It is a moment many of us can relate to in Gretchen Rubin's life, when, while staring out the 'rain splattered' window of a city bus, she had the sudden realization,
'I am in danger of wasting my life'.
Unlike most of us however, Gretchen decided to take action, embarking on a 'Happiness Project'. Twelve months of preplanned activities and life approaches designed to identify the key elements required to nurture happiness in her own life.
'Happily' for us, Gretchen also decided to document this year spent in the deliberate pursuit of Happiness, and 'The Happiness Project' is the motivating and inspiring result.
The structure of Gretchen's book, leads us from the physical aspects of her journey; increasing her own energy levels, clearing out her physical space; to the more mindful aspects of the search.
From contemplating eternity to developing a 'contented attitude'.
In the hands of a less skilled author, this 'project' could have been rendered saccharine and preachy, it escapes this fate however as Rubin leads the reader on a frank and often funny account of her own struggles and discoveries along the way.
My particular favourite is the chapter where she focused on her marriage, not necessarily because of the 'worthy' nature of this focus, more for the laughs I got when relating to her struggle to spend a week treating her husband with kindness......
Yep, you guessed it, he does not notice.... and she can't tell! The horror!
So who would I recommend this book for? Anyone who is still looking to improve their life approach, any person who likes the practical, anyone who can see that the simple act of clearing (and keeping clear) one shelf in your house, can be cathartic.
If you are optimistic and realistic and believe in the value of your own happiness, read on and enjoy.
The Happiness Project is available for purchase at amazon.com via the following link:
'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin