Thursday, July 30, 2015

self-help book report 3

I'm not usually drawn to the self-help variety of book, but I've read three books this summer that sort of fall into that category and I thought a book report was in order.


The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is a very in-depth look at one woman's search for greater happiness. Ms. Rubin created a twelve month long experiment for herself. Each month, she focused on a different aspect of her life and set measurable goals which she marked off on a spreadsheet. One month she focused on finding more happiness in her marriage, another month it was in her professional life, etc.

I'm glad I read it, but I admit to skimming a lot of it. I really loved her honesty. She put herself out there, faults and all, which was refreshing. I felt like I could read about her experience and learn from it, without having to go through my own year long experiment. I really liked that she didn't want to change her life, she just wanted to feel happier in the midst of it. I can relate to that.

It turns out that it is the little things that add up to a happier life, which is something I've believed all along. And deciding to be happier almost always leads to being happier. It made me take a look at my own life and decide that I could probably stand to be a little more cheerful at home, more selfless, and more giving. That holding my tongue is usually a happier way to live, and giving others the benefit of the doubt will improve my outlook. Making small changes in these areas can make for quite a bit more happiness overall.

Have you read it? What did you think?

4 comments:

  1. Stephanie I loved all her books-I love the way she is analytical but not boring. This book was my favorite of hers.

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  2. I read this book a number of years ago and really enjoyed it. Happier at Home is also a good read. Gretchen and her sister also started a podcast a few months ago called Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

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  3. I love love Gretchen Rubin. And like you I have a bit of an aversion to self help books, but I once heard Gretchen define her books not as self-help but as self-helpful, which I think is a nice distinction, and true. She didn't seem to like the classification of self-help either. But she's wonderful. Her newest book Better Than Before about forming and keeping habits is really interesting, but like Sarah I think I liked The Happiness Project best. In all honesty I think about Gretchen's ideas daily and have found them really helpful. The podcast is great if you want to listen to something while cleaning the bathroom, like I do. Your last post reminded me of her motto to "Act the way you want to feel" - rather than acting the way you DO feel. It's hard but rewarding.

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  4. I read that one a couple years ago and enjoyed it immensely. It also helped me set some goals and re-evaluate some things. It made me realize that I don't have time to get good at everything I am interested in and that that's okay.

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