with a set of objectives, how she went about achieving them, how difficult or easy they were to adhere to and a conclusion of how much of an effect they had and whether she'd be carrying that particular part in the long run. However, each month wasn't solitary, in February she worked at that months goals in addition to Januarys and so on.

With books, I tend to find I either cannot put them down or I can struggle to get motivated to pick them back up. The Happiness Project falls under the latter. It's essentially a non-fiction book and obviously is personal so is rather "me me me" with a drinking game worthy number of "Studies show" thrown in. That being said, the project is infectious. Although I didn't write up a strict regime myself, I made a conscious effort to be more positive and happy which was noticed by my close friends which is never a bad thing.

What I liked about this book is that the solutions to happiness are accessible to everyone and some of the changes made are so simple and obvious yet I was oblivious and it turns out they make a huge difference. I found the author to be really honest and self aware which encourages those qualities in the reader when considering your own happiness - her acknowledging her own flaws and the effect it had on her mood made me able to recgnise the same on a personal level.
Although challenging at times, an overall inspiring read with some real food for thought: 6/10
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