Saturday, April 9, 2016
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Do you believe you would be happier if you made more money or drove a nicer car? Really truly happier? Or would you be happier if you could find your keys every time you wanted to leave the house and had a convenient place to hang our coat when you got home?
These are the questions that Gretchen Rubin addresses in her Happiness Project books. What I love so much about her approach is that she doesn't suggest one needs to take drastic measures to improve happiness. In fact, she isn't even suggesting what you do. She's simply sharing her journey - what works and what doesn't - and it never comes across as pretentious or unrealistic.
I read The Happiness Project when I was in the early stages of trying to figure out how to improve my quality of life. Sure, everyone says they want to be happier but what does that mean?
Gretchen Rubin shows how it means taking a look at the "little things" in our every day lives. Identify what brings you joy and do more of that! Identify what makes you miserable and do less of that! Happiness is something different for each person. Where people often struggle is when we compare our lives to others and try to mimic someone else's happiness.
Gretchen's second book, Happier at Home, resonated with me even more than her first. She recognizes that she is a home body and loves to spend her time in her home, with her family, and so she focuses on how to make it a happier place for all of them.
I guess these are considered self help books but the author never says "This is what you should do." Instead, she says "This is what I did, now make it your own." I appreciate the honesty of her writing. Just because she's studying happiness doesn't mean she's happy all the time or that all her projects always turn out well.
These books have motivated me to make changes in my life that have been fun and helpful!