Book Summary — The Happiness Project [Gretchen Rubin]

Fynn Comerford
4 min readApr 23, 2023

“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin is a book that delves into the topic of personal development and mental health. Below are some of the key points that are discussed in the book.

  1. Making others feel good makes you feel good: One of the best ways to make yourself feel better is by making others feel better. Equally, being happy yourself makes others happier.
  2. You are responsible for your own happiness: You are not happy unless you think you are happy. The key to happiness is to take responsibility for your own well-being. A sobering realisation I have had when life got a bit rocky is that 1) no one is going to save you and 2) life/earth or any other metaphysical personification doesn’t owe you anything. It’s harsh but also empowering and feeling empowered (as opposed to victimized) is what’s needed to pull yourself out of difficult situations.
  3. It’s okay to say no: What is fun for other people is not necessarily fun for you. It’s okay to say no. You can choose what you do, but not what you like to do.
  4. Outer order contributes to inner calm: Outer order contributes to inner calm. Putting something back in its place gives huge satisfaction. See also “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.
  5. Happiness comes from wanting what you have: Happiness comes from wanting what you have, rather than constantly striving for more.
  6. Experience is key to applying rules: Knowing rules does not equal applying them. It takes experience and time to fully grasp their significance.
  7. Simple decisions require less research: Most decisions do not require intensive research. Simple decisions might be better made through reasoning and research while complex decisions are better made following your gut feeling. See also Malcolm Gladwells “Blink”.
  8. Happiness does not always make you feel happy: Happiness does not always make you feel happy. Sometimes you have to work for it. And sometimes, happiness is just “being okay”. Peace, not pleasure yields happiness.
  9. Happiness can be found at home: Happiness is not always somewhere else. You can find it at home.
  10. Act energized to feel energized: If you act energized, you’ll feel energized.
  11. Acknowledge peoples’ feelings: Acknowledge the reality of peoples’ feelings.
  12. People succeed in groups. We need…

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Fynn Comerford

CoS at Lorentz Bio | Frequency Bio Fellow | Neuroscience at The University of Edinburgh | Founder of edventure | iGEM 2020 | Videographer