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Book Review: The Happiness Project

Photo Courtesy of LiteraryInklings
Photo Courtesy of LiteraryInklings


Normally, I don’t trust books like this to make much of a difference in my life. I had been told multiple times how great of a book this was, so I decided to give it a shot. And I am so happy I did. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a year-long book in which Rubin attempts to bring more joy into her life by changing small aspects. Her resolutions chart is simple, yet mind-blowing. After reading it, I realized that all of these things most likely would make a person happier, and they weren’t even extremely difficult.

It seems that in our society, we have underrated the idea of happiness and placed it low on our list of important aspects in our lives. Sure, we all want to be happy, but when asked to make small changes to our lives in order to gain happiness, we laugh as though it would be a silly waste of time. Happiness has become something in our culture that we look at as not having any progressive qualities. I mean, will happiness surge us forward in the technology market? Seemingly, no.

From reading Rubin’s research, it seems that happiness does in fact cause us to create better work as well as become more creative. These are aspects that would change a person’s life from average to contributory on a large scale. When we look at important charitable figures, often times we notice that they are very happy. This is important because happiness will produce the energy and focus required to accomplish an extraordinary life. If a person remains in a state of self-loathing or irritation, chances are that less will be accomplished.

Gretchen Rubin created a book for us that has all the ingredients of being happy. Most of them are simple changes we can make to our everyday thoughts but some of them require real effort. This is important to note because since certain aspects of happiness, whether it be meditation or reading, can require work, that causes people to avoid it no matter how happy it will make them. All we need to do to be happy is focus on the actual act of it. Rubin teaches us this through her research, examples, and experiments.

This book is one that has made me happier simply by reading it. I plan to post its foundations in the halls of my dorm and shout its praises to anyone who will listen. Here, I have found a book that I plan to keep with me for as long as I can and read at least once a year. If you’re looking for happiness, I advise you do the same.