The blog begins.

Today is the first day of the Happiness Project blog.

Now, what is the Happiness Project?

            One afternoon a few years ago, I realized with a jolt that I was allowing my life to flash by without facing a critical question: was I happy?

From that moment, I couldn’t stop thinking about happiness. Was it mostly a product of temperament? Could I take steps to be happier? What did it even mean to be “happy”?

So The Happiness Project is my memoir of one year in which I test-drive every principle, tip, theory, and research-study result I can find, from Aristotle to St. Therese to Benjamin Franklin to Martin Seligman to Oprah. What advice actually works?

That very fact that I’ve started this blog makes me happy, because now I’ve achieved one of my chief goals this month (just in time, too). I set myself a task, worked toward it, and achieved it.

Preparing to launch the blog reminded me of two of LIFE’S TRUE RULES:

First, ask for help. When trying to get started, I floundered until I thought to do the obvious: ask for advice from friends with blogs.

Second, keep moving, slow and steady. We tend to overestimate how much we can accomplish in an hour or a week, and underestimate how much we can accomplish in a month or a year, by doing just a little bit each day. 

A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules. –Anthony Trollope

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • Judith McKay

    I have just finished a book and am self-publishing and realize I need to do a blog, get a web-site, a Facebook page, etc. I am clueless when it comes to online stuff like that. Who should I go to?
    By the way, the name of my book is Bliss Lifestyle: Choosing Joy Over Food and CreateSpace is in the process of publishing it.

  • I just read this post in your book; I can’t explain the feeling of coming here and reading it again, word for word, but happy is in there somewhere 🙂

  • I tried to comment here earlier, but it didn’t seem to work.
    I just wanted to say: Congratulations on the 7 years!!!
    It’s a lovely blog, and I hope you keep trying to make us happier. 😉 (no pressure)

  • knoxmomoftwo

    I believe reading your book is making me more conscious of the choices I make daily and I am happier as a result! Thanks, Gretchen!!

  • varvara

    I want to say THANKS YOU. I have started my blog a few gimes ago, and there are no one who read my blog,but after i find your blog, i understand that my happiness project will come

  • Anna Lóa Ólafsdóttir

    Thank you for The Happiness project. It was just what I needed for my work and now I´ve started my own side in Iceland – my very own little happiness corner. Would you have believed 7 years ago that your work would reach all the way to Iceland 🙂

  • LIFE’S TRUE RULES? I thought it was “Secrets of Adulthood”! (p.76) 😀

    • CindyBall

      I think Life’s True Rules likely evolved to become the Secrets of Adulthood. This was early on in the process and the book didn’t exist at this point. I think it’s wonderful to see the early stages of the project.

  • Hi, Gretchen. I have tried e-mailing you at the e-mail you give if you want the Resolutions Chart, etc., but I never get a personal response or a shout-out on your blog. 🙁 Is there some other e-mail address I can contact you at, where you actually read what I write and I don’t just get a generic response with an attachment? I am an aspiring author working on my own memoir of my life’s journey as a person who has suffered from serious and persistent mental illness from the time I was 15 years old, and would love to pick your brain about getting a book published and how to start a blog of my own, on which I would more often than not post my own ruminations on content you post on your Happiness Project blog, with a proper shout-out and link, of course! 😉 (That is, if I can figure out how to post links. LOL) On a final note, I would just like to thank you for inspiring me to start my own blog and work every day to be a happier person!

    Peace be with you,

    😉 Danielle

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks for your kind words. All emails come straight to me, so I don’t know why I haven’t seen yours. Just use the email through the blog. Good luck with YOUR happiness project and your writing project.

      • Thanks for clearing that up. I guess maybe the response was not so much generic as short. LOL Me being someone who writes e-mails so long my friends have said they do not have time to fully reply to my “novel” when e-mailing me back, I guess I was being judgmental about the length of your reply. My apologies! I will try contacting you again sometime soon, and will not judge you on the length of your reply now that I realize it really is you responding! 🙂 I am working on my own Happiness Commandments. Maybe “Don’t judge until you know the situation” or “Don’t judge” (at all–a lofty goal) should be one of my Happiness Commandments. Thanks for the inspiration, yet again, Gretchen!

        Peace be with you,

        😉 Danielle

  • Ajit GrewAL

    Dear friend your blog finished ajit grewal Jodhan

  • Ajit GrewAL

    Congratulations SMT Gretchen Rubin ji

  • Shara

    I´ve just started to read your book., Im so glad I found it… just one there in a book shelve of an airport newstand., now its traveled with me to Guadalajara,… I have a pretty good life, a husband, 2 kids, lovely family and friends, one bussiness, etc. etc… just somethings sometimes are missing… I guess Ill be more conscious about everything when I start my happiness project!.. tks a lot:)

  • justme

    hello, i am from romania! today i read your book and i think is the best book i ever read. sorry for my english, butttttttttttt your book is amazing,

  • tom rains

    Happy 10th, Gretchen