April 27, 2010

Book Review - The Happiness Project

A few Sunday's ago was our second meeting for my book club. Our book was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The book is about the author's 1 year journey to identify things in her life that she could change to make her happier. Rubin goes on to break down the book in month by month chapters, where she goes over in detail her goal for the month and some examples on how she works to achieve that goal.

I can't give a full review of this book because quite honestly, I never finished it. I was surprised that I didn't pound right through the pages on this one because I am usually one for "self-help" type books, or at least ones that motivate you to start trying news things or seeing things in different ways. I'm not really sure what it was about The Happiness Project that didn't grab & keep my attention, however Rubin does offer up some really good "rules to live by" and identifies them as her "12 personal commandments".

1. Be Gretchen.
2. Let it go.
3. Act as I would feel.
4. Do it now.
5. Be polite and be fair.
6. Enjoy the process.
7. Spend out.
8. Identify the problem.
9. Lighten up.
10. Do what ought to be done.
11. No calculation.
12. There is only love.

With these commandments, Rubin goes on to work on various ways to improve her life throughout the month. With each challenge, she tries to remind her self of these commandments and live by her new established set of rules - trying to live by these statements, while working on change in her life.

The Number 1 commandment stood out to me - Be Gretchen. I think this can sometimes present a challenge in real life. I want to be able to tell you that I am always myself, I'm always the same LJ, no matter who is around, but to be honest there are times when I hold back or I'm not always true to my feelings. Most of the time, I find that these are cases where I don't want to hurt other people's feelings or cause conflict. I'm going to challenge myself to start Being LJ all the time, being true to my feelings 100% of the time, even if it might result in an uncomfortable situation.

That's about all I got for the second book club review - not much really - but even though I didn't really enjoy this months book, I really have enjoyed meeting some new people and gathering with them once a month to learn more about each other's lives. I'd recommend checking out a book club if you are interested in reading new material and getting together with friends - old and new.

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