by Gretchen Rubin
Last month I published a review of Gretchen Rubin’s blog. Then to my delight not only did a friend recently lend me a copy of Rubin’s book, but the book itself was a pleasure to read.
Is the pursuit of happiness worthwhile? Is it possible to make ourselves happier? Can one woman’s personal journey be that relevant to the rest of us?
Rubin convincingly argues that happiness is a worthwhile goal because it has such a positive effect on those around us and on our capabilities. “Contemporary research shows that happy people are more altruistic, more productive, more helpful, more likable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier, and healthier,” Rubin writes.
She posits that by increasing what makes us feel good, decreasing what results in us feeling bad, aligning our lives with who we truly are, and placing ourselves in challenging situations that foster growth we can make strides toward improving our day to day good feelings.
As for whether Rubin’s personal journey can be relevant to the rest of us, my own analysis is that yes, it most certainly can. My favorite parts of the book were not the well-presented studies she details or the comments she recounts from her blog, but Rubin’s personal stories. She vividly describes intimate scenes from her own family, sharing both the tenderest and the most difficult of moments, often with a brutal honesty toward her own shortcomings and missteps.
While creating a year devoted to a happiness project, as Rubin did, may not be on all of our agendas, The Happiness Project is an inspiring, touching, and well-written reminder that all of our daily habits do truly add up. Whether they add up to an unhappy result or a happy result is largely within our control if we put in the time, attention, and effort.
Readability Five Stars *****
Helpful Perspective Five Stars *****
Actionable Five Stars *****
Would recommend book to: Anyone interested in self-improvement.