Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Holy shit. I think this New York City lawyer-turned-writer has uncovered it! The MEANING of LIFE! Well, perhaps that is a bit lofty. But after reading just two chapters of Gretchen Rubin's book, "The Happiness Project," I am hooked. Her concept is simple: she picks eleven virtues she wants to work on for one full year, starting with energy, then marriage, and so on, and in the twelfth month she aims to attain growth in all eleven areas. (Sound familiar? Ben Franklin, anyone?).
You are in for a good read if you can get past the slight lawyerly, type-A, neuroticism (she starts the book by listing the countless thinkers and writers she relies on for research, citing the likes of Plato and Thoreau alongside contemporary writers like Elizabeth Gilbert and the woman who wrote the Julie/Julia blog/book and in the first chapter she actually tracks how many steps she takes each day... I mean, really?! Really?!).
Though, my favorite tidbit of wisdom is one she evokes from William Butler Yeats:
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing."
Hmmm.... this gives me lots to ponder this week and as I set my goals for 2010...