Saturday, June 18, 2011


I finished reading this book yesterday. It was all about happiness.

(Just the fact that I finally had time to read and finish a book at all made me pretty darn happy. I credit all the hours I've recently spent sitting in the shade at the pool.)

In any case, this was one of the books we had considered reading for our book club, and I was already familiar with The Happiness Project website, so when I saw the book at the library, I grabbed it. It's the kind of book that's chock full of things you probably already know, but really don't mind hearing again.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of the book and the blog, takes a year of her life to research what makes people happy and apply this knowledge to her own life, in little ways, with a different focus each month. For example, January is "Boost Energy" month - because it's hard to do all the other things if you lack the energy to do them, February's focus is love and marriage, June is titled "Make Time for Friends," September's theme is "Pursue a Passion." In each chapter, she discusses some research or age-old wisdom regarding the topic of the month, and then describes her own experiences, challenges and discoveries found in applying these concepts to her own life.

I enjoyed it a lot, and I will be checking out her blog more frequently for reminders of little ways to get more out of life. It felt good to know that a lot of the things I already do are supported by research, or were things Gretchen thought were good ideas too. Very cool to see her working through NaNoWriMo and using the same book / project plan I've used to attempt to write a novel in a month. Of course, she actually finished hers. Maybe next year for me. I'm sticking with blogging for now.

Writing on this blog, taking time to notice and jot down things that make me happy, eating and sleeping right, exercising and learning a new skill, looking for ways to connect with friends and make others happy - these are all ways I've increased my own happiness over the last few years.

Here are the Four Splendid Truths Gretchen arrives at in her book and on her blog:

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.

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

I think I'm happy. And I'm off to read to my Little bear and watch a movie on the couch with Savageman.


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