Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words on Wednesday : The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project

Types: This come in Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audible Audio.

Impression: This was an interesting book. I purchased it based on a review I had quickly scanned on one of the blogs I read. It was different than I expected, mostly because the author was quite honest about her experiences through the whole process of trying to make her life happier. She freely admits that it’s not like she has a bad life or anything, but she feels she should appreciate and be happier with the things she does have, because she does consider herself to have a good life. Which I think is an important point . . . to assume people are especially happy just because their lives are “good” is foolish. I think with most people, we don’t appreciate the good things we have, nor are most people happy. Complacent is quite different than happy.

Method: She approached this project with small steps and for the most part what seem to be realistic goals. One of the best things she reiterates is you can only change yourself, you cannot change others. Others behavior may change based on how differently you treat them, but you cannot force them to change. This was something I learned a long time ago and completely agree with. Each month she tackles a different area that she would like to improve her happiness level in. Within each month are a few different ways/goals to tackle the larger goal. The small things she takes into consideration will make you question your own behaviors in different situations.

The author recognizes that not everyone is the same, that her happiness project will not be the same as the readers. Her goal isn’t to tell you the reasons why you are not happy or why you aren’t as happy as you could be, instead, she lets you look into the insight she has gained about herself. She looked at her own life and evaluated the areas of her life that she thought could change to make herself happier. Her insights into her own life may make you look at areas of your life that you may not have considered otherwise in your own happiness project.

Story: Granted this isn’t a “story” like that, but it does have its own story. The author seems honest in her evaluation of whether or not her tactics work, how she behaves in certain situations, and her feelings toward her project. Her honest evaluation of the process is part of this book that makes it more valuable. This is not written like a self-help book in the way that everything will work, if only you give enough effort or time. The author freely admits that some of her tactics didn’t work, for a variety of reasons from her ability to remember to do them, to their adverse effect on her goal.

She includes examples of research and studies about happiness, but honestly, I think her experience was more valuable to read about than what some expert says.  Experiences always rack up more points in my opinion.

Overall: Well, I would recommend this book even if you don’t have intentions of creating your own happiness plan, this is a book that is worth reading just for the heck of it. I am sure you will find thought provoking moments.

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The author also has a blog that she had simultaneously and still continues with The Happiness Project Blog.

There is a chance you may hear more about this as I am contemplating doing my own Happiness Project.


  1. Interesting concept! I might read the book just for curiosity's sake; I believe we have to choose to be happy... or whatever else we want.

  2. I just recently read a book, first in over a year *shudder*, not sure where time goes these days! I saw this one and wondered if I should pick it up.
    thanks for the insight.
    Take care