Books I love: The Happiness Project

What a fantastic read so far!

It’s been a while since I picked up a book that I truly enjoyed & learned from. Gretchen Rubin’s light-hearted and earnest humor & entertaining personal anecdotes make this a fun relatable read while being at the same time sweetly enlightening.  I’m only on chapter 3 but loving and learning from every single page!

How she started her project…(quote from her blog)
“A few years ago, I had an epiphany on the cross-town bus. I asked myself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” and I thought, “I want to be happy”—but I never spent any time thinking about happiness. “I should do a happiness project!” I realized. And so I have.

My happiness project has convinced me that it’s possible to be happier by taking small, concrete steps in your daily life. In my book and on this daily blog, I write about what I’ve learned as I’ve test-driven the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture. Plutarch, Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, St. Thérèse, the Dalai Lama, Oprah, Martin Seligman…I cover it all.”

Some Gems I’ve gathered from reading so far…

Gretchen on pedometers, ” I benefited from the Hawthorne effect, in which people being studied improve their performance, simply because of the extra attention they’re getting.” Nietzsche wrote, ” All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking,” Just stepping outside clarifies thinking and boosts energy. Walk everywhere possible!

Our physical surroundings influence our spiritual happiness.

“I started to apply the one minute rule. I didn’t postpone any task that could be done in less than one minute. I filed a document, put the papers in the bin, closed the cabinet door. these steps took just a few moments but the cumulative impact was impressive.”

“I observed the evening tidy-up by taking 10 minutes before bed to do simple tidying. Tidying up at night made our mornings more serene and pleasant and in an added benefit helped prepare me for sleep. Putting things in order is very calming and doing something physical makes me aware of being tired.”

“I was astonished by the charge of energy and satisfaction I got from creating order.”

Get the nagging task done and release your energy.

“An important aspect of happiness is managing your moods, and studies show that one of the best ways to lift your mood is to engineer an easy success, such as tackling a long-delayed chore. I was astounded by the dramatic boost in my mental energy that came from taking care of these neglected tasks.”

“It is by studying little things,” wrote Samuel Johnson, “that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible.”

From her blog:

Four Splendid Truths

First: To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.

Second: One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

Third: The days are long, but the years are short. (click the link to see my one-minute movie)

Fourth: You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.

Gretchen’s 12 personal commandments:

Be Gretchen.

Let it go.

Act the way I want to feel.

Do it now.

Be polite and be fair.

Enjoy the process.

Spend out.

Identify the problem.

Lighten up.

Do what ought to be done.

No calculation.

There is only love.


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