Since reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin a few years back, it has remained a very special book for me. Looking at my copy it would appear as though it has been through quite a journey, and,for the most part, it has. It has become a bedside and travel essential, with many of the pages highlighted, turned down, or just stained with all sorts of caffeinated substances.
Rubin takes you on her own journey of creating her happiness project, using various sources on the matter of happiness. Each chapter represents each month of her project, and they each hold a specific focus. From “Leisure” to “Work”, Rubin focuses her quest for happiness for that month on that specific aspect of her life.
Rubin states in the beginning of the book that she is happy, but isn’t as happy as she hopes or should be. During her twelve month happiness project she works to incorporate little methods into her every day life in order to appreciate every day, and be the happiest she can be.
For each month, she makes a list of goals for herself. I like that she makes accessible goals for herself to follow. Sometimes when we make large goals to accomplish all in one shot, they can be daunting and you can give up quickly. Rubin creates small goals to follow each month, and all together they ultimately lead to one large one…happiness.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book
“people desire other things, such as power or wealth or losing ten pounds, because the believe they will lead to happiness, but their real goal is happiness.”
“But whatever your passion might be, happiness research predicts that making time for a passion and treating it as a real priority instead of an “extra” to be fitted in at a free moment (which many people practically never have) will bring a tremendous happiness boost”
“although we presume that we act because of the way we feel, in fact we often feel because of the way we act”
‘Do good, feel good. feel good, do good”
Rubin also creates what she calls her “Twelve Commandments”, a list of principles that help her through her happiness project. After reading her book, I myself created my own Twelve Commandments. I keep them on my fridge to remind me each day. Sometimes it has been hard to follow them because they sometimes force me to step out of my comfort zone and not take the easy way out, but I always go back to them and they have helped me to stay aligned and true to myself.
There are two that inspired me from Rubin’s own list and I added to my own, thanks Rubin!