Once I accepted the fact that the author's personality didn't mesh with my own, I liked some portions of the book. The research she compiled is actually pretty interesting. It seems people have been worrying about their happiness for centuries. She obviously worked extensively on collecting happiness data- but I guess that's something you have time for when you don't work a traditional 9 to 5. Some of the things that Rubin does to change-up her outlook on life seem obvious, but are often the things we forget to pay attention to. (I personally can not bite my tongue for the life of me).
Throughout the book Rubin seems a little bit insecure of her journey. She acknowledges that she has a happy life and that perhaps getting happier when you're already happy is a bit of an oxymoron (errrr....yea). I appreciated that she owned up to the fact that she has more than most (but didn't own up to exactly how much more she has... try a triplex in the city & a husband who is a partner at a hedge fund-thanks Google), and that she often didn't feel any happier. Her constant need for approval though made me a bit flabbergasted, a grown woman with two successful careers under her belt still desperately whined about not getting a daily pat on the head (such is life, lady).
All in all I liked some of the ideas Rubin proposed to boost her happiness. But when I read these type of "self-help" books I want to feel like I can relate to the author. I simply couldn't connect with this woman at all. When I finished the book I couldn't help feeling like I had a bad taste in my mouth. A wealthy person in the midst of a soul-crushing recession playing at the idea of happiness just seemed so ridiculous to me.
The popularity of the book definitely shows how much our society is a bit obsessed with the idea of getting happier. It can be hard to be happy with what you have when you know about all the other options out there. We all need to take a breather at some point and look at the little day-to-day nonsense we do that makes us miserable. As a jaded, cynical New Yorker I’m the first to admit that my first reaction is to hate on everyone/everything around me. Did I completely change my habits after reading this book? No. It did get me thinking, though, and it turns out that being a cynical, psycho actually does make me a little bit happy. Kidding.... maybe.
This book is definitely Delayed Due to Train Traffic
*My fool-proof rating system for books
If you See Something, Say Something: Must-Read
Delayed Due to Train Traffic: Decent-Read
We are Being Held by the Train Dispatcher: Skip it!
*possibly not fool-proof