A few years ago, Ben Casnocha linked to Gretchen Rubin’s blog The Happiness Project. I loved the idea and Gretchen’s writing. I was fortunate enough to connect with her in New York, and over the past couple of years have found Gretchen one of the most energizing, helpful people to know. I owe her a great debt for the value that her thinking, conversation, and encouragement have brought me. (She has also, without knowing it, instructed me in how to be a better giver of hugs. If you know me, you’ll know what a considerable feat this is for a touch-shy person like myself.)
So I reacted with glee that approached the inappropriate when the book form of The Happiness Project debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list upon its recent release. It remains there, again at #2, this week.
I can’t say enough about what Gretchen has done and how much her research, experiences, and insight have resonated with me. Her book was, for me, an unusually moving read. I always think of myself as a particularly grateful person; if for some reason you are very aware of how wretched life can be, it’s difficult not to be overwhelmed with thankfulness on a daily basis when things are not wretched. But somehow, Gretchen’s book deepened my sense of just how good life is, and just how okay it is not to be perfect. The process of striving, learning, failing and succeeding simply must be rewarding. Otherwise, what’s left?
Since reading The Happiness Project as a book, I’ve been possessed with the urge to purge from my life. (If you need motivation to de-clutter in a physical sense, this is the book for you.) I’ve also made something of a game of identifying what I want and what I don’t want. I see women falling over themselves for a watch or a car, and I think, “Do not want.” I observe men going mad for flashy inanimate objects and think, “Can live without.” (I reserve the right to be far too attached to my mobile device of the moment.) But what’s been the real eye opener is what I see in my own life that I want so very much - these things I already have.
This brief video that preceded Gretchen’s recent Today show appearance moved me a great deal. I’ve watched this about six times, and sent it to my best friends. (Grab the tissues if you’re quick to tears.)
Gretchen’s on a book tour right now (I’ll be seeing her in Berkeley later this month), and I highly recommend going to a reading and getting your book signed. It’s a privilege to know her, and a huge blessing to have access to her work.
Filed under: Life