The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

I really liked this book a lot. The author decided to go through a year’s worth of month-long experiments to try to be happier. To adjust her behavior in big and small ways to see if they made her feel happier day-to-day. And they did.

There’s a lot in this book, and I’m going to want to go back to it to think about the concrete actions I can take in my own life. I think it illustrates, more than anything else, a couple of ideas. First, act the way you want to feel — that will tend to reinforce. Second, being mindful and focusing on the things that are important, you can always make a difference.

I think some will view this as a bit of a hokey self-help type of book, but I didn’t read it at all like that. It’s an essay on mindfulness & intentionality, and making your life the way you want it, instead of just sliding along.


  1. I kind of felt like the concept was better than the execution. And by the end, I found myself kind of hoping for her to be less happy than when she started. Is that wrong?