I am actually not a great reader of self-help guides. In fact, they often make me so stressed out by emphasizing my own inadequencies that I am forced to make myself a relaxing cup of coffee to drink while reading Terry Pratchett. I still have nightmares about one guide to the simple life that I read in the late 1990's - the author donated everything she owned to charity, then went out and bought entirely new possessions to compliment her scaled-down life. The mere thought of all the packing and shopping gave me a genuine anxiety attack.
I was therefore initially dubious about The Happiness Project. Rubin starts the book with a description of why she decided to embark on her Happiness Project:
"One April day, on a morning just like every other morning, I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life. As I stared out the rain-spattered window of a city bus, I saw the years were slipping by. ""What do I want from life, anyway," I asked myself. "Well...I want to be happy." But I had never thought about what made me happy or how I might be happier." (p.1)
Rubin then decided to embark on a year-long experiment to make herself happier by making herself into a better person.
In the next two months, I hope to lead a discussion about
-the nature of happiness
-the possbility of achieving happiness by following Rubin's techniques,
-whether the cause of unhappiness is, indeed, other people.
Rubin's own blog can be found here: http://www.happiness-project.com/