The Happiness Project: The Beginning or the End?

untitledThe Happiness Project. For 7 months I have persisted in posting how I have lived my life according to Gretchen’s suggestions, and how I planned to live it for the coming weeks. I made the attempt to sound cheery and show that this book may indeed be changing my life. But has it? Not really.

What I finally realised this week was that the project was becoming a chore. This post is delayed because I was dreading writing it. In August we were meant to ‘get spiritual’ and as somebody raised as a Roman Catholic I immediately thought “been there, done that”. It was at this moment I decided that I cannot live my life to the timetable of others. Even though Gretchen encourages readers to devise their own plan, I found it still a bit too forced for me. So, what should I do?

I am going to be happy in my way in over a period of time which is right for me. I will continue to read the book but just to gain some tips and to read another perspective. What I have gathered from these last months though is that documenting what does/does not make me happy is a good thing. I will continue to do that but not on such a big scale. What you will begin to find instead is little snippets of things which have recently boosted my happiness levels. This starts today and the realisation that I can eat a tasty salad without meat, bread or cheese. Go me!


  1. This is interesting! I read The Happiness Project late last year and was inspired by it, but I didn’t go so far as to actually follow the book’s plan of creating my own happiness project. I think more what the book did for me was remind me to focus on happiness and gave me insight into how I can work to be happier. I think that sounds similar to some of the conclusions you came to. I think it’s okay to not want to make a schedule or plan. I’m excited for you to continue the journey. Thanks for sharing 🙂 (Linked over from the LinkedIn post in the writer’s group!)

    1. Thanks for the comment! Great to hear somebody feels similar to me. I hAve heard from so many people how good it worked, that I thought it as just me. I guess we really do create our own happiness.

  2. I read this book awhile back and I don’t remember the details but I do remember thinking: wow did that Gretchen ever miss the point of happiness. I remember being horrified by her relationship with her husband and by her overwhelming desire to box and label happiness and I find it a wonder that she even achieved anything approximating happiness at all. I don’t think you should feel bad by any stretch that you couldn’t conform to her insane suggestion that you should plan your happiness in little chunks. It is one thing to make a plan to do something you want to do, but quite another to schedule your whole life around something so unique and illusive as happiness. We are not meant to be happy all the time and the more people believe that we are the more we lose sight of what real happiness is. We are meant to have ups and downs and if we put pressure on ourselves to plan to be happy, we will only let ourselves down and make things worse. Happiness is an organic part of our lives, we find the things that make us happy and we do them, simple as that. Good luck!

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