Sunday, May 12, 2013

Read: The Happiness Project

Title: The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Publisher: Harper, USA (2009)

I had gotten myself this book in Oct 2012 when I was in Bali. It was extremely affordable when I saw Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project at the airport thanks to a strong Singapore dollars and a favourable exchange rate. I had gotten this book for less than S$10 so much more affordable than what I could get it in Singapore! So I just have to buy this book for myself as a gift.

However, with so many books on hand waiting to be read, it took me a long while before I started reading this book in Mar/Apr 2013. I had pleasantly surprised myself when I decided to buy this book for myself. The thing is that after realizing that one of my greatest challenge is that I have more books on my reading list than the time I have to read the books, I have resorted to borrowing books from the library and occasionally only buy books from my favourite authors.

This book is an inspiring and very pleasant read. Gretchen Rubin has a gift of making it seem so fun and achievable for everyone of us to find happiness in our ordinary everyday lives. Even when everything around us may remain the same, because we take steps to be happy, we can find happiness.

In this book, Gretchen Rubin chronicles her adventures over a period of twelve months dedicated to her happiness project. During the period of her project, she read and did research about how to be happier.

These are some of the endeavours of her happiness project that I personally like:
1) Go to sleep earlier:
This is an endeavour I would like to strive to do more of. My body has been giving me messages that it needs quality rest.

2) Act more energetic:
This is one of Gretchen Rubin's Twelve Commandments in her happiness project. The insight behind acting more energetic is simple: we often feel because of the way we act. To some extent, it does help to use this "fact it till we feel it" strategy.

3) Give proofs of love:
This is a wonderful reminder. She began with a quotation by Pierre Reverdy: "There is no love; there are only proofs of love" reminding us it is only through our actions that people could experience the love from our heart.

4) Enjoy the fun of failure:
I do not like to failure or make mistake. I tend not to fell good. Then again, it is the process of taking risks that can help me grow as a person. Making mistakes as an inevitable part of the learning process can be fun. I shall remind myself to see the fun and the learning points from failure.

5) Ask for help:
It can be very humbling and many of the times challenging to ask for help. I feel vulnerable to ask for help and there are times when I am hesitant to ask for help. Then again, this endeavour to ask for help when we need would remind me to learn to receive while the tendency is to give.

6) Take time to be silly:
Oh well, this is something I could do more of. It can be fun to be serious about playing.

7) Keep a gratitude notebook:
This is a simple and effective way to count our blessings. There are a lot to be grateful for!

8) Give positive reviews:
I tend to be critical. This endeavour could help me to look for the positive in everything.

The Happiness Project is worth reading. Just reading this book can make me smile, and think.

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