A Book That Inspires

...you to seek happiness

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I'm starting a new series today to finally talk about all the wonderful books I've been reading lately. These are books that inspire me in many different ways and, I believe, have the power to inspire you too. I absolutely positively love reading! The books I'm going to feature have opened doors and windows to show me all the amazing possibilities in life and the places I can go.

The first book I'd like to share with you is Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. I hope you've heard of this one but if you haven't, get to the library or bookstore asap! I read this book right around the time I started writing this blog and it was part of the inspiration for my feel-good, lemons-to-lemonade message. This book chronicles the 12 month journey of writer Gretchen Rubin as she tries to make her life happier. You wonder, was she depressed? What sort of tragedy did she go through that she needed to work on building happiness? Actually Rubin was a fairly normal writer, wife and mother of 2 girls that didn't seem to need to have a happiness project. But, she explained in the book, she thought she could be happier, have a better life and build up a happiness that could weather the storms of life's trials. Each month focused on a theme that she wanted to build happiness from such as being a better parent, being more organized or working on her financial security and happiness. (Okay, so I kind of borrowed the monthly challenge idea from her but it's a very good one!) Rubin lays out her ups and downs and all the problems she encounters as she seeks out her own happiness.

The Happiness Project provided me with one of the best life lessons I've learned so far: seeking happiness is not about big changes but about doing little things every day to make you happier. One of Rubin's ideas that really stuck out to me was simply making your bed every day. Making your bed starts your day with a tiny dose of organization and peace of mind. If nothing else, it's a check mark on your to-do list and a small feeling of accomplishment. We sometimes think that there must be a big change in our life to make us happy. The job, the apartment, the man, the ring: of course, they all make you happy. But you don't have to wait for those big changes to be happier. Do small things on a daily basis that up your happiness quotient like making your bed or writing a card to a faraway friend. Do the smallest things day after day and watch your happiness grow.

Gretchen Rubin's book is an intensive search for happiness but a good reminder that you don't need to wait for a specific time and place to make things better in your life. The book is less a how-to guide but more a memoir of a happiness journey, a journey that is not yet over. It's a great perspective on how a normal person can seek happiness in their everyday life. That normal person could be you or me, not the Dalai Lama or Bill Gates. You can do those small things and sometimes those big things when the time is right. Read The Happiness Project and be inspired to seek your own happiness.

You can find more about Gretchen Rubin's ongoing happiness project at her website: http://www.happiness-project.com/. Happy reading!