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The Happiness Project

May 10, 2010

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I bought this book a few months ago, well maybe more than a few months ago. I’m starting to build a collections of books that I buy to read, yet are left untouched after the first chapter. I haven’t been engaged so I put it aside and start another. I’ve heard good things about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben and it’s been sitting on my nightstand for a while now just collecting dust.

I started to dig into it today. I love the concept of this and have been trying to use it in my own life. Gretchen Rubin wrote about a year she tried to make herself happier. She was already happy, had a wonderful family, an amazing job but felt as though she wasn’t living up to her full life potential. She would worry about the little things too much, complain too often, not know how to sit back and enjoy what her life had become. She decided to devote a year to being happier. Each month she would tackle a new resolution.

I have a happy life, amazing family and friends, a solid job, nothing to complain about….

I tend to lose sight of that sometimes. I get worked up over small insignificant things, put off cleaning and organizing, overreact about silly issues. Everyone does it and it all just seems to be normal. Reading the first few chapters of this book has given me a fresh perspective. Do small tasks that accumulate and aid your happiness, be kind to others and compassionate. It’s these little things that add up and warm your heart.

We tend to forget how lucky we are and this book helps you realize the things you should be grateful for and how to live your life to the fullest. I’m no where near being done but I just wanted to share with you my thoughts so far.

It’s made me want to sit back and breathe. Lately I’ve been spreading myself too thin. I’ve got a million things going on all at once. The superwoman syndrome where you think you can accomplish anything no matter how much you have on your plate. I realized I need to cut back on some commitments and rethink my priorities. Make time for me, my family, my friends, and savor it.

Think about it for a few seconds : If you were to make your own happiness project, what would be the first thing you would focus on?

21 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2010 1:20 am

    this definitely looks like such an interesting book! i’ve seen it around on the blogosphere before, but haven’t bought a copy for myself yet…but now i think i just might 🙂

    • June 18, 2010 4:01 pm

      and i did buy it! it’s so good…i’m a happy person generally too, but there are some new insights and things to think about in it. have a lovely day – and i can’t wait to see you make a dish with radishes!

  2. May 11, 2010 1:40 am

    I really want to read this book. My current desktop on my computer is a graph that says, ARE YOU HAPPY? Pick yes or no. If you pick no, it says, DO YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY? If you say yes, it says CHANGE SOMETHING. If you said you are happy, or that you are not happy and don´t want to be either, it says, KEEP ON DOING WHATEVER YOU´RE DOING. I don´t know if that made sense trying to explain it in words, but it is a good reminder that to be happier, often it is us who need to change–we can´t just wait for ideal circumstances to suddenly appear. 🙂

  3. Larissa H permalink
    May 11, 2010 7:56 am

    Sarah is also reading this and trying to make changes to her life…
    She even got an email from gretchen! its pretty cool if you have time to check it out.

    • May 11, 2010 7:56 pm

      Thanks for sending that to me! I can’t wait to catch up on her journey 🙂

  4. May 11, 2010 8:13 am

    I was reading her blog before she came out with the book and loved it. Please let me know how the rest of it turns out!

    I would focus on staying calm when things don’t go as planned.

  5. lowandbhold permalink
    May 11, 2010 9:04 am

    I think my happiness project would involve me quitting my job and doing what i want to do and being with people i love instead of doing what i feel i should do all the time.

    The book sounds great!

  6. May 11, 2010 11:04 am

    Today a client told me that she had a brutal 6 months after her mom died. She said “Every couple of weeks I kept hearing that if you haven’t laughed hard and cried hard each day, you’re not really living”. I love this quote because it speaks to the fact that it’s not necessarily about making yourself be happy every day, but rather, feeling life to the fullest!

  7. May 11, 2010 11:05 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about that book.

  8. May 11, 2010 12:31 pm

    That book sounds like it has some really great concepts. I’m the typical Type-A overachiever with about thirty projects going at once, and I agree, life gets too hectic when you’re spreading yourself too thin. But when it comes down to it, it can be extremely hard to figure out what you can cut. I know I’m sadly attached to pretty much all of my projects!

  9. May 11, 2010 2:08 pm

    Spending more time with my family and calling my brother WAY more often, miss him sooo much!

  10. May 11, 2010 3:25 pm

    Spreading ourselves too this is a life-suck isn’t it? I, too, need to make more time for family and friends.

  11. May 11, 2010 7:44 pm

    Amen to that! I think I need to pick up this book.

  12. May 11, 2010 8:47 pm

    thank you for this suggestion ashley! i just recently got the iPad and have been looking for a book to buy…i just purchased the happiness project (after reading your post) and will start reading it tonight 🙂 it looks like it is right down my alley…THANKS!

  13. May 11, 2010 11:42 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing this message with us, Ashley. I’m gonna have to check this book out. I certainly lose track of ALL the blessings I have, too! I would even go so far as to say that my eating disorder stems from severe discontentment with myself and my life, and being blind to all the good things in me and around me.

  14. Arianne permalink
    May 12, 2010 12:14 am

    Hi Ashley, I just spent an hour in Barnes and Noble after dinner with my high school friend trying to find a book that was about exactly this. I looked into “How to Control the World from your Couch” by Laura Day because I read great reviews, but it was more mature than what I was looking for. (It seemed great but was more geared towards family life, children, career goals and what not) I am SO PUMPED to order this book asap and get started. Reading is hard for me to buckle down and do — I can’t believe this was your post today what a coincidence!!!

  15. May 12, 2010 3:36 pm

    I love the idea of this book, and of your thoughts around it. I’ve found myself before spreading myself too thin, trying to be all things to all people and really just driving myself up a wall with unrealistic commitments as they related to my time! I’m really working on doing more for me and my marriage – hence our recent trip, life is too short to not spend more time with the ones you love most!

  16. May 13, 2010 11:18 am

    I’ve been reading this too, although it’s spent more time on my shelf than in my lap lately. I need to recommit to it this weekend. 🙂 I love the practicality of it. Gretchen Rubin’s blog is fantastic, as well, with really great tips each Wednesday. Hope you’re having a great week!

  17. May 13, 2010 4:29 pm

    LOVED that book! It’s so inspiring 🙂

  18. May 14, 2010 11:36 am

    I have got to get this book! I suffer from superwoman syndrome too and lately I’ve been desperate to slow down and enjoy the little things…
    Thanks for sharing!

  19. megan permalink
    May 14, 2010 12:16 pm

    Hey ash…can i borrow when you finish? we had this agreement with born to run and i forgot all about it! i wanna be a reader!!!

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