Take charge of your happiness

Kelsey Husnick

Happiness is hard to define, quantify and keep track of, just as author Gretchen Rubin describes in her book, “The Happiness Project.” It’s an emotion that differs for everyone, and can be both the most common and hardest emotion to achieve. Some even see it as a destination to reach. The point is, everyone wants it, and even if you think you have it, you want more of it. 

The Happiness Project tells the story of Rubin’s self-created happiness project. She felt her life was a series of day-to-day transactions lacking an in-the-moment sense of value and satisfaction, and she devised a way to change it. Rubin created a blog, a bunch of charts and a mission to become happier over the course of an entire year. She designated a different aspect of life to each month (January was energy, for example) and then made to-do lists to better it.

While some of Rubin’s advice and experiences differ from our own (most of us don’t need a month designated to our marriages or children, for example, or have the luxury of a job lacking set hours), we can all take from her project and build our own. Rubin describes how deciding to organize her home inspired an entire, fun evening with her husband raiding their closets. Don’t we all have a closet full of things we don’t necessarily wear or a drawer full of random items that needs cleaning out? Taking the time to weed out the old, make room for the new, setting aside time to spend with old friends and your grandparents, making it a point to wake up earlier and drink more water – it can all add up to a happier you. The Happiness Project shows how little initiatives can lead to lasting change, and even though the actual writing is a bit dry at times, it’s the concept of this book that keeps you turning the pages. 

Contact her at [email protected]