Making a Difference by Formulating Happiness

This Week’s Book = The Happiness Project (by Gretchen Rubin)

After reading some heavier books on trauma, I decided to pick a less intense book for this week. Cue The Happiness Project – one woman’s year long quest to increase her happiness by making some simple shifts in her everyday life.

This book is autobiographical in nature, but it’s also a fantastic mix of research, quotes, and opinions. I was actually pretty impressed with the seamless way that Rubin could weave those elements together. Through all of her research, she increased her understanding of happiness and created her own happiness project. Essentially, her happiness project consisted of having a specific focus for each month (i.e. relationships, work, etc.) and different goals to increase her happiness in the specified area (i.e. start a blog, go to sleep earlier, etc.).

I liked this book…though I didn’t love it. I loved the idea behind the book and the discussion of happiness. I loved the interweaving of research and personal experiences. But I was not a fan of Rubin’s ‘writing voice.’ Throughout the book, we are privy to Rubin’s inner monologue: her worries, revelations, and general thoughts. I found myself getting annoyed often by the self-critical nature of her the_happiness_project_book_by_gretchen_rubinwriting and, in my most annoyed moments, I found myself questioning her motives. At times, I almost felt like she was trying too hard to be transparent and it came off as attention seeking. So alas, I can’t love a book when I don’t like the writer’s voice.

With that being said, this book is an easy and entertaining read. I would recommend it to anyone who is seeking new and straightforward ideas of how to improve their happiness. For professionals, there are some interesting tidbits to be found amongst the research that Rubin summarizes. I know that I’ve made use of some of the research discussed in some of my recent sessions. While Rubin’s formula for happiness is not the solution to all unhappiness, it appears as though it can certainly make a bit of a difference.

Want to buy the book?  Click here!

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