What I’m Reading: The Happiness Project

We don’t have many shows in the DVR this time of year. Seems weird seeing as it’s relatively prime time for new stuff, but short of Top Chef, Downton Abbey and Toned Up (hey, don’t judge…), I really don’t have much I need to watch. Instead, on most recent weekday nights (OK, and weekends…) you’ll find Randy on the couch watching the first hour of Thor (seriously, I have seen the scene where Thor tries to buy a horse 25 times in the last three weeks, but I have yet to see the ending…) and me in the Morris chair with a book from the library.

Pair that with my propensity for contemplating life and it should come as no surprise that I just ate up The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Here is a quick excerpt about the book:

“One rainy afternoon, while riding a city bus, Gretchen Rubin asked herself, “What do I want from life, anyway?” She answered, “I want to be happy”—yet she spent no time thinking about her happiness. In a flash, she decided to dedicate a year to a happiness project. The result? One of the most thoughtful and engaging works on happiness to have emerged from the recent explosion of interest in the subject.

The Happiness Project synthesizes the wisdom of the ages with current scientific research, as Ms. Rubin brings readers along on her year to greater happiness.”

The plan can boil down to Ms. Rubin’s Four Splendid Truths:

  • What makes you feel good? What gives you joy, energy, fun?
  • What makes you feel bad? What brings you anger, guilt, boredom, dread?
  • What makes you feel right? What values do you want your life to reflect?
  • How can you build an atmosphere of growth—where you learn, explore, build, teach, help?

As I read this novel, I felt like I wrote this book. Her experience sounded so similar to mine! The book is all about planning and living and organizing and finding the good in all situations and not beating yourself up if you decide something isn’t for you. Also, she teaches us you don’t need to question the need to make life more awesome even when it seems like everything is going your way. There is a whole chapter/month dedicated to money and “buying some happiness”, where Ms. Rubin suggests we “indulge in a modest splurge.” This means a turtle sundae every now and then, right?! In the words of my old crush, Chandler Bing, “could it be any more Maggie?” (I mean…just look at the title. It’s about 50 words too many, just like we’d expect on my first book.)

For whatever reason, I really struggle with purchasing books vs. borrowing from the library. I think it’s because there are so many books that disappoint or, at the very least, don’t spark enough attention to want to read again. This guy… Well, this guy got on the last Amazon order. I can’t wait to read and reread and mark up my own copy!

Have you read this book yet? Has it made you jump up and down and say “me, too!!” I’d love to hear your feedback.

Happiness Project Mastermind Group in Milwaukee?

And with that said, I would love to put together a Happiness Project group.

As is mentioned many times in the book, accountability is very important to meeting your goals, even if your goal is “treat myself to flavored creamer in my coffee”, as is inspiration and creativity that can be found in a group of other people.

I’d like to find five to 10 interested individuals who would be up for meeting once a month, probably starting in March or April. If it happens that folks are local, we could meet live (I’ll bring cookies!). Otherwise, I’d coordinate an online conversation via Facebook or other social media outlets.

Who’s in?

If interested, please leave a note here in the comments, email at maggie (at) trulymargaretmary dot com or comment on the Facebook page.

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