Back to Where it all Started
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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
This book changed my life. Stumbling upon it was some kind of power of the universe moment for me. Years later I have read it many times. I have bought it for people, lent it to people, and preached it to people. You can find it in your bookstore’s self help section. I love the self help section. You must think I have a lot of “issues”. No. I have a lot of growing to do. A lot of looking in the mirror to do. A lot of soul searching to dive in. I love this book because she talks about this. She wonders if her self seeking is selfish. Her journey is completely relatable. It is real. It is interesting. It is helpful. It will make you stop and think. It will make you want to do your own happiness project. And you will. Gretchen really did her homework on this book. She didn’t miss a beat and really researched everything she could to back up her theories and when she tested others’ theories. There are so many habits and mantras I still carry with me to this day. From little things to big things. From organizing your closet and decluttering your home, to organizing your relationships and decluttering your life. Somewhere in these pages I guarantee something will hit home for you. Something will make your eyes go wide, and will cause you to re read that sentence or that paragraph. It will forever embed into your brain. It will make you say “Ah hah!” When you have this moment it will make you want to share it with the world. And that is why I love self help. Helping yourself helps you help others. Helping yourself inspires others to inspire themselves.
The Happiness Project was the first self help book I ever read. Years later, my bookshelf is overflowing with them. It is thanks to Gretchen Rubin that I eventually came across Marie Forleo, which led me to Danielle LaPorte and her books. And then Gabrielle Bernstein and her books. Kate Northup. Mastin Kipp. The list goes on. These are just a few of the people I admire, and value what they do. All of these ladies and gentlemen, helped me to grow myself, grow my business, and grow my inner guide. So, thank you Gretchen for getting me addicted to self help books. Thank you for bringing me into this world. This book put me on the path that I am still on today. Discovering my self has been one of the greatest things I could have ever asked for. Really knowing yourself and your happiness is a key ingredient to the recipe for success in life and love. To know yourself is to grow yourself.
She will suck you in on the very first page. For me that first page was 100% relatable. She starts by telling you all of the things she “one day” was going to do. You know you have done it too. “One day I’ll run a marathon.” “One day I will stop eating fast food.” “One day I will start meditating.” She talks about suffering from “midlife malaise”. A feeling of “Can this be me?” “Is this really it?” She right away talks about how she didn’t have free time to start this project, she had to make the time. That is one of my personal mantras to this day. You don’t find time, you make time. She also talks about running into paradoxes when trying to decipher what it is she wanted from herself and from life. Which for me felt like the story of my life. I wanted to be more care free, but I wanted to care more. She wanted to use her time well, but also wanted to wander. Throughout the book she shares what she tried and what she learned. She states from the jump that no two happiness projects look the same and that it is still a rare person who can’t benefit from a happiness project. And in this case I don’t think rare has the same meaning as it does when talking about a pink star diamond. She also says “Whenever you read this, and wherever you are, you are in the right place to begin.” If you have stumbled upon this blog post, take it as a sign from the universe to check out this book. There are no coincidences!