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
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“This book made me happy in the first five pages.” —AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible.
Award-winning author Gretchen Rubin is back with a bang, with The Happiness Project. The author of the bestselling 40 Ways to Look at Winston Churchill has produced a work that is “a cross between the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.” (Sonya Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want) In the vein of Julie and Julia, The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
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 of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she 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.
Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.
Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.
Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.
Gretchen Rubin is the author of The Happiness Project, as well as the bestselling Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill; Forty Ways to Look at JFK; Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide; and Profane Waste. (She has three dreadful unpublished novels locked in a drawer.)
Her popular daily blog, The Happiness Project, appears on Slate and the Huffington Post and ranks in the prestigious Technorati “Top 2K.” There, she recounts her adventures and insights as she grapples with the challenges of how to be happier. She also blogs for RealSimple.com.
She’s talked to Matt Lauer on Today and to Brian Lamb on Booknotes, has been profiled in The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” and Psychology Today, and has done radio shows from the Leonard Lopate Show to Talk of the Nation to Voice of America to the Playboy Channel.
A graduate of Yale and Yale Law School (where she was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal), Rubin started her career as a lawyer, and she was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she really wanted to be a writer. Raised in Kansas City, she lives in New York City with her husband and two young daughters.
With so many people writing help books or memoirs about how they spent a year to change their lives, I believe this it the first book that made some practical sense the I could apply into my own life in an easy and satisfying way. While we have read how to pray, or eat, or walk ourselves into a mental state of Nirvana, this book shows us how to be happier.
Rubin set up general themes for each month and then writes about a few behaviors that are included in that theme. The book itself is not a "how to" but rather a great reference source of ideas that people can try in order to make themselves happy in life. The flow of the ideas is easy to follow and enjoyable to read about. I think it would be very easy and beneficial to incorporate these ideas into our lives.
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS HAPPY
BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING THAT YOU DO THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
6 PM, EST, JANUARY 10