The Happiness Project – Why Happiness is Cool and Why You Should Buy the Book (Plus a Fun Chance to Win the Book!)

December 17, 2009          Comments (7)

Book Cover

I did it all for the happiness!

Almost 3 years ago, I quit my full time job to pursue my passions of health and fitness, writing and helping people and married it with entrepreneurship to make myself happier.

It worked! (In fact, helping people get the body they want never gets old!)

However, one of the most worrisome sentiments I hear from clients, is that for some reason, many feel guilty pursuing their health and fitness goals. They feel as though it’s selfish and self-centered as they should be focused on their spouse and/or kids.

As I practice a very holistic approach with my clients, I learn about other areas of their life too. Sadly, many feel the same way about pursuing other interests as well.

When there is disconnect between our desires and actions, unhappiness ensues. And if we’re unhappy, we’ll be way more likely to eat emotionally.

However, for many people, being out of shape is what is making them unhappy! And even after having identified the problem, many people still feel guilty for making time to exercise and to prepare healthy meals.

Here’s why Gretchen Rubin’s, The Happiness Project is so important: She has made it cool to pursue your happiness! If it’s going to make you happy, you should invest in yourself because…

One of her 4 splendid truths is: One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. (That’s worth reading again. Don’t let the simplicity of it mask its brilliance.)

Gretchen eloquently encourages us to pursue our own happiness project as she has done so herself. I’ve been a huge fan of her blog for more 2 years now!


Well, who doesn’t want to be happier? One of the reasons why I am such a health and fitness fanatic is because in 4th grade I discovered how great exercising and eating right made me feel. This is why I’ve made this my life’s work.

To me, happiness and fitness equals one in the same. They go hand in hand.

However, we all know this! We all know the transformative potential of eating right and exercising.

A lack of knowledge (for the most part) isn’t the problem. The real problem is a lack of consistent action. Actually doing it!

Sadly, most people don’t want to change. Instead they rather read blogs and books and buy ridiculous exercise videos and contraptions that make them feel like they’re changing.

Let’s face it. If it were easy to change, people would do it! (It’s the accountability and the pushing and the coaching and the guidance and the inspiration and the daily expectations that help the change occur.)

However, there are many things we do (and don’t do) that affect our happiness significantly that don’t require all that much effort or change and Gretchen has extensively researched all of this for us.

I’ve read a few of her other books and she is maniacal with research. But, she has an incredible ability to synthesize complex ideas and readings into very bite size and juicy nuggets.

Rubin has proven to me, as I’m a long time follower; it is possible to change your life in many areas, without actually changing your life.

I must confess. Just writing that sentence makes me uneasy. Last night I was watching a ‘random’ person on an infomercial tout an exercise product that “was so easy, she didn’t feel like she was exercising!” Then I watched another one (I’m fascinated by them) with a woman preaching, “You can truly eat whatever you want and still lose weight!”

Finally, last Friday 20-20 had a segment about trick photography in the diet and weight loss industry which made me even sicker.

Sadly all of this makes people believe real change is possible without any real change. It’s not! If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten!

However, and I say this very carefully, Gretchen actually provides extremely actionable tips that don’t require all that much change. For example, an extra hour of sleep can do more for your happiness than a $60,000 raise!

The Happiness Project might be one of the few things you can read that changes your life – without really changing it.

So why do I care if you buy this book? Well, I truly and sincerely believe that if you read it, it’ll make you happier. And that’s exactly why I do what I do. Because I know that when you feel and look as good as you can, you’re more productive, confident, energized, and of course, happier!

And helping people become happier is sure one heck of a way to become happier yourself!

***If you’d like to win a copy of The Happiness Project tell me in the comments your happiest memory. I’ll pick the winner and I’ll mail you the book. We’ll make Sunday the 20th at 2 P.M EST the cut off. Check back here for updates!

[Update: Book Winner. Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed reading all of your happiest memories! Unfortunately, there can only be one winner and it was a very tough decision. I’m going to pick Michelle because I loved the simplicity of it and also that it was different from the other 3 entries. I wish I could send you all a book but I only have one copy. Michelle, if you can email me at GuruGilbert at yahoo dot com with your address, I’ll mail the book out to you tomorrow. Thanks, guys! 🙂 ]

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  1. Adam, what an insightful post as usual. I love the idea for the book giveaway too!

    My happiest memory isn’t all that complex but here goes it: I was 14 years old and my family and I were all sitting around the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music and watching my younger sister (she’s 8 years younger than me) dance around and play.

    All of my grandparents were there, all of my relatives were there and we all had that warm and cozy feeling after a big meal.

    It was magical. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time. But I look back on that Christmas often.

    I’m assuming if I win (I’m sure I won’t) you’ll email me via the address I used to submit this comment?

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    Comment by Michelle — December 17, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

  2. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for sharing! What a great memory. So simple yet so meaningful. I love it.

    As far as the winner, I’m extremely protective of email addresses and privacy, etc. So I rather not email you.

    I’ll announce the winner Sunday night and update the post. If you don’t mind, just check back here. If you win, simply email me your info. Hope that works!

    Comment by Adam Gilbert — December 17, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  3. Great post Adam and great idea for the give away!

    Here it is: Seeing my son born. It changed my life in every way. It gave me purpose, direction and focus. He is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

    Thank you for all the inspiration!

    Comment by Aaron M — December 18, 2009 @ 12:53 am

  4. The happiest moment in my life was by far the day my son was born. He is now 10 months old and every time I see him, no matter how many things are on my mind, his smile will change my day. He makes me want to be a better person and work harder to find success in my life. I am looking forward to our first Christmas with him.

    I enjoy the blog; keep up the good work!

    Comment by Chris — December 18, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  5. Thanks for a great review of Gretchen Rubin’s book. I have been following her blog this year and have found inspiration in many of her musings.

    Several of your readers have commented that their happiest moments were seeing their children for the first time.

    Mine is a riff on the theme: I think the happiest moment of my life was just before my daughter was born when my husband looked at me, grabbed my hand, and said, “We are about to meet our daughter! I love you.” Of course, holding her, loving her, and getting to know her have all been amazing experiences, but it is that expression of adoration and love between my husband and me that is the foundation of our little family.

    Comment by Lee — December 18, 2009 @ 11:54 am

  6. Hi Adam,
    I saw the nice mention of my book, The Happiness Project, here. I very much appreciate those kind words and you shinning a spotlight on my work. Thanks and best wishes,

    Comment by Gretchen Rubin — December 21, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  7. Hi,
    Interesting book. However I think,

    happiness is still a tricky word. I had a shot at trying to define it

    in a more “scientific” or “objective” way, despite it being a

    subjective feeeling: What is happiness?
    I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you, Nick

    Comment by Nick1254367 — December 23, 2009 @ 10:54 am

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