The Happiness Project

It has been awhile between books!

But I have been reading, it is just that I have been reading psychology text books, Hong Kong travel books and a lot of online blogs... But I am back and on track now to get to bring you another book from Leanne's Book Nook.

Last year I attended the Happiness and its causes conference and had the pleasure to listen to Gretchen Rubin speak and then I purchased her book The Happiness Project.


Whilst our journey into looking at happiness is quite different, I was nodding along to many of her discoveries over a 12 month period.

Essentially, the premise of the book is Gretchen's desire to bring more happiness into her life and she does a lot of thinking about how she might do that and then lays out a plan structured around 12 different themes over the year that she will focus on. She is a very focussed individual so many of her suggestions I am not sure that all people could actually follow through with - I know I couldn't.

However she has plenty of nuggets of real wisdom that you see in yourself and know to be true. It is that kind of book, suddenly things will become clear to you but you just couldn't articulate them as well as she does, or even frame them into language - but as soon as you hear it you will go YES! That is me, I do that. 

It is uncanny.

The things that I liked most about this book is the way the she brings us to back to how small everyday things can invite the "happy" 

Her chapters seem obvious in their headings, but they are not when you read them, she constantly surprises in how to turns the seemingly small and everyday into something more meaningful that makes us feel better, to be happier. 

With headings like Boost Energy, Remember Love, Aim Higher - you might think that this is one of those dippy self help books that you have been steering clear from. It is not. As an avoider of hippy dippy stuff, I found this book very grounded, very helpful and very actionable.

The key action I took from the book is HABITS ( as no doubt Gretchen did to as she wrote another book on Habits and Happiness that is on my list- Better than Before , this is on my list).

All through the book she references conscious choices that we can make, some very small, some more involved that contribute too or detract from our happiness. She outlines how awareness of this can actually make it easier to start a new habit, that it will make us feel better, happier. From buying extra toilet paper through to slowing down and brushing out children's hair more gently to deciding to sing every morning for a month - she broaches a range of activities, though patterns and suggestions that everyone could try - OR - make their own lists to try each month.

Could I do it for a year?

Maybe not - but each time I look at the book it gives me a little nudge to do more to create those little habits that will invite happiness into your life.

Most definitely worth a read - I am sure it will inspire you to make even a small change in your life and that is all we can do.

Small steps, small changes everyday. 

Here's a little snippet from my favourite chapter on Pursue a Passion ( you can read more about mine in my blog post  )

“I needed to accept my own nature - yet I needed to push myself as well. This seem contradictory, but in my heart, I knew the difference between lack of interest and fear of failure.”

Gretchen Rubin - The Happiness Project - September: Pursue a Passion

You can grab yourself a copy online here

If you become a Gretchen fan (like me!) visit her YOUTUBE channel, again in that quiet way, she nails the truth.