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Book Review: The Happiness Project


This book has intrigued me since it first came out. It was written by Gretchen Rubin in 2011 and I heard about it the first time through some people on Twitter. They mentioned that this was a must read for all non-fiction fans out there and that caught my attention right away. You see, I’m not very interested in fiction novels.  Sure, I could read a good romantic love story from time to time, but I’d rather read books that are real. Books that can affect my daily life and stories that I can learn from and apply to my own life are something I have always loved. I never want to stop learning and growing, so if you know me well, you know that any type of motivational inspirational book is right up my alley.

First off, the main concept is about Gretchen and her journey in trying to be happier overall. It is ultimately a 12 month project with different resolutions each month pertaining to an aspect of life. The 12 areas she wanted to cover for her happiness project include: Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Mindfulness, Attitude, and Happiness. Now obviously, the specific goals each month would differ from person to person depending on what you feel you need to work on in your life. However, she does a wonderful job subtly reminding us all of the little things in life we may be overlooking, and to not turn our cheeks to certain situations that can allow us to grow as a person.

That being said, there are so many parts in this book that made me think and reflect upon my own life and my state of happiness right now, which is what I loved best about it. Even though I’m generally a happy person, it made me feel as though I didn’t think about my life enough (which is shocking for me because I am a naturally introspective person).

Below is one of my favorite quotes from her book:

“Refusing to be happy because someone else is unhappy, though, is a bit like cleaning your plate because babies are starving in India. Your unhappiness isn’t making anyone else happier – in fact, quite the opposite, given the fact that happier people are more likely to act altruistically.”

This really hit home for me. You can say that line over and over again but has anyone really thought about it? I certainly hadn’t until I read it in her book. Just goes to show you what you can learn and what you thought you already knew.

Overall, this book is filled with very inspiring ideas and tons of ways you can take a look at your life and improve little things you didn’t think needed improving. Rubin has an incredibly rich style of writing and you will never find yourself bored with her words. She walks you through each month with such grace and detail that you never want to put it down. Because of her book and her outlook through her 12 month project, I have a whole new insight to my own life that will only benefit me positively from here on out. We all need a pick me up from time to time and I promise you will not regret reading this book.

Visit Rubin’s website to start your own happiness project today! 

About the Author

Keenyn Bijou

Keenyn graduated from NAIT Business School where she majored in Marketing and Advertising. She enjoys sports, photography, and writing. She hopes to make a positive impact in a company through her expertise and ethics.