“In A Nutshell” is a new series I am starting, similar to my Book Review series. However, instead of encouraging you to read a certain book, I am giving you a run-down of everything you need to know about it so you don’t need to read it yourself. Essentially, it is my attempt at saving you time, while still hopefully sharing the knowledge in a quicker, more easily-digestible way. The first book in this series is The Happiness Project.
In A Nutshell: The Happiness Project
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin is both a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and a Globe And Mail Bestseller.
The book is essentially a guide, or an approach on how to change your life. Like the cover says, Gretchen explains “Why I spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean my closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun.”
Each month for one year she challenges herself with a new goal:
January: Vitality (Boosting Her Energy)
February: Remember Love (Her Marriage)
March: Work (Aiming Higher)
April: Parenthood (Lightening Up)
May: Leisure (Being Serious About Play)
June: Friendship (Making Time For Her Friends)
July: Money (Buying Happiness)
August: Eternity (Contemplating Heaven)
September: Books (Time For Her Passion: Reading&Writing)
October: Mindfullness (Paying More Attention)
November: Attitude (Keep Your Heart Content)
December: Happiness (Boot Camp Perfect)
Reading about how she wants to improve her marriage, and how she wants to lighten up the strictness of her parenting, was not very beneficial to me. I did enjoy reading some chapters about her experiences, and she is a great writer, but honestly, a short summary of this book would have been just as helpful to me.
So here I was, completely finished the book and the acknowledgements, and the next page, hidden at the very end, is entitled: THE HAPPINESS PROJECT MANIFESTO
Well, sh*t… A summary.
I truly felt as if I had wasted several hours of my life reading specific minute details of Gretchen’s life when I could have been improving my own. So, incase you would rather skip reading this book but want to reap the benefits in a nutshell, here is the Manifesto:
• To be happy, you need to consider feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, and an atmosphere of growth.
• One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
• The days are long, but the years are short.
• You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.
• Your body matters.
• Happiness is other people.
• Think about yourself so you can forget yourself.
• “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” — G. K. Chesterton
• What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you, and vice versa.
• Best is good, better is best.
• Outer order contributes to inner calm.
• Happiness comes not from having more, not from having less, but from wanting what you have.
• You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.
• You manage what you measure.
• “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
So, in a nut shell, if you want to change your life, Gretchen recommends making actionable steps toward your goals, challenging yourself every month, and following her Manifesto.
If after reading the general recap, you are in fact interested in reading the entirety of Rubin’s book, here is the link to purchase it via Amazon. (Affiliate link: I may receive a small commission if a purchase is made).
The Happiness Project: (Shop)
Thank you for reading this first post of the “In A Nutshell” Series. Have you read The Happiness Project? What did you think of it? Let me know what other books you want me to write up In A Nutshell!