Book Review – The Happiness Project

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The book, as the name suggests, was a project took up by Gretchen Rubin, the author, to increase happiness in her life. I came across this book because even I was working on a similar project in my life and I wanted all possible guidance. I started this book almost a year ago but it took me a lot of time to complete because it was more like a guide than a read it over night book.


A lot of people asked me if I was depressed when I told them about the books I was reading and the courses I was doing on happiness. As the author rightly states, “Opposite of happiness is unhappiness and not depression”. You can be happy in life but there is still a lot of scope to improve your happiness. That was what author’s aim was too.


Person’s basic level of happiness doesn’t fluctuate much. But some people are more naturally melancholic. It depends on Genetics 50%, Life circumstances 20-10% and remaining is actions.


The author divided her project into 12 parts. A few goals for each month. All through the journey, there were times she could not keep with her goals. But she was not too hard on herself because that ruins the happiness.


At the end of 12 months, a lot of people questioned her if her happiness project was a success. She simply replied that “ I feel happier. Feeling happier itself means that I am happier”. Even though she did not measure her happiness using a mood tracker, she was happier. Her changed habits made her home more happy. This book is a perfect example of how big things can be achieved by changing a few small things in life.


I liked the book because I was similar to the author in a few things. I understood what were the things I needed to change to feel more happy. Before I came to a few chapters, I had already been doing what the author suggested. I felt confident that I was working on the right projects.


Action points


  • Books
    • Wise blood
    • The Happiness Hypothesis
    • Plan B
    • biographies of Tolstoy
    • Lesley Lewis’s The Private Life
    • William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair,
    • Charlotte Yonge’s The Heir of Redclyffe
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder
    • Power Money Fame Sex
    • Profane Waste
    • Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happines
  • My true rules – I have written a draft version of it. But it will require some iterations to get the right version of it.
  • Food tracker: I tried it for a month previously. I will want to do it from today again.
  • Write a novel in a month: It is tough. And I am not a good writer. But I want to try it with 500 words a day next month.
  • Remove clutter: You can take guidance from this article and remove clutter from your life


If you want to know that everyone is imperfect and can still be happy and improve the amount of happiness too, then this book is for you. You will be able to relate to a lot of areas in your life. Your happiness project might be totally different but the book definitely tickles your creativity mind.


Happy working on your happiness project!