Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
The Happiness Project
Author Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one day: she realized she could be happier than she currently was. To remedy this, she embarked on a year-long “happiness project,” devoting herself to researching happiness and forming resolutions to actively pursuit it. Rubin identified eleven areas in her life (such as marriage, energy, work, etc.) that she felt were vital to her happiness; beginning in January, she allocated one month to each topic and made resolutions to increase her happiness surrounding that topic. The month of December was then dedicated to managing a year’s worth of resolutions and reflecting on her personal happiness.
In the process of becoming happier, Rubin began a blog chronicling her journey and garnered a book deal. I first heard about her book 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 on her blog at Slate.com. The idea of meditating on happiness and actively appreciating the good things in life seemed like a worthy cause, so I gave her book a try. I’ll admit the reading about Rubin’s resolutions and thoughts on happiness instantly perked me up and made me think about the ways I could pursue a more thoughtful, cheerful life. By the end of book I found the monthly compounding of Rubin’s resolutions overwhelming: her happiness project took work—so much work that I was exhausted just reading about it!
Despite the overwhelming number of resolutions the author made, the book is a good read for anyone interested in the nature of happiness and how to bring more of it into life. I also recommend Rubin’s website, The Happiness Project Toolbox; it’s an excellent resource for establishing your own happiness project.
the happiness project