The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin
Everyone wants to be happy and everyone does things hoping that we will be happier when we achieve them and that’s why we work harder, buy more things and jump into any chance just to do that.
I’m not having a depression nor am I unhappy with my life, but I picked up this book at Ubud, Bali airport because I think I can be happier than my current state of mind.
This book is another take on our New Years Resolutions which are centered around activities and changes that we think will make us happier. Gretchen chronicled her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Unlike Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, Gretchen didn’t have the option to uproot herself and abandon her family, instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions and test out principles by experts from Thoreau to Oprah to Dalai Lama.
This book has inspired many to start their own 12 months Happiness Project but not me. I find it a chore to list down 12 areas of my life which I want to improve and using resolution charts to track my progress. However, I realized in many instances when I read her book, she is very similar to me and I am glad, I agree with many of her resolutions and outcomes after she tested them!
Here are some of my favorites resolutions of Gretchen.
- January – Boost Energy, Vitality: Exercise better & Toss, Restore, organize
- February – Remember Love: Marriage: Quit nagging, Don’t expect praise or appreciation, Fight right, Give proofs of love [This is my favorite chapter!]
- March – Aim higher, Work: Enjoy now
- April – Lighten Up, Parenthood: Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings & Take time for projects [Even though I’m not a parent just yet, but if I have a child, I would love to buy the book “How to talk so Kids will listen and listen so Kids will talk” which Gretchen recommended.]
- May – Be serious about play, Leisure: Find more fun & Go off the path
- June – Make time for friends, Friendship: Be generous & Show up [I am guilty of not putting in effort in maintaining friendships]
- July – Buy some happiness, Money: Indulge in modest splurge and buy needful things
- August – Contemplate the Heavens, Eternity: Read memoirs of catastrophe [I bought 2 books where one is recommended by her and another which I came across while reading a news article.]
- September – Pursue a passion, Books: Make time
- October – Pay attention, Mindfulness
- November – Keep a contented heart, Attitude: Laugh out loud & give positive reviews
- December – Boot camp perfect, Happiness