is the author of the new book,
, an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy. On her popular blog she recounts her adventures and insights as she grapples with the challenge of being happier. Aristotle, Samuel Johnson, Oprah, Benjamin Franklin, the Dalai Lama, Martin Seligman … she considers it all.
She’s also the author of the best-selling Forty Ways To Look at Winston Churchill , Forty Ways To Look at JFK , Power Money Fame Sex: A User’s Guide , and Profane Waste (with artist Dana Hoey). Rubin began her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she really wanted to be a writer.
Here are some highlights from her blog, the Happiness Project:
A Secret to Happiness? Don’t Get Organized.
When facing a bursting closet or a cluttered office, don’t make the mistake of saying to yourself, “I need to get organized.”
Eight Ways To Tell If You’re Being Boring
Watch for the warning signs that show that you’re being a bore.
Inspires Me to Do A Better Job With Some of My Resolutions
Inspired by watching the romance in Twilight , Gretchen reflects on memories of falling in love with her husband-and redoubles her efforts to keep her resolutions related to love.
Bad Habits: Swear Off Them Altogether? Or Indulge Occasionally?
If you’re trying to resist temptation, take this test to determine whether you do better when you go cold-turkey, or when you indulge moderately.
Exercise Tips from a Recovering Couch Potato
Try some of these nine strategies if you have trouble sticking to an exercise regimen.
Can You Curse During a Gratitude Meditation?
Comedian Louis CK’s hilarious rant that “Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy” is a (slightly unconventional) gratitude meditation.
Quiz: Are You Drifting?
When you “drift,” you make a decision by not deciding, or you make a decision that unleashes consequences for which you don’t take responsibility. We often deny that we’re drifting, so take this quiz to see if you’re at risk.
Happiness Myth: It’s Selfish To Try To Be Happier
Contrary to popular belief, happy people aren’t self-centered and complacent; in fact, they’re more concerned with helping others than are less-happy people.
How To Respond to Your Happiness Emergency-Stat!
Having a really lousy day? These nine strategies will help you boost your mood right now .
Can You Predict If Someone Will Be Happy in the Future?
Sizing up the temperament of a potential boss, roommate, or spouse? The best way to predict whether a person will be happy is to know whether that person has been happy in the past.
Happiness Myth: Money Can’t Buy Happiness
Money, spent wisely , can buy a lot of things that contribute mightily to happiness. Some of the best things in life aren’t free.
Embrace the Paradoxes of a Happiness Project
Niels Bohr wrote, “The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.” Here, Gretchen outlines some of the paradoxes of a happiness project.
Quiz-Are You an Overbuyer or an Underbuyer?
Do you fit the description of an “overbuyer” or an “underbuyer”? These categories will help you identify strategies to be happier with your spending.
Life’s Cruel Truth: You Get More of What You Already Have
We all contribute to the atmosphere in which we live, so we get more of what we have. Friendly people meet with friendliness; irritable people find themselves surrounded by irritable people.
Practice a NON-Random Act of Kindness
Practicing non-random acts of kindness, it turns out, brings more happiness than random acts of kindness-especially for recipients.
Eleven Myths of De-Cluttering
For most people, outer order contributes to inner calm. Don’t let these de-cluttering myths get in the way of keeping your surroundings clutter-free.
Five Mistakes I Make in My Marriage
Gretchen confesses to five mistakes she makes in her marriage-and explains how she tries to do better.
Why Might Small, Comfortable Changes Work Better than Radical Steps?
To bring about change in your life, it’s often more effective to focus on small, manageable steps rather than setting ambitious goals.
Bob Dylan Helps Me Recognize a Paradox of Happiness
Bob Dylan’s observation about his wife, “she’s always had her own built-in happiness,” highlights one of the paradoxes of happiness.