Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have mixed emotions about this book. I really like what Rubin has done overall; I think it's immensely helpful to lead an examined life. Her method of finding what her own happiness project would look like was smart. By looking at the things that made her feel unhappy (guilt, regret, sadness, feeling out of control), she was able to target behaviors that would specifically target and change those outcomes. This is something that takes great insight and is difficult to honestly do.

She never really discusses it in her book, but I think that much of what this project did was make her more aware of how precious time is, and to live in the moment, maximizing her time as best as possible for fulfillment.

Her book is inspiring. While I don't want to commit to a full year of a happiness project, I certainly want to make a more conscientious effort to live in the moment, and this has given me good fodder to start examining my life and making certain resolutions that will improve my attitude and sense of well-being.

The negatives: I can't give this five stars because, as Rubin talked more and more about herself, I started to really dislike her. I found a lot of her anger and annoyance to be petty, and it seems like she is a little self-centered and can be quite rude to her husband, kids, and peers. Does she address this and try to change? Yes, a bit, but I think there is something a little deeper here that needs to be addressed.

Should you read it? If you think that you have the situation to be happy but aren't, or feel like you are missing out on your own life, then yes, at least skim it.

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